Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For Old Time's Sake

So, I'm at the gym this morning and...

No, that's not a punchline.  Occasionally, I do make a half-hearted attempt at getting back in shape.  If you still don't believe me, I suppose I could supply witnesses, but I've already gotten my workout in for the day.

Let me start again.  I'm at the gym this morning and notice something.  Have you ever noticed something that you probably should have noticed way before you noticed it the first time?  Like how Napolean Dynamite is wearing different clothes during the same movie scene.  Things like that.

Today I noticed just how many old people work out at 6:00 a.m.  I noticed it because at every machine, I had to wait for them to finish, which slowed my usual 45-minute workout to a little over three hours.  Agonizing.  It's not like you can work in with them since they put the settings on the lowest possible weight.  Air would provide as much resistance as what some of these geriatrics are doing.  So, I wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Finally, when they're finished, they do a slow walk to the disinfectant spray bottle in the corner of the room, grab a rag and wipe down the machine like they're polishing their walker after a shitstorm.  I'm really not certain what they're wiping off, but it isn't sweat.  I never see old people sweat -- it's why they never need air conditioning and heat their homes in the summertime.  I think when you turn 65, your body just morphs into a cold-blooded reptilian on the inside.  Temperature change doesn't seem to affect them at all.

I shouldn't have to worry about all of this at six in the morning.  I'm worried about lots of other things.  I have a busy day ahead and try to use this short workout as a way to prepare myself.  The fact is I have to get up early.  They don't.  The only time I'm able to work out is early in the morning.  They have all day.  They should at least have to wait until I get to work before they start their workout.  As a society, we already surrendered the mall to them.  What more could they want?

Old people have also impacted my grocery store experience.  When do I do grocery shopping?  After work or on the weekends.  These times should be "old people free."  If they can't get their shopping done and workout during the 40 hours I work each week, then I guess they're just looking for trouble.

I suppose you might call me insensitive and an ageist, but I'm only trying to be practical.  Think of how much faster you'd get to work during rush hour if you took all the people who weren't in a hurry off the road.  Think of the line at the deli in your supermarket and how efficient it would be if they didn't have to deal with the 82-year-old woman ordering three slices of every cold cut she could remember.  Think about a workout that doesn't last all morning.

Most of us know old people.  Some of us might even be old people.  If you know someone who is old, suggest this new way of living and see if they're willing to change.  If you are old and I've possibly offended you, I'm sorry.  You go ahead and keep doing what you're doing.  But don't expect me to wipe the machine off after I'm done.

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