Monday, December 14, 2009
Since I got home a good week ahead of most of my friends, I have gotten into a routine of utter laziness. So, when I rose this afternoon from my slumber I decided that today was the day to turn my Christmas break around, turn over a new poinsettia if you will. I grabbed my ipod and phone and trekked my way to the YMCA. I had forgotten how great it feels to actually do something of use with my body. I started off with some stretches, then moved on to weights. I figured a good finale would be some cardio on the stationary bike. I did a couple loops around the workout area and found an open bike. I was seated next to an older man who looked to have been doing his cardio far longer than the recommended 30 minutes a day. He had headphones on and a book in front of him that I was sure he was not reading because I could see his eyes fluttering open and shut. I wasn't too concerned because he was still pedaling away. And even if he did seem to be entering a near comatose state, he was still getting the workout he came for. He clearly had no idea I was there (in fact I'm not sure he even knew he was there) and he continued to pedal and sweat away. As our workouts progressed, a rancid smell began to make its way to my nostrils. I knew it couldn't be me because what I was doing would hardly constitute as a workout, plus I wasn't sweaty at all and had applied more than enough deodorant before going to the Y. I had no doubt the rank scent was coming from my friend the next bike over. Once I was aware of the smell, I couldn't think of anything else. I tried with all of my might to think about something, anything pleasant but my mind kept drifting back to that scent. Never in my life had I smelled anything like it, and I live with all boys. If I had to describe it I would say it was one part sweaty jock-strap, two parts mayonnaise, and a dollop of expired Daisy. I promised myself relief if I could just finish the mile I was on. About the same time I was finishing up, so was he. With a good dozen grunts he managed to maneuver himself off of the bike as I watched attentively. He picked up his towel and began wiping off his seat. How respectful, I thought. He then continued wiping not only the seat but the bike itself. My eyes followed the rag as it made its way down the seat-adjust and the base of the bike, all of which were drenched in sweat. It looked as though he had spilled a gallon of water all over the bike and himself. Instead of being grossed out, I found this absolutely fascinating. How could a human make such a mess? Does he have some sort of condition? Is it contagious? I do feel a bit faint, perhaps I have developed it myself. I could feel my mouth getting dry, it had been wide open the entire three minute period it had taken him to clean up his (and now my) area. I decided I best leave before the aroma clung to me, after all I had a reputation to uphold. So I promptly shut my gaping mouth, hopped off the bike, and left the Y. Luckily, I was able to maintain balance and avoid slipping in the sweat puddle. Perhaps tomorrow I will make my way back to the Y and if I am lucky enough the sweat-ster will be there as well. And if I keep it up the two of us just may have a future together.