by Susan Sey
So I broke up with my old gym. We'd been happy together for two years or more but things had gotten stale. Boring. Expensive. It wasn't any one thing but sometimes you grow apart, you know? It's not you, it's me. These things happen. Maybe we should take a break.
I decided to have a look around, see if there was an option that fit my life a bit better. As it happens, there was. The Community Center.
The Community Center has a pool. My old gym did, too, but this pool is a zero-depth-entry, chock-full-of-slides-and-toys, warmer-than-bathwater type pool. Much better for my skinny children whose lips turn blue when they so much as stroll past the beach.
The Community Center also has an indoor playground, access to which comes free with membership. A nice bennie when you live in The Land That Summer Forgot. Snow'll be flying up here pretty soon--an indoor playground will be nice to have.
The Community Center is also next door to the library (this family's idea of nirvana), has a preschool (which my youngest attends), and costs less than half what my old gym did.
However, the CC (as it will henceforth be known because I am a lazy typist) lacks one thing. TVs on the cardio equipment. Our old gym had TVs on all the treadmills & elliptical machines. You just plugged in your headphones, picked a station & off you went for your sweaty twenty minutes or whatever.
At the CC, there's a bank of TVs hung on the wall & you have to tune your personal radio (who the heck has a RADIO anymore??) to the FM band indicated on the wall under each TV. That's the only way you can listen to the audio. Otherwise, you have to read the closed captioning they've conveniently turned on.
Now this isn't a problem for me. I'm happy to read the screen. My husband feels this is a crime against fitness but that's a different blog. No, what I want to talk about today is the joy of being forced out of my usual TV watching rut.
See, running isn't fun. When I run indoors, I need to be diverted. I need to be absorbed or I spend too much time thinking about how very unpleasant running is & wondering if it's over yet. (It's not.)
So I need some gripping TV, & I'm not interested in taking a chance on an unknown quantity. I like shows I *know* I like: reality shows where talented people work under time & material pressure--Top Chef or Project Runway. I like a good soapy drama--Dawson's Creek is a big favorite. Or something clever and quick--That 70's Show still kills me. (I have a friend Kitty Foreman only wishes she were.) The West Wing is a good one, too.
But at the CC now I have a whole smorgasbord of shows on at once & none of them are what I usually watch. It's talk shows (Ellen Degeneres), trashy talk shows (Maury Povich, I think), and soap operas.
I went with the soap. Now I haven't followed a soap opera since I used to watch the Bold & the Beautiful in college and I have to say, it's nice to see they're still burying people alive. (And putting them in comas and having secret babies, all of which happened in the time it took me to log four miles.)
My favorite was the buried alive story line. They'd sealed this woman (an exquisitely groomed sixty-something) into a crypt with a cell phone & a security camera. This allowed her to both see and rail against the idiotic young things who wandered by for some crypt-side musing, and have vitriolic chats with the villain who'd buried her.
Watching a grande dame shriek, "I'M IN THE CRYPT, YOU STUPID COW!" at a clueless mourner remarking on the unlikeliness of her sudden death was awesome, too. We don't get enough scenery chewing from Women Of A Certain Age. I'm all for more of that. I wish they'd bring back the turban as a hairstyle, too, now that I'm thinking of it. Liz Taylor rocked the turban. More turbans!
I think I'm going to like my new gym.
So how about you? Do you follow any soaps--now or ever? What's your favorite storyline? Secret babies? Long lost lovers? Premature burial? Back-from-the-dead lovers? Evil twins? Do you watch TV while you work out? What do you watch? And if they brought turbans back, would you wear one?