two and a half weeks ago...
I went to the gym for the first time in over a month. I had the blessing of time combined with a brief moment thinking that I was strong enough to exercise.
It was pretty darned funny. I ran a 15 minute mile (actually 1.05 in 14:30) but basically a FIFTEEN MINUTE MILE, and not miles.. I mean ONE MILE because I was tired out. It was very strange. I know I will be back physically in a few weeks to at least my previous sorry state, but it is still amazing how weak I got after not really moving for a month. If nothing else that month of sick has taught me that I never want to be that person who sits around like that... ever. I want to be able to run under a 10 minute mile for most of the rest of my life, and hopefully it will look more like 8? Don't think I am signing up for marathons any time soon, way to trendy for me.
Then when it came to weights I had to take ten pounds off of every set. I probably could have pushed through it, but I found myself needing to rest between sets, and I encountered some strange random coughing fits too. All very distressing, but another time in my life where I am thankful for the experience because now that I know what sloth can bring, I do not want to be a part of it. I need to be strong for my children, my husband, and my future home repairs.
So while I was on my Super cross-fit tangle your legs and watch CNN while you measure your heart rate and BMI and how far your little man has gone on a mountain or a track or around an island... machine, I heard the differently-modulated voice of a young man come in the weight room.
He is probably 17, and I've seen him once before with one of the YMCA staff at his side. The first time I saw him it was his first visit there, and I watched before how he had entered the room, scoped out a machine and been visibly distressed by the fan, which was on behind me. I turned it down for him, and later as I was leaving I complimented the young YMCA employee for working so well with him. This time was no different.
He has been coming here for months now, and I can tell he has his "regular machine" because he waited for someone else to finish their workout, and used the one on the end (away from the fan) when there were other open machines. He is more comfortable now, and doesn't scan the room as often with unsure eyes. He presses all of the buttons on the machine and they light up consistently, but the employee sticks with him while he works out.
This time they are having a conversation, and I am not eavesdropping but I do overhear several snippets. Okay fine... I was listening.
"I would really like it if you could call this woman before my I.P.P." (which is really why I started listening, because this young man is perhaps his own advocate, and has an Individual Program Plan, as my son does, and anytime someone uses jargon that applies to my kid, my ears tune in.)
"Well, I can do that. You can just give me her number."
"What time of day would you call her, because the number I give you would be different, if you were calling her in the morning, than if you are going to call in the afternoon. What time of day will you call her tomorrow?"
"Well, I'm not sure."
"Maybe you can think about that."
"You could give me both numbers?"
"Yes. I could give you both." And he starts to tell her the numbers. She has to stop him and remind him that she won't be able to remember the numbers, that she'll need something to write them down. He laughs a little, and says something about how both numbers are in his head, "all the numbers are in my head, really."
He cross-trains on his machine a bit more, his legs are jerking in a rhythm that is so different than mine even though we are on similar machines. I realize he is walking on his toes, but on an elliptical trainer it makes the legs swing in an odd arc. I can't replicate his movement even though I try. I can't spin plates like Jake either.
The trainer says she is going to Chicago next week, so he will need to work with someone else.
"Where in Chicago?"
"I don't really know. Somewhere in the south side? Something like that."
"Well, if it's the south side, there's Wrigleyville, which isn't really a city, but a place, like South Beach in San Francisco."
"Have you ever been to Chicago?" she asks him.
When I told this story later to my friend Seymour, he noticed easily that the young man has probably mapped the location of every baseball field and their surrounding areas.