Out with the old gym and in with the new – grunt

By John Toth
Bulletin Publisher

I’m in the “new” gym, working out, trying to keep that old(er) ticker of mine from becoming complacent.

My goal is to push myself enough to feel good at the end of the workout – tired, but good. When I finish I am always in a good frame of mind. I’m not the grunting body-builder type, which is why I’m at the “new” gym.

If I am going to work out, I need a gym. I won’t do it at the house. That would be too easy. I like the social interaction as much as the results of the workout.

I also like to see what other people do, like at what speed and incline they set the treadmill.

I was almost minding my own business one day when I saw that a woman far older than me was running on the treadmill. I started to keep track of her time, but, after a while, I just gave up. She just kept on running, for miles at a time.

I stepped on the treadmill and turned it to running speed, for about a half mile. I’m working up to her level, but I’m afraid it may take ... years.

Patience and consistency are the keys to a good workout, as well as good music from my cell phone. Technology is great. I have no idea how I survived my earlier years without a cell phone, but I must have, because I am still here.

And, by sweating in the gym, I want to make sure that I’ll be here for a while longer ... a long while.

I am among a group of people in this “new” gym who are more or less my type of gym-goers. There are a few muscle guys, but most of the people here are just trying to stay fit and healthy, unlike in the “old” gym, where the body builders dominated.

I felt so inadequate next to those steroid muscles. I put the machine at 60 lbs., and they put it at 130 lbs. And they vocalized how strong they were.

I’m not trying to sculpture my body at age 55. I’m just working out to feel good and keep my vital numbers in good order. My priorities are different than those of the young steroid guru next to me in the “old” gym who disturbed my calm surroundings with his loud grunts, as if to say: “I am such a macho man compared to you, old man.”

O.K., he may have been grunting something totally different, but that’s how I interpreted it. Maybe he was grunting: “What are you doing in this gym, you old weakling?”

Just thinking about what he may be grunting made me so mad I wanted to push him off the weight bench, but the dude was stronger than me. So, I just tried to ignore his likely thoughts.

Yes, I think I’ll hang around here for a while. That woman is still running. I bet she could run a marathon. I’d be gasping for air after the first mile, walking the rest of the way, or catching a ride.

Is she ever going to stop? I left and came back the next day. There she was, still running.

At least she wasn’t grunting.