Friday, August 21, 2009

Dirty Old Man John

I’m a serious gym man. Five mornings a week I drag my ass to the gym for at least 30 minutes of cardio and then weight lifting. Each day is assigned a particular body part that gets special attention.

Lately I’ve been writing my bike the 4.1 miles to the gym for that added cardio exercise. Oh yes, that means I ride 8.2 miles per day. And yes, you can only imagine how strong my legs are becoming.

When I’m on the treadmill or stair master I have my iPod distracting me with my favorite music while I secretly people watch. The gym gods and goddesses prance with the confidence of “Hey, look at me. I look damn good and you can’t have me,” while others wear oversized sweats and silently scream “I know I’m out of shape. Don’t look at me.”

For quite a while now my people watching has been distracted by old man John, and yes, John is his real name. He’s always at the gym when I’m there and because of his dirty habit I cannot stop watching him. He grosses me out. I take mental note of the machines he’s using and make sure I don’t use them until another day when I know the gym staff has had time to clean and disinfect them.

What’s his dirty habit?

John brings his own small white towel (actually it’s a shade of grey from being used over and over again) which he drapes on the seats of the machines or he places on the head rest of the machines he’s using. He then takes that same towel to wipe the machine when he’s done, and this same towel he uses to wipe his sweaty face and sweaty arms and whatever other body part he deems needs wiping. He’s a dirty sweat-er and wiper.

One time he asked to “work in” with me and I just couldn’t. I let him take the machine and quickly moved on to my next exercise.

John’s not the only one with dirty gym habits, but he’s the one I’m fixated on and when I see his perspiration covered body coming within ten feet of me I cringe and pray that none of his sweat pellets leap in the air and find their way onto me.

I hope he reads this blog.

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