Monday, April 6, 2009

April poem no. 6

I'm still a gym rat. No matter how often I tell myself that I'll cut back on my days at the gym or the steps that I accumulate on my pedometer, I don't. During the week I get up at 5 am every morning and get to the gym by 5:30 am. Saturdays I sleep in an extra hour or so to attend a 7:30 am spin class, and on Sundays I take a big long walk along our beach. It's a routine I'm only willing to break if I'm out of town or have to attend a very rare early morning meeting.

Well, it's not all bad. As a result I can still get into all my clothes and I don't have the aches and pains a lot of folks my age complain about.

Here's my gym poem:

Across the Parking Lot, Into the Gym

5:30 A.M.
in the dark, the cold, the rain
lines of cars jockey for the space
yeah you guessed it
closest to the door.
The huge gray flatbed
always in the compact section
just to piss me off

blinding light reveals every pore,
frown, furrow,
sleepy eye, yawn, bed head
every drop of sweat,
every added inch
gained chomping on chips,
shoveling in the cookies
pizza pies, McAnythings.

The same folks line up
like race horses
in rows of stairsteppers
rows of treadmills
rows of elliptical trainers
rows of bikes
rows of rowers
ab crunchers, thigh shavers,
hip slimmers, arm deflabbers, chest expanders
dumbbells, barbells, bars with no bells
and no whistles.

They’re on slantboards, flat boards, balance boards,
wood floors, carpeted floors, balls, bozus
You ask what’s a bozu – it’s a half ball.
You have to be there.

They wear
baggy tees, baggy sweats,
long shorts, short shorts, tight shorts,
skin tights, tight tights,
bra tops, tank tops, see-through tops, no tops –
whoops, did I say that?
Really, they all wear tops.
Guzzling, suckling like babies
their sports drinks
from those ubiquitous plastic nipples.

They’re plugged in
to iPods, CDs, cassettes, radios, TVs.
Anything to drown out the drone
the cacophony of weights bouncing off the floor,
feet clip pity clopping on the treadmill,
Anything to miss
the macho guys yelling across the room,
ridiculing, riling up their buddies,
exposing their pecks
and their sex lives.
Anything to erase
the voice of the brunette with glasses
still gloating over W’s win –
The I told ya sos
And so what?
Others running, climbing, cycling, walking,
flexing, flaunting, strutting their siliconed stuff
The old geezers checking out the babes.
The comes ons, turn ons, hard ons and on and on.

They’re all there when I’m there
every morning
day in, day out.
5:30 A.M.

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