A Story for Thursday entitled -
Heavy Breathing & Karma
Once upon a Thursday morning, I get up early & miraculously negotiate everyone dressed, clean, and out the door on time. The drive goes well. Abby laughs a new laugh. Grayson shares his waterless water gun with her. We all sing, "Weeeee" as we snake along the fun windy road to the gym. Without flailing about like an Emmy award winning actor, Abby even lets me drop her and her stoic faced brother off at the sitters exactly by 10:30. This day has to have some kind of catalyst. I am about to find it.
By the time I hit the gym, there is only me, two other women, and a young man doing some crazy fly treatment on his arms with free weights. I smile at anyone who lifts their gaze and bounce right onto my favorite treadmill.
Since I don't stretch (because stretching is for patient people and I'm not one of them this week. This year. This life. I'm patient with things when I have the time to be patient with them but I'm pretty sure that negates the definition altogether but I digress...) I'm off and running slowly at 2.7 mph, then 3.6 mph, then 3.9, finally 4.5 all within the first five minutes (see above on impatience).
I am sweating and no longer quite able to read the subtitles to Kathy & Koda easily so give up and move on to listening to some music on my ipod. Ahhhh, soon all I can hear is my own uneven breathing and Kelly Clarkson.
"Because of you, I never stray too far on the sidewalk..." I touch the "up" speed button.
"Because of you, I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt." I feel ya, woman. Preach on it, Girl. I tap "up" some more until it reads 5.2mph.
"Because of you, I find it hard to trust not only me but everyone around me," I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!? I don't trust anyone around me either, I totally love you. We should be BFFS. I wonder if you like tabbouleh. I'm pretty sure I'm singing out loud by this point. 5.6mph
"Because of youuuu...I am afraid.....Because of youuuuuu." Aiiihhhhhhhhhhh,
Aaaeeiiiiihhhhaaaahhh...Because of youuuuuuu.... And I'm singing what I think is softly to myself but between the tiny wads of metal stuck in my ears and all the heavy breathing going on in my nearly collapsing airways, it's hard to tell. The ladies behind me continue their conversation so I shrug off my mini concert and fast forward to Pink.
"If someone said three years from now, you'd be long gone. I'd stand up and punch them out cuz they're all wrong. I know better, cuz you said forever, and ever... who knew?" Who knew? Wasn't me, that's who. Who freaking knew you'd be long gone? You suck because you said you'd stick around and now you're gone. Who KNEW I inside scream to Pink's ex-husband, Tony Hawk?!? What am I all revved up about? Inhale 2, 3, 4, Exhale, 2, 3, 4, inhale.....I stare at my shoes that are now pounding the treadmill so hard the entire beast of us is quivering under all the stomping. The heart shaped charm on my necklace takes on a life of its own in the blank TV's reflection. My arms square off from right to left like a metronome keeping time for the ridiculous breathing happening from my own mouth. Heeee heeeeeee. Whhhhh. Whhhhhh. Heeeeee. Heeeee. Whhhhhhhh. Whhhhhhhh. I am a Nike commercial in my own mind. Woman Warrior of the Basement Gym!!!! 6.3mph.
35 minutes later I'm a human salt lick and sweat is diving onto the floor beneath my elbows. One of the ladies who had been carrying on a conversation with another lady has now gone solo and is walking quickly on a neighboring treadmill. She is trying not to look at me but I can see her eyeballs putting up a fight in the corner of her face. I remove my earphones and commence a very much needed cool down.
"Sorry if I was loud. I was kind of working through some things there," I say enjoying my anonymity but also in an attempt to make small talk and explain why I was hulking out on the poor innocent workout gear.
"Yeah," she says uninterested. "Is your son in preschool by any chance?"
"Umm, no. Not yet. He starts in the fall. Are you a teacher?"
"Yes. I thought you looked familiar. Did you come to Open House last night?"
"No. I wanted to but I didn't have a sitter for the kids."
"What's your son's name?"
"Yes, I remember that name on my class roster."
"Really? He's in your class?"
"Is he in the 3 year old class?"
"Yes, he sure is."
"Then he's in my class," she says with a sunny smile and a nod of her great yellow head of hair.
"It's such a pleasure to meet you. I'm much calmer in real life. You know, in mom life. I just go nuts here so I can ...you know....get it all out so I don't take it out on the....(Oh God, I'm sounding more and more like a maladjusted felon every second.)" I trail off and honestly can't figure out whether to run to the nearest phone and dis-enroll him from her class that second just to avoid further contact with this nice teacher or to simply face the music to which I re-enacted with gusto in public like a complete moron in headphones.
"It's okay. I understand. I have three boys."
Thank you, Kelly and Pink. You two almost got my kid kicked out of preschool before he even started.