I’ve been going to my local gym for over a year now and I’ve identified several people who are always there that I think are noteworthy. I’ve actually decided to give them names even though I have no idea what their real names are. Just thought it was cute and funny to do so. Here goes:
Harold and Harriet – the Old People
These are the older couple that always holds hands when walking the indoor track. When it’s my turn or someone else’s turn to pass them on the right side, they stop holding hands and the man walks behind the woman until it’s “clear” to hold hands again and walk together.
I think it’s the coolest and cutest thing. No one else there does it, as far as I can tell. Just them. And they are adorable.
I always have my headphones in so I don’t hear if they talk about me as I speed past them. I have a feeling they might be thinking, “Why is she running so damn fast? Is there a fire?”
Once in a while they don’t hear/see me behind them and they are still holding hands as I’m coming up behind them. I’ve never had to say, “On your right!!” to them yet. I usually just start jogging LOUDER with my feet so they turn around and have this look on their face that says, “Oh Lord! Here comes that girl again!” And then Harriet probably says, “Move over Harold!”
I’m probably one of the youngest people on the track at the time of day that I go (mid afternoon before the teenagers take over) so it’s mostly stay at home Mom’s and old people. And then me.
Britney and Bobby – The “Too Cool for This Place” couple
But there’s also the annoying “Let’s pretend we own this track and disregard anyone else who is on it” people. And there’s a few of them. I call them Britney and Bobby. They are the WORST. They are in their late teens, early 20’s and they just don’t give a damn. They walk around like they own the track, walking extremely slowly,
If you have to yell, “On your right!” as you pass them by, they move over about an inch. They don’t hold hands. They just walk next to each other taking up the entire track. And they talk…and talk..and talk some more. In case you haven’t guessed, Britney and Bobby aren’t there to workout. They are there to socialize…with each other. Infuriating for people who are trying to get a little workout in.
Because of their lack of track courtesy and etiquette, they do force me to pay careful attention to whom I may literally run into as I jog past them. This is the only silver lining I can find with them. Most of the time, I secretly rejoice as they make their way to to the exits when they’re done with their leisurely stroll.
OCD Cindy – The Lap Counter/Obsessive Tracker
OCD Cindy is probably not obsessive compulsive, but she keeps track of everything, including the laps around the track. She holds a counter in her left hand clicking off each lap as she walks. (12 laps equals a mile). She also writes down a lot of stuff in a journal while she’s there. I assume it’s either her food or her laps in written form. Fascinating and also causes me to be curious. If OCD Cindy is walking the track as I come up the stairs to start walking, I want to walk just as long as she does. This complete stranger pushes me to work harder even though she’s just walking.
So what’s the (life) lesson that we can learn from all these track stars?
– Slow down. But not too slow that you cause a problem.
– Be kind to others as they move past you, perhaps even a little faster than you. Let them go by.
– Be mindful of those around you. Smile, strike up a conversation, say hello.
– It’s not how fast you make your laps around. It’s more about how you feel at the end of your journey.
– Keep a count of how far your journey has taken you, adding a little bit more challenging to it each time.
– Don’t fault anyone for making your journey a little bit annoying. If they’re in your way, just move around them. Don’t let them bother you or get in your head.
– Keep running as long as you can, but know that you can always walk when the road gets rough and bumpy.
Look for those who can teach you something, not just about training and working out and being healthy, but about life in general. You can find them in the most unusual places, even at the gym.