Gym Dandy

A free gym membership is one of the benefits of my health insurance. I don’t even have to wait for reimbursement – I joined using a special code, and the kid at the front desk told me someone from the insurer would be in contact to ask how often I’d been there during the preceding month before compensating the establishment. “Will they want to know how long I stayed, or what kinds of machinery I used?” I asked. “Nope,” was the response – “They just want to know you were here.”

Last month, I was at the gym an impressive 29 of 30 days. I didn’t work out nearly that often; oh God, no… but while on my way to the grocery store, or post office, or Dunkin’ Donuts, I’d stop by, run in, and scan my membership card to register an “appearance.” Ironically, the day I missed was because I sprained my ankle while walking to the mailbox.

This morning, I actually *did* go to the gym to exercise. I worked up quite a sweat, although that was largely due to trying to sync a pair of wireless earbuds to my phone’s Bluetooth. I did a series of curls with 50 35 10-pound dumbbells and then devoted 25 minutes to the elliptical machine – with 20 of those minutes spent searching for a setting that didn’t feel like I was wading through molasses. I finally gave up and just spent the few remaining moments stepping on and off the machine.

On my way out of the facility, I scanned my membership card a few more times, hoping to build up a reservoir of alleged “visits” in case I miss passing by there any days this month. As I drove toward home, a red Honda SUV exited a parking lot on the other side of the road, crossing both lanes and pulling directly in front of me. Other than my car, there wasn’t any traffic within sight in either direction, so what motivated him to make his move at that particular moment was a mystery. I slammed on the brakes, honking my horn as I came up on his rear, further expressing my anger by flashing my windshield wipers at him. By the time I found the lever for the high beams, he was far enough away that any blinding effect would be feckless, so I just leaned resignedly on the horn for another 30 seconds in the hopes that, although he was quite obviously blind, he was not also deaf.

I have a doctor’s appointment in a few days, and I know he’ll ask me if I’ve been sticking to a low-sodium diet (true, in that we keep the salt on the bottom of the spice rack), and if I’ve been getting an hour of exercise every day. I’ll answer with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” since he never specifies if his inquiry is limited to physical exertion – I exercise my mind frequently, trying to come up with rationalizations for not going to the gym.

Speaking of insurance, I’m going to increase my collision coverage because if I see that jamoke in the Honda SUV again, I’m going to go elliptical on his ass.

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