Gym Banter By Christine Swiderski





I have been working out at this gym since they opened their doors 5 years ago. The owner is a well-known name, he was a lightweight boxer. Hanging in a display case are the boxing gloves he wore at his last fight which nearly took his life.

My membership is paid by the company I work for. All executives are expected to stay in shape and be in good form at all times. It helps me with stress. The contract I signed stipulated that the membership is paid up for a year.

Those who work with me always good-naturedly tease each other on. Once your weak spot is clear the banter can get personal. I once told my boss that by the way he works out he could wear his slippers and a smoking frock. His comeback was “Sugar, the way you work out you could be holding a saucer made of fine china.”

I flexed my muscles, showing my bicep. My arms look like Popeye the sailor.

The term bikers, denotes something different amongst the gym goers. Many where the tight spandex pant with the padded seats for more comfort. They also tote reflective stripes. I tried it myself, put my feet in the stirrup peddle thinking I would feel like a kid again. All I felt was my social life being nonexistent due to soreness. I tend to whine when that happens. I made the decision to do the StairMaster or elliptical instead. Some days when I walk into the gym it is noisy. Devilish banter, flippant comebacks. Other times those working out are focused and do not want to be bothered.

Wednesday is one of three days I workout. As I walked in today, I pause a moment to tie my shoe. I believe that is what saved my life. This is a big town. It is easy for just anyone to walk in, saunter into the workout area and unload their frustrations. I heard a very loud crack pop sound. Instinctively I slammed my body to the floor. I heard a soft voice say “Honey slide yourself over here behind the desk. I think he is after only one person.”

At that moment I wished I had chose bike riding. I did my best to slither over behind the desk, while I was moving I looked at the shooter. He was wearing matching outfits with the person he was about to shoot. I cannot wrap my head around any relationship that is that intent on being one then suddenly it turns brutal.

When I am in a relationship which many times goes sour because my partner inevitably says I am stingy with my time. Lying here on the floor I am also glad those who said that never wanted to take it to this level.

Soon sirens are approaching. The sound seems disconnected to what is going on right here right now. Adrenaline is pumping your mind is saying the Calvary is coming, your fear is saying hope they are not too late.

They were too late for the girl the gun was aimed at and also the shooter.

I am not going to the gym for awhile. Maybe I will take up jogging.