Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gym Cancellations and Late Night Walks

NOTE: This is moved from my other blog to keep themes consistent. This blog will continue to be more of a writing exercise.

Walking alone in the fullness of night brings with it a certain sense of having the entire night to yourself. Well, maybe not completely especially since I've been taking these walks along a city owned greenbelt that's borders a well established Orange County suburb. The space is well loved and used in daylight, but as evening slides in it becomes pretty much void of people who might want to interrupt my desire to just get a few miles in before sleep in relative solitude.

The doc said I needed to lose more than a few pounds, get the blood pressure within some range of medical safety and shed some stress. Though we've got a few workout machines at home, I really enjoy walking. Hiking on the weekends is taking care of a lot of these urges to trek about, but through the week, it's near impossible to get dinner on the table, catch up on vital internet jabber and maybe watch a round of Wheel of Fortune or other important television program.

I gave up my gym membership that I've had for over 25 years. Like most folks, I just stopped going a long time ago because it's just a pain in the ass to get there. Remember, we've got all the gym equipment we need at home and that goes unattended for the most part, so why keep it active, I asked myself?

Partly because I'm lazy and just kept putting it off. And I needed a real good story to tell because I just knew the nice sales person would try to persuade me to remain a member.

Placing the phone call took some research to find the correct number, but perseverance and CSI-like detective skills revealed secret phone extention.

I advised the incredibly sweet, obviously sexy woman working the membership line of my intentions. "Oh, but Mr. Tyson, you've been a loyal member for, well over 25 years! Is something wrong?" she coyed. She continued to talk about the wonderful things she could offer me and had a comeback for every protest I made.

It wasn't until I lied that the tables turned.

"No, I just don't think I'll be using the gym much any longer..." and proceeded to advise her that I was ill. Which was true, because I was really suffering from a bad cold. She interrupted by saying that I could freeze my membership for a few months.

"No..." I paused ever so briefly..." it's because I am DYING." Well, it wasn't much of a lie, because we're all dying, right?

Anyway, she got real quiet and said, "I'm so sorry, sir. I hope it's not serious and if you change your mind, we'll hold your current monthly rate for you if you decide to come back."

Six weeks later, I received a nice letter offering me a reduced rate, six sessions with a trainer and I think obtuse promises of sexual favors if I just renewed ~ Right Away!

The evening walks result in getting the heart pumping and my spirit calmed. Tonight I was joined by a few coyotes who darted away upon my approach with the exception of a very curious one. She followed behind me for a while, keeping a safe distance away until I drew closer to busier cross streets. Small cottontail rabbits froze in my flashlight beam, oblivious to the hunting pack a block behind me and the only disturbing sound was that of a distant television, belching too loud but fortunately well away from the cocoon of my short lived, imaginary solitude.

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