Picture this... four treadmills lined up. Guy using one on the far left. I get on second from the right. Twinkie gets on the one between us. I'm going to town, I'm hustling, I'm living in the old days. 3.5 with some incline and 5.0 with interval -- no incline. Couch to 5K- I'm blowing you away! I've got the ear buds in, I'm rockin'!
Twinkie's friend, Ponytail, squeezes herself between my treadmill and Twinkie's. There's no more than seven inches clearance. Ponytail's mane is dangling in my space. Twinkie shoots me a look out of the corner of her eye. I see Ponytail's mane bobbing as her jaw moves. I think, "yeah... they are talking about me." I hit the mute button so I can listen in.
"I'll just stand here and bug her. She'll get off soon - when she finishes her Air Supply."
Uh Huh. You don't throw that kind of trash talk around a 47 year old woman without repercussion. Besides, I'll have you know I was listening to AC/DC, at high volume, ¾ of my max. That was followed up by a little ELO and topped off with Eminem and Pussycat Dolls. Why not just ask me to move over to the empty tread on my right? I would have. Now they've made it personal.
Twink and Pony will not win. I will continue my pace in my Pikes Peak Sports shirt, complete with marathon runner, that everyone in the gym suspects I didn't win in a 5K, I'm going to prove them wrong. They don't need to know that my barefoot, running friend gave it to me. Twinkies, rude Twinkies, little weasels, weasels with ponytails. I will beat you if I have to stroke out doing it. And let me tell you, they'll be no 1.5 mph , nope I'm keeping up the 3.5 / 5.0. Thank God I had that greyhound before going to the gym. The grapefruit juice is kicking in and the vodka is killing the pain.
My husband was on the elliptical at the beginning of this battle. Now he's walking the track. Every lap he makes, he looks at me with the WHAT are you doing? look. I just give him the eye, a squinted sweat filled eye, as I tighten my grip on the silver-handled, heart explosion monitors and get ready to hang on for the interval. 25 Years of marriage -- he knows exactly what is going on.
I became concerned when the heart rate monitor was flashing warning. I covered it with my towel. I didn't want Twinkie and Pony to see that my heart was on the verge of rupturing and in fact I was going to start bleeding from my ears and eyes at any moment. For the LOVE OF GOD please get off your treadmill! Give up Twink! She doesn't.
IT IS ON! Full volume! TNT, Have a Drink on Me, Rollercoaster- Ohio Players and Chili Peppers -- and now Cake. I'm not going down. I Won't Back Down! Pearl Jam for inspiration.
Twinkie glanced at me, pursed her botox lips and shut her machine off. Yes, yes, get along now. Go on head towards the corner. That's it. Keep walking. ... Yes, they round the corner - out-of-sight! I turn off the machine and it rolls to a stop. I let the tread carry me to the end. My feet just slide off, like sliding down the inside of a pool. The room keeps going, moving in stereo. I'm stroking, I'm stroking! Last heart rate -- I saw it with my blurry eyes -- 222. HAHAHAHAHA 222 is that calorie or brain burning? What is level is that on the triangle thing? Explosion? Danger Will Robinson! I want to wave my arms but they aren't moving.
The room slows down. I hobble to a weight lifting machine. I collapse into a sweaty seat - just vacated by a nice, hairy man. The leftover sweat is oddly comforting on the back of my neck.
Attendant walks by -- she is older than me. "Hey, are you okay? Your face is really red." No, no I'm not okay. My heart is bursting and unless I have my beer goggles on, I'm seeing two of you. My ear drums feel like they have three layers of fuzz on them -- oh wait that's pooled blood from my aneurism. "Yes, all good." Drool slipped from the side of my mouth. "I'm just paying for that Twinkie I just ate."