Our gym is a spacious place that offers a wide variety of fitness programs and classes. One of the said classes is "Power cycle 45", which is 45 minutes of vigorous pedal strokes on stationary bicycles made specifically for that exercise. The class is lead by an instructor, who plays upbeat music and barks out commands and encouragement. But lately a force has arrived that drowns out the instructor's commands and renders her encouragement impotent.
It is here that I should warn the reader who stumbles upon this missive that the subject matter is not genteel. Some may even think this whole thing to be crude - and it is! So, if you're squeamish, turn back now.
Let us continue.
We arrive to the gym at 5:40 and get our bikes ready. We warm up for 5 minutes and then it starts. Typically, within 10 minutes we are breathing hard and sweating profusely. And it is in that gasping, vulnerable state that recently, on several occasions, someone in the room is - how shall I say it?- easing one out! It is not an audible salvo; oh noooo, the presence of the beast, at first, is entirely an affront to the olfactory. So imagine if you will - you've got the beat, you're "adding gears" and "engaging your core", then suddenly there is an enemy. And its not just any old garden variety demon I tell you. It has legs. It's a protein enriched, paint peeling, nose hair singeing assault that advances, retreats and advances again (we think the circular flow of the ceiling fans enhance that effect, but it could be other incoming sorties).
At first, you think you'll survive by breathing through your mouth only; thereby by-passing the sense of smell. But no. You soon discover that this mutant wave has a corresponding flavor and the thought of this phantom gas finding a home in your lungs is a little too much for even an able bodied soul to endure. So, there we are, defenseless, at the mercy of the killer fog and no avenue of escape, save running from the room. We are perplexed and perturbed...but not defeated.
So now, we are looking for suspects - and there are several: The bald guy who always leaves a few minutes early - it did seem that the air was better after he left. But perhaps not. Then there is the big, T-Rex looking older guy with the forehead like a drive in movie screen; he sweats gallons which leads me to think that he'd fog the place out with no problem. But there is no sure fire proof. And let's not let the women off the hook. There's a couple of them in there that have the distinct ability to empty a room - no doubt about it.
So, my intrepid wife and I are on the case like dogged private investigators slinking around in trench coats, collars up, standing flat against the wall to avoid detection. We intend to get to the bottom of this offense. So far our best ideas are:
- To shame the perpetrator by audibly gagging out a loud exclamation; such as, "who died?!!". But that's a little too dramatic for reserved patrons such as us, plus, by bringing attention to the sordid matter, we open ourselves up to suspicion. and a retort like "the smeller is the feller! It's a slippery slope.
- Engaging our classmates in small talk about breakfast choices - we suspect the offender is a "protein shake" consumer - owing to the hint of digesting soy that rides shotgun on the rancid breeze. Of course, bacon and eggs is no fragrant walk in the park. It's such an unsettled science.
- Just giving up exercise indoors all together - What good is physical fitness when you're being bombarded by a force that is clearly life shortening?
In any event, I must apologize again for the crude subject matter, and I hope that future missives are more pleasant and uplifting - but, assuming we survive this invader, it's not likely.