Flipped switches

The Zumba girls were dancing badly to The Pretenders‘ “Precious.” Terrible. No sense of rhythm.

Wait a minute. “Precious” was blasting through my headphones. Blasting through my headphones as I worked on the elliptical machine. It was the only machine available and I felt funny taking it since it was the closest to the classroom where the ladies of the day were grooving to some anonymous song. I had never seen Zumba and was curious. I also found it distracting that they were all dancing so badly to the song running through my head.

Call me The Sweaty Voyeur if you must, but I am pure of heart and soul.

Someone on an elliptical machine two spots to my right was apparently running from hungry wild animals, all settings on full blast. On another, a twenty-something woman was walking backwards while talking on her wicked-smart phone. People of all shapes and sizes, rippled dudes in Iron Man t-shirts, lithe women sweating after seven hours on the treadmill, gym employees checking out the crowd, men of my certain age and older in various stages of health and acceptance, some bewildered that health and conditioning had become so impossibly out of reach, passed as I trudged my way up and over an imaginary, hilly path.

The silent dancers in the glass-enclosed classroom struggled to find the groove of The Pixies‘ “Where Is My Mind” that now sluiced from the iPod Shuffle through my cheap headphones and into my sweaty ears. Didn’t they hear it? What was their problem?

For the record, my playlist today on the elliptical and the torture machines, went like this:

The Pretenders, “Precious”
The Pixies, “Where Is My Mind”
Jimi Hendrix, “If 6 Was 9”
The Rolling Stones, “All Down The Line”
The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar”
Faces, “Stay With Me”
Bush, “Everything Zen”
David Essex, “Rock On”
Living Colour, “Back in Black” (cover)
Screaming Trees, “Shadow of the Season”
Band of Skulls, “The Devil Takes Care of His Own”
Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City (Live)

Today, somehow, switches flipped in my head to the “on” position.

This was Day 1 in search of health and Day 1 of coming to grips with the concept that I will be doing something new for a living, leaving some things behind while mining for new crown jewels. I had been orbiting these ideas for weeks, months: lose weight, get healthy, keep writing the book, reinvent yourself, study hard that social media and believe you can play that game. Get your boots on and your big boy pants and stop whining and worrying, start doing and trying and taking aim.


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