Do you want to get spooked? Are you afraid of ghosts? If you’re looking for a little chill thrill, then visit my basement. It is an Exercise Graveyard. A cemetery devoted to waste, laziness, and failure. Each piece of equipment stands out like a tombstone marking the death of my waistline. Some of them are covered in dust and cobwebs, some look “freshly dug”. My cat Fred, is so freaked out about them that he won’t go down there so the mice know its a safe zone. The mice are the only things going squeak in the night down there.
They are grouped together by their industry names. I have the Body by Jake section, the Gazelle fitness equipment section, and the Suzanne Somers area. Just saying the Somers area makes my blood run cold.
But my outlook on my graveyard changed this summer. The summer of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The summer that 41 year old Dara Torres won silver. I screamed my head off like everyone else in the country when she brought the silver home for us. My eyes moistened during her medal ceremony. I watched all the replays and listened to the commentaries for days after. Then it hit me, she is ten years older than me with a kid and has a waaaaaaaay better body! Not just a hotter body, but a healthier body. Her body is a tool, a machine, almost like my gazelle fitness equipment.
I was inspired, a little tentative, and very ashamed about how I had neglected my body. And how I had neglected my gym equipment. My supportive husband could go for days about how much money had been wasted. So, holding onto the hope that I too could have the body of a 41 year old Olympian, I ventured into my untended graveyard.
Armed with a bottle of Pledge, a mask, and an old cloth, I made my way downstairs. I started with Body by Jake, but I had no great memories there so after a cursory cleaning I made my way to my gazelle fitness equipment.
Good ol’ Tony Little. After a quick spit shine, I hopped on my Gazelle Freestyle Elite and took her for a spin. It was…fun. It was exhilarating. I was able to pump my arms and legs for a good 20 minutes. I felt that I had really accomplished something for myself. The next day, I brought my newly updated I-pod and plenty of water. My gazelle fitness equipment didn’t look so ghoulish today. In fact, it looked rather cheery. Fred even poked his head down there and let out a meow to let the mice know that he ‘could’ come down there, if he wanted to. Instead of seeing death, pain and darkness, I saw life, hope and fitness. A better, longer life for myself in sexy jeans and miniskirts. A life that welcomed discipline and perseverance. A life that won’t mirror Dara Torres, but has been inspired by her.