...I (almost) promise.
Allow me to present the recent cast of characters who provide much viewing pleasure while I listen to my iPod and do my time:
Snake Woman.This is a 50-year-old woman (I heard her reveal her age to someone) with a butt so toned that if the situation warranted, she could use it to protect herself and at least seven others from a hail of bullets. I call her Snake Woman because even though she's at the gym in 2005 and not at a disco in 1972, she always wears one of those gold snake cuffs up over her left bicep. Really.
Not-Quite Guy.This is a man—I'd say he's 58 or so—who knows everyone at the gym. He's pleasant-looking, he works his socializing in between sets, he always smiles. There is almost nothing amiss about this guy. I have dubbed him the Not-Quite Guy, though, because he pulls his pants up too high like Martin Short's Ed Grimley character. So...not quite.
Amazing Old Guys.There are two of them, each at least 70 years old. One is of undetermined European origin, complete with one of those accents that turns "w's" into "v's." The other is Chinese. Neither one can claim to be more than 5'2". But both could kick your ass. They do stuff like perform fifty handstand push-ups with 20-lb. weights strapped to each ankle. And they talk to no one; especially not each other.
Gazelle. Thirty years old, maybe. She is thick, she is short-legged, yes. But put her on the treadmill and she is a thing to behold. She extends her legs fully, she maintains frightening speed and amazing posture. When I arrive she is running, and when I leave? Still running.
Sparkplug. Think Fred Flinstone in running shoes. The most unlikely candidate for superior cardio performance. And yet I've seen him run for an hour straight without breaking form or sweating. Well, okay, he sweats, but it's not flying off and splashing the people on either side of him. Also no taller than 5'2".
The Great Pretender. This is a 30ish woman who never actually works out. She sits on a mat in front of a mirror and reads a book while pretending to stretch. The footstep-shaped id tags hanging from the side of her shorts mean that her two children are down in the KidWatch area, though, so I can't really blame her. Gotta find your moments somehow, some way.
Perhaps I am in one of their blog posts. Maybe I'm "Unfocused Woman Who Stares at Other People" or "Wimpy Woman on the Elliptical Thingy" or "Woman Who Steals the New Yorker From the Magazine Rack."