April 01, 2006

Whatchoo Talkin' 'Bout Willis?!

Morning Workout
BIKE (on le trainer)
1 hour 22 minutes 34 seconds
Heart Rate Zone: 4 x 12 minutes at Steady State Threshold (Zone Quatro, not to be confused with the Schick Quattro, or the Audi Quattro, for that matter), three minutes of rest in between each 12 minute set.

Random Comments: That first 12 minute spin was tu-ough. My legs just weren't strong enough this morning. I pedaled and pedaled but they conked out before I could even get my heart rate to the SST zone I needed to be in. Fortunately, it's always the first set that's the toughest. The other three were much easier. Of course, maybe that's just because it was another great episode of this week's Lost that I was watching on the TiVo.
Star Spotting Of The Day: Paul Haggis, writer of such popular fanfare as Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Diff'rent Strokes and The Love Boat (you didn't know about those last two, didja?)

Location: Peet's Coffee in Santa Monica

What He Was Doing
: Sitting outside reading the paper and drinking a cup of something that looked peculiarly like coffee, but you never know with somebody who is named after a dish of an animals heart and lungs boiled and served up in stomach lining. For all I know, he was probably drinking sheep's blood.

(Editor's Note: Truth be told, I would've never recognized this shiney-headed lad, but a starstruck friend pointed him out as she tried to still her beating heart)

It goes without saying that there are various, oftentimes outrageously offensive odors that emanate from a gymnasium. What with all those people sweating in unison and emiting bodily fluids in a closed, poorly ventilated location, there really is no way to avoid it unless you draped one of those pine scented, rearview mirror hanging air fresheners around everybody's face as soon as they walked in the door. And that's just not a good way to do business.

Having frequented the gym so often, I'm almost used to the smells. Granted, I stay away from the men's downstairs locker room as much as possible for reasons I can't go into without causing rumblings of nausea. But overall the gym's odor is not that bad, exceptin' for maybe a person or two. There's this one guy, for instance, who is there every single day. And every day he wears the same soiled and dirty tank top and the same exact torn and frayed biking shorts. He smells horrendous. He pedals away on the stationary bike and, I'm tellin' you, you can sense this guy from the racquetball courts down the hall. The thing is, I bet that he doesn't even know he smells. He's so used to his tremendously foul odor, he no longer realizes that he leaves a wake of death and destruction behind him wherever he goes.

And therein lies my point, nobody really knows how bad they smell. Granted you might get a special whiff every now and then that embarrasses you. But, trust me, by the time you get that whiff it's too late - you've already been whiffed by a whole assortment of offended people for quite some time. As for me, I don't think I smell when I sweat. If I do, it probably resembles the sweet scent of sugar and roses.

That all changed this morning.

Since it was raining, I decided to do my bike workout on the trainer in the living room. And since it was raining, of course I kept the windows shut so the place wouldn't get drenched. It was around 45 minutes into my 80 minute ride that the smell breached the fortress of my clogged sinuses. Whats that smell, I wondered. I looked around the room for a rotted animal that may have crept in and died in the middle of the night. After all, if you're looking for a nice place to die, my living room is as good as any other location. But, alas, I found nothing. I kept pedaling but it hit me again. That smell. And this time it got even stronger. As I turned my head around to search the room one more time, my nose graced the vicinity of my armpit. I could feel the individual hairs in my nose become singed one by one. I nearly collapsed right off the bike. I smelled horrendous - and that's putting it mildly. With this odor, I could barely live with myself. But I'm training for an Ironman - Lord knows I didn't want to stop my bike workout. So I kept plugging on. Yet the more I pedaled, the more the buckets of sweat came out and the more I stank it up. It was a battle of the will, and the will was losing.

I stared at the window, willing for it to rise open, but I hadn't gotten to that point in my telepathy course yet. I closed my eyes and visualized me wearing a gas mask. But suddenly the mask sprung a leak. I did everything in my power to keep my workout going without dying from self-odoriferous asphyxiation. Hell, I breathed out of my mouth but the odor was so strong I could smell it from my taste buds.

Finally the workout was over. Miraculously I survived. I jumped off the bike and took off my shirt so quickly I nearly took off an arm in the process. But, frankly, the loss of an arm is a small price to pay in escaping this malodorous monster that was stalking me from within.

I've now showered and I'm back to being as fresh and pure as a baby's powdered pre-poop tushy. And as I sit here and type this, I suddenly wonder if that skanky tank top, moldy bike short wearing fella isn't sitting on some couch somewhere writing the exact same thing about me.