Adventures in Exercising

by Lisa Dovichi

I’ve recently started going to the “gym” in my apartment complex. I put quotes around gym because I have a hard time thinking of a tiny (it’s downright claustrophobic if more than three people are in there), humid, poorly lit room with one treadmill, one elliptical, one upright stationary bike, one recline stationary bike, and two weight machines practically stacked on top of one another as a gym. But, given the very nature of this horrid little room’s contents and the full wall mirrors on EVERY wall that’s what it’d have to be called.

Last night, I unlocked the “gym” door and opened it, and the lights were off. It was almost completely dark as it was around 8:30 at night. I thought EPIC SCORE, I get the whole place to myself. I’ll totally get the good upright bike -- the recline bike is old and squeaks really loud when you pedal. Then there’s the bonus of no one else seeing me panting, sweating, and jiggling in all FOUR of the wall length mirrors.

I walked in, took two steps toward the bikes, expected to see myself reflected in the mirrors, and let out a blood curdling scream (you know, the kind that rivals nails on a chalkboard) and scared the crap out of the sweaty guy, wearing headphones, riding the upright stationary bike. I say it served him right. He was hiding…er… I mean riding in the dark.

Let me explain. See, I had my headphones on. It’s about a five minute walk to the “gym” because, naturally, I live on the completely opposite side of the complex from it. So, I had my headphones on already and they were blasting for the walk over. I didn’t hear him riding when I walked in. I didn’t expect to see him because, hello, the lights were off so it’s pretty dark and he’s lurking around the corner behind the door (yeah the little room is set up really weird). Therefore the blood curdling scream as I had ten years scared off the end of my life.
The guy grabbed his chest and laughed, insisting I nearly gave him a heart attack. He said he hadn’t heard the door because his headphones were blasting and didn’t even know I was there ‘til I screamed. I stood there, heart pounding, clutching my chest, and tried to catch my breath. I nearly gave him a heart attack? Please.

He apologized for it being dark and told me the room didn’t get as hot with the lights out but I could turn them on if I wanted. Seemed like sound logic when my brain kicked back in. The room does get incredibly hot and humid -- especially with more than one person working out. After I swallowed my heart back down, so it'd be in my chest where it belongs and not in my throat, I told him nah, it was cool. I figured, he was there first if he wanted to be in the dark so be it. So, I stumbled over to the yucky bike and slammed my shin into it. That’s what I get for being nice.

However, I began to question my decision to let him keep his dark. I got on the horribly squeaky bike and started pedaling and to my embarrassment I could hear the rapid rhythmic, metal scraping metal, "eee eee eee eee" over the Offspring blasting in my ears. It didn’t matter how I tried to position myself or if I grabbed onto the pin that held the seat in place, the loud squeaking wouldn’t stop. I kept glancing in the mirror to see if his hulking shadowy form was looking over at me because he could hear it too. Then I noticed the windows were open, so I had to wonder if anyone walking by outside could hear it. Then I wondered if anyone would be thinking what I was.

I have a gutter brain and it was wallowing in the filth. How could it not when I was in the dark humid little room listening to that rhythmic squeaking, our heavy breathing, and the sound of our sweaty limbs slapping together -- well you can see where I'm going with this (if you have a gutter brain like myself). So not only did I have ten years scared off the end of my life (thank you very much, sweaty guy), but I was stuck on the crappy bike doing the soundtrack for a low budget porn movie for a half an hour. Bow chicka bow bow.


Lisa Dovichi terrorizes enriches the lives of her husband and two sons, 3Ft of Fun and Mr. Grumpybutt, with the help of a killer Boston Fern named Audrey. By day, she’s a freelance writer, blogger, web and graphics designer, artist, children’s book author and illustrator, and a budding novelist. By night, she’s an exercising fiend. In her spare time -- wait she doesn't have any.

Want more of Lisa’s healthy lifestyle adventures? Join her on her wild ride at Melting Before Your Eyes.


  1. Doh! I'd probably have been mortified into leaving. You were brave to stick around!

  2. I think you burned all your calories right there, just bellowing. You coulda quit right then!

  3. Never worry Lisa! My brain goes right there with yours. I was thinking the same thing when you said you noticed the window was open. *snicker* Although, I have to say, Offspring makes for strange porn music. ;)

  4. @Janna -- I'm a stubborn git. LOL I walked all the way over there. I was going to get my workout in.

    @Rhonda -- If not calories, several years off the end of my life in adrenaline alone. :D

    @Turkey -- Well I'm glad I'm not the only gutter-brain. :P You think Offspring makes for strange porn music the following track was the Proclaimers, "I Will Walk 500 Miles". :D

  5. i just wee'd my pants lol

  6. @Anon -- here's some new ones. :D

  7. ROFL!! I would've been too freaked out to stay in the room with him without the lights on. I was so focused on that part of the story that the pron bit completely caught me off guard. Nice!

  8. I would have had a heart attack! One more reason NOT to exercise...

  9. @Mel -- what makes it worse is I run into "Sweaty Guy on the Bike" almost every night now and we share that awkward intimate smile before we completely ignore each other and workout. LOL

    @Sherri -- LOL! What you don't like the adrenaline rush that takes off 10 years of your life? What's not to like? :D

  10. Why was my first thought "Sweaty Naked Guy" from "Friends"? Ewwwww . . .

    That is hilarious!

  11. *Snort* Now you have to wear a little black box over your eyes in all your pictures. And I have to go wipe up the floor because I made a mess when I got to the part about squeaking in the dark.


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