Yesterday was a day that I really wanted to go to the gym. I know. Who am I and what have I done with my former self? That's not to say there's a dramatic physical difference; in three months I've lost 13 pounds, 10 in the first month, 3 in the last 2, making the average I guess around a pound a week. But it's not about the numbers. It's not even about feeling better in my clothes. It's about feeling better period. I have more energy, I'm more motivated, and I'm doing something good for myself. I don't even find I'm fighting urges to go home and hibernate. I like to go the gym. Take yesterday. The end of the school day was particularly frustrating and I felt frazzled, so I looked forward to sweating out some of that negative energy on the treadmill, to some me time before going home to correct more papers.
I got there just at that time before it starts getting really busy, which had been getting earlier and earlier before Thanksgiving. Getting there before 4 used to be fine to avoid the pre-dinner rush, then 3:30 was safer, and now even 3:30 is pushing it. I was glad I pushed myself to get there at that time--and relieved when I saw the parking lot was especially empty. Yay. No fighting for my favorite treadmill!
Yet 4 in that row of 6 favorite treadmills were taken. Two [wait for it...] by students. I HATE that.
Don't get me wrong. I don't hate the students. Quite the contrary, as they are two very good students that I'd put on my list of favorites (which teachers don't have, of course). I don't feel weird for them to see me in sweats or for them to know I exercise, it's just well...I don't want the gym to be an extension of school. I may as well be shooting hoops in the gym when the bell rings.
What makes it worse is the reaction these girls have. I try to wave right away and get the moment over, but as happened the last time, they pretended not to see me at first. And I stopped trying to get their attention until they acknowledged me on their way past my machine. They seem uncomfortable and awkward, as if seeing me on the treadmill is the equivalent of witnessing parental copulation. Or just figuring out that they had to have sex in order to have them.
No matter how fast your machine is set, you can't run away, girls, I want to say. Let's get over the awkward moment and move on. We're here to work out.
But, oh, that's right. When I'm there I'm not their teacher.