The Sunday sweat

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It’s a new year. A chance for everyone to better themselves from the year prior and prove to their nagging family that this time they WILL keep up their resolution. Unfortunately, visiting the gym isn’t the hard part, deciding to push yourself to be better and utilizing the gym is. Sunday afternoons, just after 2 p.m., offers a plethora of gym goers.

It is early January, every middle-aged dad knows what that means – football day. But that doesn’t stop some from hitting the gym, just offers a distraction while they’re there.

“Late on Sunday’s is our calmest time; especially around the holidays,” Madeline Curtis said. She is an employee at the Hamburg Fitness Center. Three men occupy the treadmills, all going at a sluggish pace. They’re crowded around one TV, minimally sweating. It’s obvious they can and usually walk faster, but the game is taking up too much attention. Their eyes are glued to the TV, sometimes they look down and seemed surprised to still be walking. Their shock proving the lack of effort in their lollop.

Eventually one man calls it quits, he looks around, aggressively presses stop on his treadmill, and dramatically steps backwards while staring at the TV.  He walks backwards towards the paper towels, finally he is able to rip his eyes away and clean his treadmill. He quickly wipes the treadmill and struts of the gym. Not long after, another man stops his treadmill. He stands there, hypnotized by the screen in front of him. Finally he tears his eyes away, and walks out, neglecting to clean his treadmill. The third man begins to pick up pace, along with adding an incline. He maintains the new conditions for a few minutes, barely presses stop button, and cleans his treadmill. He shakes his head toward the TV, and angrily storms to the locker room.

The treadmills are left empty, the smell of stale sweat fills the gym, with the weak fan and faint music in the background. All of the TV’s are on, showing a vast amount of channels, from the football game to HGTV’s House Hunters. The gym looks abandoned, four solitary bikers in their own world upstairs are the only sign of life left. Periodically a scream from baton practice in the gymnasium bounces throughout the gym, striking no reaction from the bikers.  They’re plugged into their headphones, all in their own worlds.

As the gym closes, lights turn off, and TVs dim, the room comes to peace. No people. No movement. No fans blowing or weightlifters grunting. Only the click of the clock, awaiting the early birds for their 5 a.m. workout.

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