Not that there isn’t any natural scenery inside the gym. Human beings are natural, but they are not there to be stared at or examined visually. Yet, during peak hours at the gym, observance is unavoidable.
Unfortunately, the public display of tight leotards is not always a pretty sight. Rule 101 of gym fashion firmly states that if the purpose of the visit is to lose a few extra pounds, it’s advisable to wear something a bit loose until desired condition is reached.
But I am stuck with the gym.
A few years ago, I suffered a knee injury. And because of that, my knee has been unstable. I am unable to run distances or play any sport that requires twists and turns of the ankles and the knees.
So, I am limited. An occasional visit to the weight room is on my schedule. So are my one-hour sessions on the stationary bike and the elliptical machine. In either case, getting to the point where I can actually feel my heart pound is much more difficult than when running around the Rose Bowl or UCLA. Once done with my indoor cardio routine, I often look at the calorie count and say to myself: “Yeah, right! Sure . . . .”
My procrastination on strengthening my knee has cost me.
Being endowed with a very sensitive sense of smell has not helped me get used to the gym. I am not sure if it’s my Tigran the Great nose (King of Armenia from 95-55 B.C., whose empire stretched from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea), or I have extra glands. But if a friend has eaten banaghanooj (Lebanese eggplant dipped with garlic), I will smell it as long as we are in the same room. The size of the room is inconsequential.
As I walk into the gym, I have to endure the distinct smell that is a mélange of sweat, garlic, oregano, shambalileh (an odorous herb used in the very popular Persian dish Ghormeh Sabzi), onions, curry, rosemary and cumin. If you’ve eaten it that week, I’ll smell it.