Thursday, October 2, 2008

Exercising and the perils of neighborhood gyms

On post here, we have neighborhood centers. Inside them are the local housing office for that specific neighborhood. They also have a kitchen, eating area, game rooms, movie rooms, a half a basketball court complete with the basket and a gym area. In the gym area there are a many different machines (treadmills, stair steppers, ellipticals) and a universal machine, with a couple of machines that help you do sit ups and leg lift things. The basketball court and the gym area are right next to each other, and you can see into the rooms because of the large windows. The large windows also look into the kids play area, where the kids can see you exercising, and you them. I love these things. It makes my workouts so much easier. The kids can play (and there is TV in there, usually on noggin or PBS) and I can exercise. And behind the building is a neighborhood pool.

These are great things. I happen to live where I can walk to two of them. One of them is my neighborhood center, and the other one is the neighborhood across the street. Mine is right next to the school. And at first the plan was to drop off Andrew, then walk across the street and exercise. The problem is there are only so many machines, and lots of people. So, a friend and I decided to walk to the other one, where there aren't so many people, and we'll be able to use the machines that we want.

Well, the last few times have been interesting. There is a group of three moms that are usually already there when we get there. Which is fine. Their kids are playing, and from what we can tell, it doesn't look like any of them have school going children. Considering they are there before we are, and all the kids in these two neighborhoods go to the same school. Maybe they are older and walk on their own, but I don't know. The TV's are the problem. Both of them are set to VH1. Granted, VH1 is much tamer than MTV, although watching either of them seems like a huge waste of time. The songs are dumb, the volume is high, and I feel dumb just watching it. I brought my CD player this morning, hoping that it would block it out, but the CD kept skipping and that was driving me crazy. So we're stuck having to watch VH1. And this morning, the other moms behaviors were a bit strange. One mom was complaining about Lucy chasing one of the little girls around, trying to take her toy. OK, probably not a good thing, but I'm not a mom that intervenes over every little thing. I was exercising. I only get half an hour on that machine, I don't want to waste it by having to get off of it for every dumb thing that the little kids can't deal with. Looking again, they were trying to put together the train tracks, and the other little girl had the train, and within less than 30 seconds, they had somehow communicated that to her and the little girl brought the train over without any problems. Then Lucy was chasing another little girl because it looked as if she wanted the book. Shortly after that, one of the moms took all the kids out and took them into the basketball court to play. Could be that she was just done with her exercising, or she didn't want the kids playing with ours. I have no idea. A few other strange things happened, and then abruptly, they all left.

My friend and I looked at each other in a bit of a shock. It was pretty obvious by their behavior that they weren't happy that we were there. Maybe they didn't like what we were discussing (me moving and the fact Matt is going officer soon, the crappy houses they have here on post), maybe they didn't like that we were just there, maybe they didn't like that our kids were playing with theirs. I have no idea. I guess tomorrow we'll see if it happens again. But tomorrow I'm going to try and change one of the TV's. If I have to watch something, I would much rather watch Good Morning America, The Today Show, or even the local news. Once they left, we turned off the TV's and boy, that silence sure sounded good. Maybe it is my low tolerance for loud things. I don't know.

Bottom line is they are not going to keep me from exercising. I'll try and fix my CD player so that it doesn't skip. And I'll be polite when I change one of the TV's to something else. I'll talk to Lucy about sharing and to use our words instead of chasing. But that is all I can do. If they still have a problem.....oh well. And I'm still sweaty now, so I'm off to shower.

1 comment:

Jessica S. said...

sometimes I get stuck listening to others not so good converstations & language. I also have gotten sucked into crazy women's lonely ramblings - which makes my 4 miles (I do 40 minutes :) ) even LONGER!
Your kids were fine, I'm sure. Maybe that posse will start walking up to Hammond Hills.
Oh BTW I went in the Nijmegen center for the 1st time today, it's GORGEOUS!!