Nearly every week of my life, Monday through Friday, I go to Bootcamp. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would go to Bootcamp every day, and voluntarily pay for someone to put me through the toughest workouts I've ever done I would have laughed in your entire face, but here we are. I really love how we grow and change. I really love how we are not meant to be stagnant as people. I really love jumping up on boxes and slamming down heavy ropes. I love Bootcamp. I do.
On Sunday my Bootcamp is closed and on Saturday they only offer a couple of sessions and those are generally pretty early in the morning so on those days I go to my other gym. My $10 a month gym that has a bad reputation because of Tootsie Rolls.
I also love this gym.
I was thinking about why I love it, as I was walking in two Sundays ago. There was a small car backed into a space close to the building (I'm not good with cars, but I think it was a Toyota Corolla or something similar), Every door of the car was open and they were playing music so loudly that I could hear it before I even opened my car door. I park pretty far away too.
This isn't unusual I guess. Lots of people play really loud music. This music, however, was praise music. Really loud WE LOVE JESUS SO BAD kind of music. Someone in the car was shouting. It didn't sound like mean or angry shouting. It sounded like worship.
I walked over to the car (side note, Jason would absolutely kill me for admitting this, because he thinks I'm not careful enough. I try to tell him that I grew up in East Tennessee and it's completely my nature to stop by the side of the road and say, "Are y'all alright?" if I see anything out of the ordinary, but to no avail. He lost his mind when I got between a man who was loudly angry screaming at a woman one day in the parking lot at Wal-Mart, but that's another story for another day) and before I could say anything the man who was sitting in the drivers seat shouted, "GOOD MORNING! PRAISE JESUS!"
So I said, "The boot of your car is open". As you do.
BUT THERE WERE PEOPLE SITTING IN THE BOOT. THAT'S WHY IT WAS OPEN.
I am not kidding when I say there were approximately ten people in this Toyota. Praising Jesus. They came into the gym later and all got swole or whatever.
Praise the Lord and pass the weights.
I like it.
There was a woman on one of the treadmills recently wearing a dashiki. I know it was a dashiki because I was afraid it was going to get caught in the treadmill so I touched her shoulder and told her. I also told her her dress was beautiful and she told me it wasn't a dress, it was a dashiki. I didn't know that.
She was lovely.
Blue jeans guy was there this weekend. He wears jeans on the treadmill, sometimes Haggar slacks. He wears loafers, not sneakers. He has a fanny pack. Sometimes during his power walk, he pauses his treadmill and pulls a protein bar out of his fanny pack.
He seems nice.
There are still a lot of men at the gym who try to hit on me. There are a lot of women who give me looks. There is legitimately someone who runs up and down the aisles, literally right next to the actual treadmills.
There is also a girl who works at the counter, who nearly teared up when I came in one day wearing a t-shirt that said, "Protect, support, and believe in black women". There was a lady checking in one day at the same time as me who told me I was perfect and that she wanted to look just like me. Most people wipe their equipment down. Most people ask if you need help if you are doing something wrong. Most people would touch your shoulder if they were afraid your dashiki was going to get caught in your machine.
I don't know. It's not that deep. It's just life. The guy eating the protein bar on the treadmill is just doing his best, just like the rest of us. I check my watch to make sure I've burned the calories I wanted to burn. That guy might be making sure his blood sugar doesn't get low. The older ladies who walk super slow are probably just really proud they are walking at all (as they should be, I hope I get to be that old). No matter where we are, we can try. We can do a little more. That's all it is. It's a simple and as complex as that.
Yesterday, I walked past the praise car again. No one was in the trunk this time.
"Good morning," I said.
"GOOD MORNING! PRAISE JESUS!" he replied.
I just think it's beautiful. Weirdly, oddly, and sweatily beautiful.