Saturday, April 27, 2013

work it out

so here i am at the gym, commencing what was to be an intense leg workout with a nice dose of cardio on the treadmill. i turn on the machine, increase the grade, turn up the speed, and was on my merry way. despite the headphones in my ears playing my carefully selected 'workout' playlist, i look up to the six televisions positioned at the front of the cardio area for a little visual stimulation. on one is a cooking show where some rotund chef is going rather heavy on the blue cheese. just what i want to see as i'm trying to build up the will to run a solid three miles of warm-up. on the next is a nature program showing two guys fishing in a river. the next TV, dedicated solely to showing MTV, features a music video with yet another mohawked and sassy-red-lipsticked female singer. (ya can't all be pink, ladies). on the next TV is an episode of "the big bang theory," a show i've likened to the fun of a colonoscopy. and then, on TV no 5, my attention is bludgeoned into a very anti-climactic sobriety as i both see and read, thanks to subtitles, a slew of bangladeshi stuck in the rubble of the collapsed building. poor people with bloody faces begging to be rescued from their stony graves. this is a terrible thing, yes, but not what i need to see at the gym. i look away, focusing back on my music, allowing madonna to realign me to the rigor of my workout, when my eyes are drawn back up at the television. no more horrific scenes of the building collapse and the corpses surrounding it, thank goodness, but instead an uplifting slideshow of images depicting the newly-discovered chemical warfare going on in syria. people bound to tables with tubes sticking out of their bodies, their faces twisted into grotesque expressions of fear and pain. anger swelled up inside of me. i checked in with myself, and was relieved to find the bulk of my anger lied in the fact that such horrible things are happening in the world and not in the fact that my gym was showing such programming (reality) in an environment that thrives on, shall we say, more motivational distractions.

but still.

i read the news several times a day. i know the wonders as well as the horrors of the world, and pride myself in dedicating a good deal of my time affecting change in the right direction. but this dreadful news coverage was only the strongest color of a spectrum of completely inappropriate fitness center programming. instead of cooking shows about blue cheese, show a travel program and give people motivation to achieve a bikini body. how about one of those first-person camera programs that tour a famous road or city, so it looks like you are actually running through it yourself? the MTV is basically faultless, but something can be said for the fishing show (buzzkill and a half) as well as the content of the sixth television, that i barely had the faculties to notice, on account of the blood stains marking my retinas, which showed an episode of east enders. again, remarkable programming, but personal drama, however captivating when enjoyed with a glass of red in one's living room, has no place in motivating one to pump one's blood and get all crazy in the gym.

i think i need to write a letter.


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