Kay goes to the gym – day 2

It was the second day. Kay was once again in the municipal leisure centre in the gym.

There were thirteen women and two men being exhorted to pedal faster and faster on their stationary bikes.

“You get more sweat out of me than when I take a three hour Saturday bike ride,” challenged one of the the men.

“That’s good,” shot back the woman who was beating them into a pedalling fury.

All the treadmills were occupied as were the elliptical trainers.

Kay looked at the various machines and chose one for arm exercises, set the weights to 5 pounds and started a set of twenty repetitions, pulling the overhead bar down to her chest. She was waiting for a machine that required the exerciser to pull two bars from one’s sides towards center front. Just as the machine came free, two muscular young men approached the machine and one sat upon it to demonstrate. The other fellow watched and listened to the how-to explanation.

“Mind if I watch?” said Kay. The last thing she wanted was for one of these bicep-tual men to get angry with her staring at him. Their arms looked altogether too muscular.

“Not at all,” he replied. “I’m a personal trainer. I’m glad to have people watch and learn.”

The other young man took his place and did his exercises. The trainer looked at Kay without a hint of surprise at a grandmotherly stout woman storming the precincts of the mostly male exercise generation.

To the young man, the trainer explained the machine’s operation and the muscles that were being worked, then he turned again to Kay.

“I can help you out with this, if you want. I like to show people how to use the machines. I only started exercising a short time ago and now I’m addicted. It the endorphins. When you exercise, the body produces them and you get happy. If you keep it up, you’ll feel wonderful. I guarantee it. You’ll feel addicted to it too.” He had such youthful assurance.

“And you couldn’t live without it now, I suppose?” I said, somewhat amused.

“No, I couldn’t. I come every day.” He answered seriously.

He was of East Indian background. He was tall and had good, solidly developed, muscles. His trainee was Caucasian and the same height, but he was definitely lacking the muscular structure of his companion. Kay reflected that Canadian society and its multicultural policies had done some good. It was pleasant to see these two lads interacting without any hint of racial tension.

“Well, really, I’m not a personal trainer yet, but everybody says I should be. I like people and I love to do these exercises,” the young man said, correcting himself.

Kay smiled. It was curious how his dishonesty had been rapidly corrected by an ethical elbowing of his conscience. She recognized, too, that he wanted to look after her. Perhaps he had a grandmother of his own and would have been proud of her had she wanted to join him in an activity that he loved. Moreover, it was delightful to find a young man who seemed to have no idea of age barriers. He must have wonderful parents to have brought him up so.

“My name’s Ravinder,” he offered.

“I’m Kay,” said Kay. It was the second time someone had welcomed her into this foreign land of exercise in two days. She would be back.


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