Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gym as Spiritual Experience

Today at the gym, I was stretching in the room where exercise classes are held. Nobody was in there except me, until a guy came in talking on his cell phone. It really irked me. I like stretching after my (so-called) workout. I like getting into my head, closing off everything else, and just being there, and this guy is talking loudly on his phone, and I'm really letting it bother me.

Should I go over and tell him to shut up? Should I ask him to leave? Should I start talking crazily loud and just a little bit threatening? Should I go over and seize his cell phone and heave it across the room with all of my gym-enhanced strength?

I did none of these things. I'm amazed and a little troubled what my mind can devise when I'm irritated. I hope it's just a defense mechanism that defuses my aggression and nothing more. I don't even know this guy, and maybe he really has to make a phone call, although I wish he'd do it somewhere else where it wasn't interrupting my concentration.

His one-sided conversation was distracting. The more I consciously tried to ignore it, the louder and clearer his words became. I'm sitting, twisting, stretching, lifting, stewing, seething. I must have been a very pretty sight.