Denise Day Spencer

March 21, 2007

I’ve been profiled!

Filed under: Random ramblings — denisedayspencer @ 8:07 pm

I had a major disappointment this past weekend. I thought I was going to get to do my workout in a lovely, state-of-the-art gym, but alas. It never happened. Before I tell you my story, I need to set it up with a little background.

I work out three times a week. Because the school weight room is used by both students and staff, I try to sneak in during a break in my work day when I know no one else will be there. I just go over there in whatever clothing, jewelry, etc. I’m wearing at the print shop that day, do my routine, and then go back to work or on to lunch.

O.K. So this past weekend we went on a one-night trip. Michael had chosen a special place to stay–a place that would give me access to a really nice fitness center next door. In fact, this fitness center was one of the main reasons we stayed there, when we could have gotten cheaper accommodations elsewhere.

Michael promised me the fitness center. The lodging’s online information promised me the fitness center. The nice man at the front desk promised me the fitness center. So I was psyched. All I had to do was show my room key to the lady at the fitness center desk and I was in.

I passed the first hurdle, but when I arrived at the upstairs door I met an obstacle. There was a special lock on the door. My room key wouldn’t fit; instead, there were buttons made for punching in a code. The lady at the front desk hadn’t given me a code. Through the big window I could see all kinds of happy, fit people walking on treadmills. Well, obviously the lady at the front desk had simply forgotten to give me the secret cipher.

Before I could say, “Open, sesame!” a man cracked the door and peeped out. “May I help you?” he asked. He was careful to not open the door too widely, so I couldn’t see past him into the room. I smiled and explained that I was a guest at the facility and I had showed my key at the desk but the lady had forgotten to give me the code. “Well, you can’t use the exercise room unless you’ve had the orientation,” the troll under the bridge explained.

“But I work out three times a week back home,” I countered. “I can’t take the orientation class. I’m from out of town and we’re leaving today.”

I don’t suppose that ever would have swayed him anyhow, but he decided to oppose me on new grounds. He eyed me more closely. I was wearing jeans, a pullover long-sleeved top, short-topped boots, and small earrings that dangled just a little. “We don’t allow jeans in here anyway,” my foe continued. “We have a dress code. Did you bring any sweatpants or gym shorts?” In truth, I really hadn’t thought about that. “Maybe you can ask at the front desk. They might have some loaners they could give you.” Did they launder these “loaners” after each use? Or would I be wearing the unique blend of perspiration from an unknown number of donors? Um…thanks but no thanks.

I understood, of course. Tommy Troll was trying to protect his institution from lawsuits. He couldn’t take my word for it that I had been carefully taught my routine by the Rehab. Master* himself. But…

At the same time, I couldn’t help but notice that all of the happy, fit people I saw through the windows were young–much younger than me. My worthy opponent probably took one look at me and thought, “Who’s this weird little granny in her out-of-style jeans and dangly earrings saying she’s a regular weight-lifter?” He most likely thought I’d wandered over from the nearest old folks’ home. If I’d been…oh…25 years younger, I’ll bet he would have believed me.

When I do my morning at-home exercise routine, I start out in a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Then the hot flashes begin, and I start to strip off my clothes. That’s one advantage I’ve discovered of the empty nest syndrome: I can now do push-ups in my undies if I want to.

During this confrontation, I remembered I was wearing an “A-shirt” underneath my top. I considered tearing off my outer garment and flexing my biceps so Troll Guy would know I meant business. Then I could yell, “I’ll show you my dress code!” But I doubted if that would persuade him to do anything except call for security.

The next day I found myself back in our school’s gym. You know–the one with the dirty floor, weights in disarray and the dried blood stain on the wall? I’ve grown to love its lived-in look. As they say, there’s no place like home.

(* Anthony A. DeCarlo, DC, DACRB, Offices in London and Barbourville, Kentucky)



  1. That’s pretty bad. A hotel that requires an orientation to use the fitness room? Sheesh.

    Comment by John M. — March 22, 2007 @ 6:52 am | Reply

  2. John, I realize what I wrote was misleading. The fitness center wasn’t part of the motel. I’ve tried to state that better now. But I still had my heart set on it!

    Comment by denisedayspencer — March 22, 2007 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  3. Is there seriously a dried blood stain on the wall? Eww.

    Comment by Noel — March 27, 2007 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

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