I live in a pretty tight-knit community. My wife doesn't come from around here originally, and she constantly comments about how everyone seems to know each other. While this isn't literally true, I can see what she means, and I have to concede that this little valley I live in does suffer somewhat from that whole small town cliche, even though it's a lot bigger then a small town.
So what does this have to do with the gym? Well, see the thing is that if someone says to me "I go to the gym", then with almost 100% acuracy, you can guess it's the gym I go to.
There is, effectively, only one gym in the Hawkesbury valley. EVERYONE goes there. Why is this? Well mostly because it's several hundred dollars a year cheaper then everywhere else I know of. Also, it's linked to the university, so most of the uni-types go there.
The end result of this, is that my fat out-of-shape self is now running into people I know while at the gym. When they're people I haven't seen in a long time, this isn't a good thing. I used to look a heck of a lot better then this, and the first time I see people I used to know from school, I'm bouncing my stomach up and down on a treadmill. Now, I'm not the self-concious type normally, but there's something about a gym that makes you feel like you need to already have attained what you're trying to get in order to be worthy to try and attain it. Mind you, I'm ignoring this on a daily basis now. Health first, selfconciousness later.
Anyway, here's who I've run into so far:
- Two guys from my high school.
These guys have obviously been doing the gym thing since the day they were born. I'm sure they were like doing jump-rope with their umbilical cords. Anyway, they were nice enough guys, and still are but they have that gym-bo arrogance about them now. It's a shame...
- My ex(-ex-ex-ex-ex)-girlfriend's younger sister.
This one's a killer. Her older sister was the "love of my life" for a good 6 years of my latter teenage life. There's a whole blog entry I could devote to that girl, and one day I might, but let's just say for now that my relationship with her was (in retrospect) pretty nasty, and I have a bunch of emotional baggage I've safely stowed in a closet, and sealed with a Seal of Emotional Baggage Warding (+5 against ex-girlfriends). For this reason, I do NOT want to run into this girl and her husband, or actually anything that threatens the nice little haze of dismissal I've placed around that whole period of my life.
The younger sister is a threat. I used to know her pretty well. I know she recognised me, becuase she did that whole sideways-glance/eyebrow thing people do when they accidently make eye contact with someone they think they might know. I just hope she doesn't decide to say Hi, or I may implode.
- The girl who isn't who I thought she was.
OK, this one is a non-event. I *thought* I saw this girl who used to be a good friend of mine. She looks a little bit like this:
I think it's a pretty decent likeness. Anyway, turns out it wasn't her. I called out the name of the girl I thought it was to the girl who wasn't who I thought she was, and she didn't respond. My friend I was with I think was a bit embaressed. But I don't care... life's too short to be worried about yelling wrong names at strange girls with semi-transparent necks.
- A friend from my old youthgroup
This girl was working at the front desk the day I signed up. We used to be reasonably good friends in days of yold. She used to be a little bit chubby and stuff, and at the time, I was much skinnier. Now I'm fat, and she's skinny (and looking pretty fine for herself, I might add). Life is just full of irony, isn't it? Hmmm irony. Yorin is an anagram of irony. So is noiry.
That's all the people I've met of note. But I've only gone to the gym about 4 times so far. So if you discount the one that I was wrong about, that's an average of three quarters of a person a visit. I wonder who my next three quarters of a person will be?
I'll keep you informed...