Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Psych-Out Queen

Last week was last week; I tried to let it go. Today was just too kooky and I decided I couldn’t let it go!

At one point during our separate workouts at the gym last week, I informed my wife I was heading to the bike section to do some HIIT. A few minutes after I started my trademark frantic pedaling, she just happened to appear in a puff of smoke on the treadmill right beside the bike I was using.

Up until her appearance, I had been under the impression my workout was grueling. She cranked that poor treadmill up to a speed where it was wheezing and blowing dark smoke as she sprinted along at what sounded like 30 miles an hour! I could feel the breeze generated by her blazing speed!

I had the distinct feeling she was making a point. In fact, every time we’re active, whether it’s touch football, jogging, walking or hiking, I have the distinct feeling she’s making a point!

As I pedaled the bike, I turned to her between gasps and heaves and explained that I felt like I’d been unwittingly registered for a competition I was destined to lose. Sweat-free and breathing evenly, she calmly and sweetly insisted she was not trying to compete with me. She just wanted to be with me.

Aw, isn’t that nice?

I tried to focus on my own high intensity interval training even though all I could hear was her higher intensity interval training! As diligently as I could, I focused on my pedaling. Then, I heard her machine stop and watched as she stepped off and began to leave, on her way, no doubt, to some other impossible fitness feat. Suddenly, she stopped, wheeled around and came right up to my bike and offered the glee-steeped comment, “I’d just to like to point out I’m not sweating or breathing hard at all.” I couldn’t see whether she was smiling because the waterfall of sweat dripping down my forehead was stinging my blinking, squinting eyes!

Last month, we did the Spartan Race up at Mont Tremblant. Not my idea. The obstacles are one thing, but in the middle of the confounded race I was faced with a never-ending uphill climb! I’d get to what appeared to be a crest only to discover the course veered left and disappeared yet again into the clouds!

That, Spartans, is not sweat; those were tears.
My dear wife waited for me, which proved to be both a blessing and a curse. It’s nice to have the company because then one’s whining isn’t wasted, but it’s less gratifying when the person waiting for you has her hands on her hips and is tapping her feet impatiently on a moss-covered rock every time you finally catch-up!

Today at the gym, as I dutifully climbed on a bike to do my weekly installment of HIIT, there was no sign of my wife. Relief. By the time I was into my fifth sprint, I spotted her walking toward me. She stated, sweetly, as she approached, “I’m just walking on the treadmill.” More relief. 

The next thing I know, I turn my head to see her walking and running backward on the treadmill! After that, she ran on the treadmill hopping side to side! 

I’m beginning to feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football Lucy pulls way. Susan's become my Psych-Out Queen! There was the time, while participating in last winter's Santa Claus Run, she told me she'd let me cross the finish line before her. We don't need my blog to know how that ended ("Go Deck Yourself" December 16, 2013)! I want to believe her love for me is as enduring in or out of competitive contexts, but the reality, my reality, is that she appears to love kicking my butt more than she loves me.

Last week as we left the gym, she suggested we workout together next time. I raised my eyebrows and looked back at her, nodding blankly as I suppressed a shiver. I may not fall asleep again.

Pardon Me Shazam

What’s that tune? It’s got a great groove to it!

We were in the card store at Central Station and the song was seeping through the speaker in the store ceiling.

As Susan perused the “Thank-You” cards, I strained to hear more, hoping I was hearing the groove I thought I was hearing over the ambient noise.

I told my wife I’d like to know the name of the song and the artist performing it.
She reached into her purse and pulled out her phone and told me she’d “Shazam” it!
I scoffed, suggesting Shazam might be equipped to identify current pop songs, but it surely would not be able to identify what might be a more obscure electro-jazz number.

I told her I’d ask the store clerk to tell me what radio station they were listening to so I could consult a playlist on-line. I waited in line at the cash and when it was my turn, told the clerk I would like to know the name of the song that was still playing. She explained the music was from a collection of songs assembled specifically for the store chain. She was pretty sure she could find the name of the song and artist and then disappeared into the back room.

As I waited at the cash, Susan joined me with a card in one hand and the answer from Shazam in the other.

We waited. Then, we waited.

I asked Susan how she could be sure Shazam had identified the right song. She played the Shazam version for me and it was the very same song!

She wondered how I could have doubted.

Several minutes later, the very accommodating woman emerged with the song and artist names scrawled on a small piece of paper; “The Trade” by Kevin Yost and Guy Monk.

I thanked her, we bought the card and headed out into the train station crowd. I must admit I’m impressed at what Shazam can do and I’m far less impressed by the surfacing of my own somewhat Ludditic tendencies.

Yet another lesson learned.