News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2005


It's not just the church pew thing

Neighbor Ron Warner and I got off into deep philosophical conversation as we waited in the dingy morning light for our Burningtree gym to open.

Hardbodies is usually open when I arrive about 5:15 a.m. and Ron is usually already pounding the treadmill.

That's his rou-tine: treadmill then weights. He doesn't like anything interfering.

Thus, he was empathetic to why I arrived early that morning. It was to beat the competition to the elliptical that's a good aerobic workout with low impact.

Actually, it was because I awakened at 4 and couldn't go back to sleep.

"I told Regina I was getting here early to reclaim the elliptical," I said to Ron.

He laughed.

My routine had been to do 30 minutes on the elliptical, then lift a few weights, weigh and go home and read the newspaper that arrived while I worked out.

About a month ago, this new fellow showed up and started his own routine that also began with the elliptical.

That bumped me to an idle treadmill while I waited for him to finish.

Ron and I agreed that having our gym routine upset is much like having someone get our pew at church.

Ron offered that he likes his pew so much that he sometimes leaves quickly after Sunday school to claim his favorite seat.

Everybody at church knows where everybody else sits and stays clear of those spaces as a courtesy. It's the newcomers who run afoul of routines and, of course, at church we smile and welcome them, and grab somebody else's pew.

But at the gym, you've got to create a strategy.

On this morning, mine almost worked. I got the elliptical of choice because the competition didn't show.

Now I'm wondering if he showed up ahead of me and, because the keeper of the key was late, he skipped his workout.

And does that mean I have to get there at 4:45 a.m.? If so, I'm thinking that new routines are not all that bad.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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