There was no celebration. No ribbon cutting. No marching band. No drum roll. No crescendo. No crashing cymbals as the glass doors parted magically and Tom and I swiped our membership tags under the watchful electronic eye at the entrance to Club SAR.
Yet, in the scheme of restoring sanity, at 11:45 a.m. on the Tuesday after Memorial Day I felt the symbolic hug of a good friend when I turned the corner and spotted a few familiar faces and free weights.
Smiling like a miscast Lone Ranger through the discomfort of his black bandana and makeshift mask, manager Jonathan greeted us from ten-plus feet away.
“Best day ever,” he proclaimed as we scanned the newly configured space.
It was a tongue-in-cheek phrase he had uttered previously throughout 2019 and early in 2020 every time we walked through the door. Every time we exchanged pleasantries before climbing aboard our favorite life-affirming machines in our past lives.
But on this day in late May it really did feel like the best day ever for two sixty-two-year-old men, who had cobbled together an at-home gym in mid-March (a basketball and ten-and-fifteen-pound hand weights to keep hearts and joints strong in the face of an impending pandemic).
The best day ever to take a giant step away from our predominantly stay-at-home lives. The best day ever to enter a newly configured world of plexi-glass partitions, spaced-out treadmills, scattered stationary bikes and strategically-located sanitizing stations.
It didn’t take long for muscle memory to take hold in a room sprinkled with souls intent upon forestalling the gym reaper. Forty-five minutes later … past trusty treadmill steps, a small stream of light weights, and elliptical exclamation point … we said our goodbyes, drained our water bottles to quench our thirst, and stepped toward our Sonata.
Certainly one thing is true. On this Tuesday–re-opening day at our community gym–a smattering of Scottsdale survivors recaptured a strand of their pre-COVID-19 lives … ever grateful for a few moments of gymbolic bliss.
6 thoughts on “Gymbolic Bliss”
What a great tribute to a memorable, wonderful day! It WAS a moment that restores some semblance of sanity, and normalcy. My heart…and my body…missed the gym, but once we got back, it was as though we never left.
Thank you, Tom. It was a memorable and affirming day and I’m thankful we shared it.
As a former gym employee, I know how important a daily workout is to most gym goers. Congrats on reclaiming such a big part of your life.
Yes, it is. Thank you, Jeff.
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That’s so wonderful that you are getting a part of your community and routine back. 🙂
It is. Thank you, Julie!