At the gym
There is a woman. She is in that general age of 30, maybe older, maybe younger but she has the tired edges that make all women look the same young yet old age.
She gets on the treadmill and adjusts the running shirt that is stretched just a bit tightly over her middle. She is distracted and fumbles with the buttons but soon she is doing the run to nowhere just like everyone else.
Minutes pass and she glances obsessively at the clock on the wall. One hour of kid care is so short. Is she savoring every second alone even if she feels compelled to lope on an endless rubber highway? Is she counting down every minute until she can stop because she needs to collect the children? Is it both?
Aside from the clock watch there is an air of distraction from doing something, anything, for more then 10 minutes without interruption. The itchy feeling that she should be doing something else or something more with this 60 minutes carved out of her day. She watches the 6 tv’s on in front of her and listens to her personal soundtrack pumped directly into her ears and watches the clock, always the clock.
I leave the treadmill after 40min and go to my wonderful solo shower. For someone I have never spoken to I feel like I know so much of her story. She is a mom trying to fit exercise back into her world, trying to fit back in the wardrobe of a person she may or may not be ever again. I could be wrong but I don’t think so, I’m pretty good at seeing the woman in the mirror.