Public Enemy #1 Eludes Fitness Police

You have the right to remain buff.

I had one of the Fitness Police’s 10 Most Wanted in my sights, and I let her slip away.

I had just parked in the YMCA parking lot when another car pulled alongside.  The driver and I got out at the same time.  As I turned around, our eyes met.  She was smoking.   A cigarette.  I was 6 feet away – tops!  That close, there was no mistaking.

The scofflaw continued to puff away up to the very portals of the exercise sanctuary.   She didn’t stub out the butt until she had her hand on the door handle!  

I don’t know how she avoided the surveillance of the Fitness Police.  She entered the very belly of the beast.  It was as if she was thumbing her nose at them all. 

The Y is Police headquarters.  They rule there with an iron hand in a black leather, padded palm, wrist-stabilizing exercise glove.  They strut through the Fitness & Health Center, slapping down civilians suspected of crimes against buffness:  obesity, slowness, or wearing high-water sweat pants with black socks.  But the worst infraction has got to be smoking.  You can tell they’re on the sniff for the telltale sign.

Technically, I should be a member of the Fitness Police.   I work out a good 3-5 times per week.   By most standards I’ve earned the half-smile, head-nod acknowledgement the other regulars share.   But they haven’t asked me to join the squad.   I don’t know the secret handshake.  It’s probably because I don’t fit the stereotype.

For one thing, I don’t wear the uniform.  Instead of spandex and sports-bras, muscle shirts and shorts, I’m usually garbed in one of a rotating line-up of sweatpants and baggy t-shirts.  My sports-bra stays beneath its t-shirt covering where it belongs, thank you very much.

The other reason I won’t be asked to join the Fitness Police, is because I am not.  Fit, I mean.   I have been called unfit.  Some have said I’m The AntiFit.  That may have something to do with the fact that I cap most trips to the gym with a trip to the Dairy Queen.   

Even with a serious ice-cream addiction, I wouldn’t dare slurp a Cappuccino Heath Blizzard (if such a thing exists) anywhere on YMCA grounds.   And I would never, EVER have the nerve to smoke there.

The eyes of a stone cold smoker

I suppose that smoking tobacco products is still sort of legal in some situations.  But that is only in a hermetically sealed chamber, within your home, if you live alone and have no pets, don’t expect anyone to come over in the next 72 hours, and your house is situated at least 2 miles away from any other people or small, woodland creatures. 

As a Fitness Police wanna-be, I probably should have made a citizens arrest.  Or at least I should have thrown her a dirty look while coughing and waving theatrically in front of my face.  

I heard a small voice in my head, whispering, “If I say nothing when they come for the smokers, and nothing when they come for the tacky dressers, who will be left to speak when they come for me?”   

I listened to that little voice, and I let her go.  Some might say that makes me an accessory after the fact.   That’s something I will have to live with.




About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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19 Responses to Public Enemy #1 Eludes Fitness Police

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Now, now, don’t be upset. I’m sure being a member of the Fitness Police is a thankless job. Give me comfy sweats and a DQ blizzard any day!


  2. Indy says:

    I read your blog all the time, I totally love this. I go to the gym almost every day and I also smoke.
    I would never dare to smoke within 5 blocks from the Gym. haha


  3. egills says:

    That’s the first thing I get changed into when I get home from work… and not to go to the gym mind.. I find myself dreaming of them by about lunchtime.


  4. True story: I walked in the first Avon Breast Cancer Walk in 1999. 60 miles over three days. There was a nun (in full nun dress) who walked the entire way, chain-smoking.


  5. Tar-Buns says:

    Loved the police booking photo – so droll. Especially appreciated your historical reference to times when citizens didn’t try to stop atrocities against their fellow man.

    These days, it’s fashionable to treat smokers like felons, even though it is still a legal product. Too much tax revenue to outlaw I suppose.

    Tanks for another humorous take on life! 🙂


    • pegoleg says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Ms. Buns. Isn’t that a great photo? You find the best stuff on the internet. I hoped that reference wouldn’t be thought too flippant because of the association. As a former smoker, I may have more sympathy than many. As you say, it is still legal.


  6. Lance Ponder says:

    “wearing high-water sweat pants with black socks.”

    — I represent that remark. 😉


  7. MKC says:

    Fashion challenged-as in Alfred Dunner! I think it’s going to be a fashion statement for our family. I already have a blackmail shot of Lib!


  8. John Hunsinger says:

    Someday very soon I am going to light a cig indoors, and when I am asked to put it out I am going to say “go to HECK on a po-go stick” Just to see if the real police will be called. Also to see if the police will be more upset at me for smoking, or at the po-go stick rider for wasting their time with such a silly thing.


    • pegoleg says:

      I suspect you would be roughed up and then thrown in jail, while they throw a party for the po-goer. (Hey, this is a family blog – let’s watch the language, shall we?)


  9. Pingback: Biggest Loser: Family Edition. Virtue is It’s Own Reward (But Not For Me) | Ramblings

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