How I Did My Groove Thang With Earth, Wind & Fire On Cloud Nine – Almost

The local YMCA is being renovated.  I’m sure it will end up being a workout Mecca the likes of which we have never seen.  In the meantime, it’s a pain in the butt.

They closed the main rooms and moved all the weight machines, free-weights, stair climbers and treadmills out.  Now they’re scattered around the hallways, the pre-school rooms, even the laundry room.

If you find the machine you are looking for, chances are it will be jammed cheek-to-jowl with its neighbor. You have to synchronize your movements or you risk an elbow to the ribs. The other day I was lucky enough to find a treadmill with a little breathing room  – in the fourth stall of the men’s room. 

The worst thing, though, is that the little TVs attached to the treadmills don’t work.  No TV!  Why has God singled me out for the greatest suffering the world has ever known? But I don’t complain.   I’m using this opportunity to enjoy some favorite music on my MP3 player. 

Today’s selection was vintage Earth, Wind and Fire.  Funky, funky, FUNK-ay!  Boy, does that get me pumped up.  I dialed up the volume and was in the zone, really feeling it.  But I held it in.  I didn’t want to be THAT woman; the chubby, middle-aged white one, shaking her groove thang to music nobody else can hear, right in front of God and everyone.

There is another regular at the Y who already fits that bill.  This lady marches to the beat of a different drummer, both physically and mentally.  I can’t tell how old she is – could be anywhere from 30 to 50.   She has starkly arched eyebrows and a red ring outlining her mouth.  I think those parts are tattooed on.  With her pale lips, it’s not a good look. 

She plugs in to her music and does a dance/walk workout on the treadmill, with a low, rolling dip of the hip every 3rd beat.  She looks neither left nor right, always straight ahead with a slightly haughty expression.  It’s like she’s practicing for the chorus of West Side Story. 

I’ve whined in past posts about how sweaty it gets in the treadmill room, but I didn’t know how good I had it.  The Green Gym, where I worked out tonight, is not air conditioned and makes the old room seem like an Arctic ice floe.  It’s hotter than Dutch love, as my brother-in-law Pat would say. 

I was really getting into it tonight, despite the heat.  I dialed up the speed and incline on the treadmill, and was working up a full head of steam, keeping time with the music. 

(For “Boogie Wonderland”, I recommend a 2.0 incline, 4.0 MPH speed.*)

My heart rate was at the top of the “cardio workout” zone on the monitor, making its way to the “grab the paddles” zone.

The sauna-like atmosphere was not enhanced by the hot flash I was having.  I was sweating buckets.  The music thrummed, and my heart was everywhere, working overtime, throbbing in my chest and my head until it seemed it would push my eyeballs out of their sockets.  The pressure built and pounded and pounded and thrummed and I thought,
        “This is it.  I am going to stroke-out; right here, right now.”

“My feverish, red self is going to collapse and shoot off this treadmill like George Jetson walking Astro, and I’m going to hit the poor guy working out 1 foot behind me and knock him over like a bowling pin.”

In that split second, when it seemed I might die, I thought, “I wonder if the heavenly choir that meets me at the pearly gates will be Earth, Wind and Fire?”

Now, that would be cool.  What a welcoming committee!  I don’t even know if any of them are dead, but maybe, my fevered brain thought, your heavenly choir takes whatever form you want it to.

Even with the inducement of meeting Earth, Wind and Fire, though, I did not want to die today.  I found the strength to reach out a trembling hand and dial down the speed, and tried to calm my racing heart.  I spent the rest of my workout matching the treadmill speed to the slow songs.

(For “After The Love Has Gone”, may I suggest a .5 incline, 2.3 MPH speed.*)

 When it’s your turn to go, what heavenly choir do you want to meet you?


*Your results may vary depending on the specific treadmill, length of your legs, and whether the Earth, Wind & Fire CD is studio or live in concert.

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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36 Responses to How I Did My Groove Thang With Earth, Wind & Fire On Cloud Nine – Almost

  1. notquiteold says:

    James Taylor is my angel – but I’ll wait till we’re both REALLY old – unless I get to meet him here on this goodly frame. Hilarious post!


  2. Jackie says:

    I’ll take Regina Spektor solo for my musical accompaniment.

    Thank you so much for “It’s hotter than Dutch love”. I really hope I can start to incorporate this into my regular speech.


  3. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I commend you for your dedication to working out, despite the obstacles and I’m sincerely glad you did not pass out or shoot off the treadmill!


  4. Tori Nelson says:

    I think this is why I love your crazy self. Some people might see their lives flashing before them, think quickly of the loved ones they’d leave behind. You? Party music for your grand heavenly entrance! Love it.


  5. Sandy Sue says:

    I want to be Astro with a ringside seat when you shoot into the nervous guy behind you!


  6. I applaud you for even staying in conditions like that. It would have made a lesser woman (me) say, “Awww, heeeellll no” and beat feet. As for what choir I’d want… well, I have to be serious. I used to belong to a children’s choir with international street cred… that would be pretty nice. Or the Harlem Boy Choir. They’re pretty good. But if they’re both already booked, the Temptations would be fun.


    • pegoleg says:

      I’m not saying the choir has to be all dead people: in our fantasy they just assume the guise of whomever we want. Maybe you can sing backup to the Temptations!


  7. Paula's Paradise says:

    Earth, Wind, & Fire IS heaven on earth, and I’m glad you didn’t take that “Fantasy” to heart! I was reminded of how much I love their music last weekend when our local community theatre had a DVD showing of EWF’s 1990 concert from Japan – like a vintage funk/rock/groovy time machine! It will definitely be a “Boogey Wonderland” here in The Bahamas if Irene shimmies over to the side and doesn’t get too close. Cyber and safe hugs to all who may be in the projected path later this week too. So far so good … power is out, internet is on, and one of my most fave groups just popped up in your funny post … life is good!


  8. I’ll take Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli singing sacred arias, thanks for asking.


  9. Margie says:

    I commend you for your dedication to the Gym. Personally I am allergic to it (I wrote a post called Allergic to the Gym, explaining how I propose to live without entering one until I am 86…) As for Heavenly Choir when it is my turn to go, excellent question assuming that is the place I am going to…


  10. Libby says:

    The Hallelujah Chorus by Handel… with me singing in the second row, Alto section!!!!! Can’t get any better than that when meeting our awesome Lord Jesus Christ!!


  11. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    That fourth stall comment had me in stitches! As for the song question, I reserve the right to return and answer this when my brain’s not operating in standby mode.


  12. Jane says:

    Boogie Wonderland is te best! We play it in our house at least once a week!


  13. Amy says:

    The Astro image cracked me up! EW&F would be a wonderful heavenly choir. I think I would like Dusty Springfield singing me through the Pearly Gates.


  14. Big Al says:

    I’m thinkin Tina Turner. But then I never do anything nice…and…easy!


  15. Thank god for some funk-ay music! I can picture you, eyes bugging out in that stall, feeling like you’re stroking out. Descibes me when I workout perfectly. Your comment ‘grab the paddles zone’ had me howling. This is the main reason I don’t go to gyms. I prefer to have my strokes in the privacy of my own home.


    • pegoleg says:

      If I had my strokes in the privacy of my own home, I’m not sure anybody would call the authorities. They’d snap to, right lively at the Y if for no other reason than fear of liability.


  16. You’re making me re-think my whole dance/walk routine…

    Funny, funny post as usual. I haven’t thought of Earth, Wind and Fire in a loooong time. Good recommendation!


    • pegoleg says:

      Just got back from the Y and that dance/walk lady was there – I haven’t seen her in a while. Today she was wearing a sparkly black headscarf and an off-the-shoulder outfit straight out of Flashdance. I kept sneaking looks over at her and giggling like a loon. I’m sure your walk/dance routine, however, is pure poetry!


  17. John Hunsinger says:

    This got me thinking about heavens rock band. I’m thinking Keith Moon on drums, Dee Dee Ramon on bass, Jimmy Hendricks on guitar, Jim Morrison and Mama Cass on lead vocals. Of course, God would have a girl friend that he thinks can sing, and insist that she perform with the band. Then the band would break up. So sad.


    • pegoleg says:

      I’d pay good cash money to see that band. As long as I didn’t have to be dead to buy the tickets.

      Too true about the girlfriend. I have a 45 of John Lennon singing with Yoko Ono (and her BAND!) and a bunch of kids to “Save the world’s children and whales and chipmunks” record – pitiful.


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