Exercising My Funny Bone

Since I started writing in 2015, I am always looking for ways to improve. Recently I took advantage of a free workshop offered by my local library. Humor Writing is taught by Donna Cavanaugh – author, blogger, comedian – at Lower Providence Community Library. I don’t expect to become the next Erma Bombeck in three consecutive Wednesday nights, and humor writing is not my talent. I do believe exercising our writing muscle is always a good thing for, well, a writer.

Successful bloggers have several things in common, one of which is – they post daily. That is never going to be me.  I’m just not that interesting, nor do I have so much to say that I need a daily platform. A reader did point out to me that, since I usually only post when I am on the road, months can elapse between my blog posts. She tells me she forgets I exist between posts. Point taken. Hence, I decided it is ok to write about things other than travel with purpose, even on this blog known as Purposeful Travel.

So with great trepidation, I thought I would share my first attempt at humor writing. I think those of you old enough for Social Security will relate to it.  Millennials – well, I’ll just apologize now for my snarkiness. Most of you are solid citizens and not nearly as vacuous as the characters in my essay.  Regardless of generation, I hope this freshman attempt at humor will make you smile.

Reflections of an Old Lady at the Gym

By Kathy Thomas

I’m a head sweater. No, no…not a sweater for the head. I’m one of those people that when I sweat, it mostly happens to my head. If I’m really exerting myself, my armpits will join in. Add to that the fact that I am a fair skinned, 63 year old female of Irish descent, who becomes red faced during moderate labor or exercise and, well you get the picture. So it is no surprise that when I go to my local gym I am often asked if I am feeling ok. The staff seem to fear I am having a heart attack on their stair master. No, I’m not. I’m just exercising while old and Irish.

I actually really enjoy myself at the gym. I am very serious about my workout, have no time for small talk. I enjoy the fact that those of us over forty are virtually invisible to those under forty. This invisibility allows me to observe others without being detected or seeming creepy. So while I am putting in the miles on a treadmill or stationary bike, I watch the show around me. There are the New Year’s resolution crowd with their beer bellies and jiggly parts, the body builders and athletes, and the middle aged just trying to stave off an early demise. The group that provides the most entertainment are the 20 somethings who use the gym as their own little pick up bar. I am too repulsed by my own appearance to exercise in front of the giant mirrors plastered on every other wall. But the muscle bound male of the species in this age group are drawn to the shiny rectangles like Donald Trump to Twitter. They can admire themselves pumping iron while keeping an eye out for their beautiful female counterparts. Maybe that grunting noise they make when dead lifting those enormous weights is really a mating call.

Speaking of the females…they are by far the most interesting to observe. I am baffled by their firm and slender physiques. I mean, how do you get that body without breaking a sweat? I see them saunter up to the lateral pull down or crunch machines with their coifed hair and perfectly made up faces. And an hour later, I see them exit the building looking exactly the
same. Wait, now that I think about it…I don’t believe I’ve ever actually seen one of them exercise. Well I’ve got news for them. Enjoy it while you can you selfie taking, make-up wearing twenty year old with the rockin’ bod and perfect hair. Time and menopause will knock that perky butt down to the back of your knees and annihilate your metabolism. But I have no time for chit chat now. I’m on my way to wring out my sweat drenched hair in the locker room. Then I’m going to collapse on a bench, take a nap, and wait for my red face to return to its pale natural state.