Mea Culpa

Yeah, this one’s totally on me — the girl in the first row, on the elliptical machine by the window. My fault entirely. I take full responsibility.

Yes, the second you leave me alone in the room, I will turn down your gawd-awful Today Show until I can’t hear it over my iPod, and I will turn off the overhead lights. Tomorrow I might even turn down the thermostat. That’s right. IN YOUR FACE, PEOPLE.

I am one of those lovely folks who get exercise-induced migraines. (Yes, fun!) The second my blood pressure rises, I start to go blind. The more my eyes strain to see, the more the headache actually hurts. My perfect gym is dark (daylight is fine, as long as it’s not direct sunlight) and cold…and even then, I’d still run with my eyes closed.

Have you ever closed your eyes and listened to the television? Especially daytime talk shows and the morning news? They are YELLING at you. Tune out the words and listen to the tone of voice — every sentence sounds like an accusation. They could be talking about puppy dogs and rainbows and you’d still get stressed out. And we won’t even talk about the volume of commercials, or the shameless screaming they film on the streets of NY to get your attention. It just can’t be healthy.

And I’m positive that turning up my iPod to drown it out isn’t healthy either. My father has worked with guns all his life. I’m surprised he can still hear any of us. I’ve always been very aware of hearing safety. I’m sure my brain’s going to explode eventually from all these headaches, but I’d like the rest of my senses to be tip top, if that’s all right.

If I come into the gym and you’re already happily bopping along, I promise I won’t touch a thing. If you come in after me and decide you want lights or volume, go right ahead. I’m just saying — if you want to know who keeps turning our gym into the Batcave, it’s me. Totally, shamelessly me.

You’re welcome.