Thursday, July 28, 2011

If Olivia Newton John were a Viking

Gym sightings: If Olivia Newton John were a Viking

I totally understand why you can’t take pictures at the gym. If I caught someone getting a shot of my sweaty, grubby self with their camera phone, I would raise holy hell. But there are days I soooo wish I could take a picture. Almost every time I’m there, I see something noteworthy that I just have to share. That’s why I decided to periodically write a post called “Gym Sightings.” I will do my best to paint a picture with words so you can see what I see and have a good laugh with me.

This particular sighting occurred a few years ago, not long after I joined the gym, but it’s so damn good, I’m sharing it anyway. So, I’m on my favorite elliptical machine, and on the treadmill in front of me is the oddest woman I have ever seen. She’s wearing a full-length, Spandex leotard - the kind with legs that go all the way to the ankles. It’s a sparkly, purple leotard with a bright pink tank top underneath. Around her waist is a rainbow belt. Around her ankles are two pairs of brightly colored socks, poking out over high top sneakers. She has blue terrycloth sweat bands around her wrists and forehead.

The woman is about six-feet tall, with linebacker shoulders. She has long white-blonde hair that travels well past her Spandex-laden rear-end. This hair is divided into two long braids on either side of her head, and they sway back and forth behind her, smacking her in the butt as she runs.

She’s simultaneously channeling the years 1981 and 1014. If Olivia Newton John were a Viking, this is what she would look like.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought there was no way that could be real. It had to be some kind of joke, a costume or something. But then I saw her at the gym again later that week in the exact same get-up, except that time her leotard was neon green. Same long, blonde Viking braids. Same high tops sneakers and bright socks. Same rainbow belt. Wow.

The woman seemed to be quite popular at the gym, although I shouldn’t have been surprised that everyone knew her. Several people greeted her with waves and hellos, and many others came up to her for a chat. She was very friendly, always smiling, even when she was running all by herself.

Only crazy people constantly have a smile on their faces, right? Combined with the 1980’s aerobics attire and the Viking ‘do, all signs pointed to crazy.

I only saw her those two times. I wonder what happened to her. Perhaps she stepped back into her time machine?

I like to think I’m a pretty creative person, but even I couldn’t make this stuff up.