The friendly neighborhood gym.

a poem by Nishu Mathur, India

The neighborhood gym, off  a busy street, is frequented by residents from in 'n about,
Women, men, teens chanting the mantra to fitness,gossiping, chatting and well,yes, working out.

It's popular  with new equipment, hunks  of eye candy trainers who train,
As in mirrors they steal glimpses of their well sculpted bodies,
Narcissists, I would say, most certainly  vain.

We're all familiar faces, some with names, others without one,
A couple of hours together is all that we spend,
Yet they know a bit of me and I a bit of them, 
We're somewhere  between strangers and friends.
We're all an eager bunch, we arrive at our respective time, raring  to step up, step down and walk.
Brimming with energy, bursting with gusto BUT there are some, I believe,who JUST  come  to talk.

As I step up on the stepper, my eyes rove, with an eye on the panel and the other on my peers,
As out of breath exercisers talk over my head..and despite the music, I am all eyes and all ears.

I hear (panting) tales of a local politico, why he must be hung, a technocrat who is, after all,  not such a nerd
The state of ( huff, puff)  potholed developing roads, and a handsome movie star gone berserk.

A young woman complains about her work, another about her better half,
A man reaching for weights, reports how, by his boss, he was snubbed,
Two women in a heated ( and sweaty) discussion over Paul Coelho,
A kind of a dual book reading club.

A  grandmother is up in arms, at war with the trainer,
The latter at a loss, can hardly speak
The former with the breadth of her life and experience,
Insists  how wrong are his breathing techniques.

A young lad with long hair is multitasking on the treadmill,
Head bobbing with music, texting and  answering calls,
Burning calories while thinking of food,
Catching up with friends later... for burgers in a mall.

Though I don't talk much, they can probably read me well,
My mood would tattle tale through my work out pace,
A furious walk or a jog on the ellipticals,
Would tell them that I am in anger ablaze.

As I  wind up for the day I turn to look around.
Amusing to think of what we shed as we walk, spin,
Grudges, gossip, grumpiness, anxieties,
All sweated out along with toxins.

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