Saturday Morning Stinkfest

by gillis

I pulled into a parking spot and gathered my gear: water bottle, mat, headband, and the sneakers I had raced back home to get when I realized they were missing. I thought I was late for class, and I wanted to make sure I made it in before the door was locked. I trotted over to the door and was excited to see that I wasn’t late at all, I checked myself in and walked down the hall. I said hello to everyone I passed and took off my coat. I gave a hug to a workout buddy I hadn’t seen for a few weeks and as I stepped back I thought to myself, “Hmmm…guess she had a rough night last night, wonder what she is sweating off today?”

I moved into the gym, bent over to lace up my shoes, said hello to another member, and noticed that she, too, had some pronounced body odor going on. Had they both gone out together last night? And why had no one called and invited me?

The workout was a series of stations and we split up into groups of four. I noticed none of the people I had been chatting with were available to be in my group so I jumped in with those closest to me. Our first station was a cardio station, I began doing burpees next to my partner, and I could not help but notice that he also smelled terrible. I started wondering if something was wrong with my nose. Or maybe the room had a lingering odor. Why else would the smell be everywhere? Had the cleaning crew forgotten the gym?

The sweat was building up as I moved through another station, this time legs – TRX strap, alternating lunges, etc. I wiped my brow on the shoulder of my shirt, trying to keep it classy as usual, when it hit me. It almost physically hit me – it was that strong. A slight lift of my sleeveless arm coupled with the turn of my head and that smell was overpowering, and it was rank, and it was me. I was Keyser Soze. I was Patient Zero. Ugh.

How was I going to get through this workout with the knowledge that I was stinking up the joint? I began moving away from other people, which is hard to do when you’re handing off a medicine ball to someone. When it came time to jumprope, I tried to keep my arms stuck to my sides. This caused my back fat to bounce in the most obnoxious and discouraging way. I looked at the clock. Class was halfway over. Screw it, I figured, anyone who was working hard would smell by then too, and anyone who wasn’t working hard might just be motivated to move away a little faster. So I let it fly. The not-so-sweet-smell of freedom…