Today, I scored an A+ in the "rehabbing the shit out of my Freaky Cyborg Hip despite the fact that I'm making zero progress and even the 95-year-old guy who broke his hip gardening has finished with his physio while I'm still trying to master the 'clamshell'" department. Not only did I swim laps for the first time, but I also walked to Canada Games Pool and back. Ability win! Even if I'm still batting zero on the "grace" department, it's good to know that I am rocking the hell out of the endurance department...except when I have to slow down due to a weird pinching feeling in my groin (I haven't completely ruled out the fact that this pinching sensation might be my girly parts trying to give me a little wakeup call)...or because I begin to feel strange burning sensations all along my legs. Details, details.
A word about Canada Games Pool. I tend to avoid the gym there at all costs, though it's the only one within walking distance, and if I'm forced to go I try to go during the day when everyone else is doing that whole "working" thing. There are two problems with Canada Games Pool. The first is the clientele. Sure, you get the normal teenagers trying to build muscle mass by nearly rendering themselves quadriplegic by using the bench press bars incorrectly, and the housewives trying to burn off baby weight, but Canada Games Pool has always attracted some of the fringe elements of society. A few years ago, they had a bad case of Exhibitionist-itis and it was rare that you could get through a workout without getting up close and personal with some old guy's "man business." In fact, probably around half of the penises I've seen have been attached to creepy old men with their socks rolled up to their knees doing lunges in short-shorts while winking at me and assuring me that I "like it" when I suggested that they put the mouse back in the house (true story). To Canada Games Pool's credit, it's been a few years since I've been flashed, but if you've got a hankering for an obese man wearing a spandex wrestling uniform (thankfully with shorts overtop) revealing to everyone that he has waxed off all of his chest hair, then Canada Games Pool is still your go-to place.
The other reason I try to avoid Canada Games Pool is that if I go at peak hours, I always run into someone I went to high school with. Now, it's not like I hated high school with a burning passion (ok, I kind of did), but I wasn't exactly the prettiest flower in the bouquet back then (as opposed to the sex kitten I am now) and I used a confusing assortment of ambulatory equipment (canes, crutches, a wheelchair, a bright blue half-body cast) so for awhile there some of the meaner boys would play a fun game where they would kick my cane out from underneath me, then laugh at me when I fell and deem me a "faker" if I did not fall, thereby using a case of faulty reasoning not seen since the Salem Witch Trials.
I wouldn't mind running into some of these wankers at the gym if I was living a glamorous life, but right now I don't exactly have much to brag about. In fact, if I did run into someone I knew from high school, I suspect the conversation would go something like this:
Former classmate: Hey, you're Arley, right?
Former Classmate: Yeah, you're the weird one with the crazy hair! Remember when you were walking across the stage during graduation and someone shouted, "Hey, Arley, lay off the steroids?" because your arms are so big? That was funny, wasn't it? Good times!"
Former Classmate: So, yeah, bet you've been busy. I've been busy! Got married, my wife and I just welcomed our second child, our first child is taking piano, violin, tai chi and flower arranging lessons and is fluent in Russian and Mandarin, I'm hoping to make partner at my law firm in the next few years, just bought a nice condo in Queensborough. So...what have you been up to?
Me: Oh...you know...the usual!
Former Classmate: Are you married?
Me: Uh, nope.
Former Classmate: Have any kids?
Me: I have a cat...
Former Classmate: Have a job?
Me: Yeah, not so much...But I am interning at an independent press! It's kind of like work, just without all that pesky money business.
Former Classmate: Uh...That's great....So, uh, I hear you went to school.
Me: Yeah, I have a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
Former Classmate: That's...great. What can you do with a degree like that?
Me: Oh...you know...write creatively.
Former Classmate: Oh, gosh, look at the time. I have to return to my life being a busy and productive member of society! You take care now.
And this is why my hip needs to get better. Until I live in one place for an extended period of time, I can't make any money. If I can't make any money, I can't brag about my life to the people I have not seen in 10 years and do not really care about. Come on, hip! Either I need to invent an imaginary husband and child or we need to start bringing home the bacon.