On Monday night, I took my son and a friend of his to the gym. Because I am out of shape myself, I chose to stay as well, do some cycling, walking and weight lifting. I’ve been a member of one gym or other since my 30’s and I have to say, the current one contains the fittest of the fit. It is a little intimidating and very strange. But that isn’t saying much as any gym is an odd place, filled will all sorts of people doing all kinds of weird things.

As I prepare to do my equally strange exercises, I people watch. Strangers walk down crowded isles towards the storage cubicles (where they stash keys and coats, phones, sweatshirts), the one working drinking fountain, and  I can’t help but wonder about their stories, backgrounds and motivations.

When they hover around machines, waiting for others to finish or their bodies to recover between sets, what sorts of things are they imagining, worrying about, pondering? My routine is to clear my head as much as possible, focus on the motion of my body, the tension in my muscles. I use this same technique while cycling outdoors, concentrating on the road in front of me, the approaching terrain. I am never as much in the now, the present as when I am biking, working out. I wonder why I don’t do it more.

Wishes and fishes, eh…


During the time I was in the gym, a winter storm that had been threatening all afternoon decided to strike. Several inches of snow covered the parking lot and visibility was reduced to less than 200 feet. I hate driving in the snow, well driving in the snow when there are other cars about. It takes a different kind of focus and determination. It sets me on edge, that sort of effort. By the time I made it home, my neck hurt and my fingers ached from clenching. Winter announced itself with a bang, and while I do find a snow covered landscape beautiful, it will be a very long time until the green leaves and deep blue sky return.

Here is an older photo taken after a particularly lovely winter storm and of Keyara making paths. That girl loved the snow so much.



Tell me about your winters, your routines, your thoughts, if you dare.


Post Script- I’m still playing around from time to time at this lovely blog.

It is filled with images of found objects and short stories to accompany them. Check it out. Share it if you think its cool.




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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

6 responses to “Winter”

  1. Liesbet says :

    Interesting that we both decided to post a photo of our beloved passed away dogs today. 🙂 I guess your thoughts couldn’t wander much on the way home. All that tension you tried to get rid of at the gym, came back on the ride in the snow. I am suffering through my exercise classes in a heated yoga studio as well; so out of shape and not fitting in with the fit, slim and young crowd! Luckily, nobody knows me here. 🙂

  2. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor says :

    I’ve tried joining gyms in the past and ended up not going after the first few times. I’m just not a gym person. Okay, I’m not much of an exercise person 🙂

  3. J.H. Moncrieff says :

    I’ve never felt entirely comfortable in gyms. There always seems to be a guy hovering, waiting to correct my form. I always feel, rightly or not, like someone is staring.

    I much prefer my kickboxing club, but I don’t go as often as I wish anymore. Life always seems to get in the way. But when I’m there, I don’t think about anything else. By the end of the class, I’m completely worn out and exhausted–but also exhilarated. It’s a great feeling.

    Sorry for the loss of your pooch. 😦

    • fenster says :

      So good to hear from you!

      Yeah, guys are creepy enough, but throw in the gym environment and it gets extra scary.

      And thanks for the condolences. We lost her last year, but I don’t think I’ll ever really get over it.

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