Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ideas to Improve the Track

I like to hit the track every day if I can. There's is something so invigorating about exercising outside. I love it. The interesting thing about going to the same track every day is that you start to recognize people, if not specific people at least characteristics of groups of people. Such as...

Older people walk just like they drive, slow and erratic. You never know when is the right time to pass! When I try to speed up and pass on the right, they swerve to the right and slow down. If I try to go left, they suddenly speed up a little and stagger left. There should be a separate lane them, lined with blue.
Incredibly overweight people are another group. God love them, they need to be out there, yes, but not in spandex, Lycra, or anything other body-hugging material. They take up extra space on the track, too, and move incredibly slow. They should walk have their own area around the outside of the track on the grass. A few extra inches per lap would be great for them.

Groups of people should not be allowed on the track at all. I understand walking with one friend, maybe even two, but more than that causes a traffic jam of humanity. These groups tend to walk slowly because they aren't really there to work out or get sweaty. They are there to chitchat while they walk in circles. Sometimes there will be a group of old people and the whole track will be jammed as we are only able to pass one at a time around the elderly organism.

There is another set of people who really blow my mind, the ones who sit next to their car, about 20 feet from the track, and smoke. Yes. They are smoking right next to the track. Isn't this illegal anyway? The wind blows the smoke right onto the track and those of us really exerting ourselves end up with two lungs full of disgusting pollutants that were just exhaled out of someone else's body. Isn't it common sense to smoke away from where exercise is taking place? Of course, these are the people who probably aren't exercising so maybe they are purposely to punish the rest of us. In a display displaced guilt, they attack the healthy with their secondhand smoke.

What we need is a referee at the track. Someone needs to have a Segue or scooter, a black and white shirt, and a whistle. The referee will check IDs. Old people inside the blue lane. Obese people stay to the outside. If their clothing is too tight, you can throw a flag down and the referee will provide a giant shirt or mumu to the offender. Group of people are not allowed within 50 feet of the track at all.

Then the referee can monitor the rest of us. Walking on the inside? Penalty! Running on the outside? Penalty! Talking on a cell phone or texting? Double penalty! And the penalties will all be enforced in the form of physical exercise, like push ups or sit ups, and you won't be allowed back on the track until you're done. The referee could also do helpful things like pass out water bottles and sweat bands. Maybe there could be a log and frequent visitors could qualify for the good parking spaces.

In the meantime, I have no choice but to get there early enough to find parking, make my way onto the track when traffic clears, turn up my iPod, and find my groove amongst the elderly, obese, and hordes. Boo.

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