I usually workout on Monday mornings, sweating on the treadmill for twenty-five minutes. This activity improves my mood, even if not my body. I used to look forward to walking to the gym in our condo, looking at the moon and stars, and preparing to exercise. I even felt virtuous.
But now everything, or at least something big has ruined my routine. There are two televisions in the room, but when alone, I watch neither. I prefer the solitude of my own thoughts and fantasies to old news about the latest local horror.
The etiquette of the gym follows the guidelines of the first person present sets the stage for whoever follows. In other words, if the earliest exerciser turns on the TV, it stays on even if the next resident wants silence. So it goes for me now.
For many months, I had the gym to myself. I felt a special serenity thinking I was awake and alert when the other people in the condo were sleeping. What arrogance! But, now, I face a rabid Fox when I open the gym door with my key card and see a man already there with the TV blaring.
He has the channel set to Fox News, which I abhor. And which in recent times has become increasingly hostile to women and free, independent thinkers. I am so tired of hearing the familiar, but unwelcome rhetoric of the hosts-men dressed for casual Friday, and women wearing clothes better suited to a cocktail party.
The Brett Kavanaugh saga has only intensified my misery. I can no longer relax while walking the miles on the treadmill until I reach the welcome time when I am finished.
I can’t escape Fox-it fills the room, and I am a captive to their “fake” news. I hate having to watch the channel, but there is no place to hide. If I want to use the treadmill, I am a captive of the conservative channel. It is none of my business, really, what the nice man chooses to watch, but I am angry nonetheless.
So, today, I skipped my workout, and soothed my frayed nerves and growing anger by eating a big chocolate-chip cookie at Barnes & Noble. I needed to soothe my soul. And it worked, and I am happy I missed the nasty news channel.
I guess I could buy ear plugs, but the sight of Fox would still be evident. The answer for me is to tolerate what I despise and get on with my workout.