As it goes every Wednesday morning, I wake up to the sound of two Timex watches going off at 5:35am. Jason insists, so that I don't shut one off and go back to sleep. Anyhow, without turning the lights on, I pull on the spandex I've laid out the night before along with my bandana, hastily brush my teeth and grab my prepacked bag to head out the door. Jason and Bella might sleepily lift one eye open as I kiss them each goodbye, but mostly I manage to slip out under the cloak of darkness.
The neighbourhood is quiet, there is only one or two cars travelling on the usually noisy King Edward Ave. I munch on a homemade powerbar and make my way to the bus stop. The same bus driver always picks me up at 6:02 exactly, and the same people are always on the bus in similar states of open-mouthed, head-bobbing, eye-drooping quasi-slumber. We look like a band of stoned head-bangers all rocking in unison to the bone-shaking rhythm of public transit.
Main Street Station looms up above, and I can see the skytrain coming on the track as I hump it up the stairs to the waiting area. As usual, my barely-digested powerbar is sitting at the base of my throat as my body's equilibrium is nastily shaken from my trip up the two flights. But I make it. You might think that another few minutes waiting for the train shouldn't make that much of a difference, but I have this timed out to the minute.
The skytrain lurches to a halt at Burrard Station and again, I rush to zip up 4 flights of stairs. This time, my powerbar has had an extra five minutes to digest and rests heavily in my still-sleeping tummy. Into the YWCA lobby, grab my towel, slam things into the instructor's changeroom and pull on the stark white aerobics sneakers that give me blisters.
Yes, I know, I should just suck it up and buy new shoes. But I only use these shoes for one class a week and they are so damned expensive!
With moments to spare, I run into Cardio Room 2 where my regulars have thoughtfully placed my step in front of the awaiting class:
Choreography Bob: 70-year old that can outshine me and my futile attempts at step choreography with his eyes shut.
Hip-Replacement Mary: likes to wear paper towel around her neck.
Leaves-before-Stretching Beatrice: her job must be quite demanding!
Too-short-shorts-Dan: need I say more?
No-name-Lisa: nothing terribly outlandish, except that she's the only one under 50 in the room besides me.
I fumble madly with the microphone... "Test test..." I try to pull the earpiece through my tank top to hide the cord and end up tangling myself in the process, dropping the little fuzzy piece and showing people half of my boob.
Basic right! Oh crap, I'm on my left. Egad, I'm too tired for this.
All this for a free Y membership and discounts on my master's swim.