I have now sweated through my totally rad, hot pink sweat band; and droplets of moisture are starting to roll down my forehead. I grab on with one hand and reach for my towel, mopping my face. My god, how long have I been running? I look down at the LCD screen on the treadmill – 8 minutes. I have been running for eight minutes; and already I am drenched.
Maybe if there was air-conditioning…like a normal gym.
But then again, there are no normal gyms in my town. Gyms, in general, seem to be a rather new trend in France; not like in the U.S. or Australia where four-level monoliths are on every other city block. So when I decided to join one, my choices were limited. There was the one that had no treadmills or free-weights (how can this even exist?) or the one without air-conditioning (again, how can this even exist?). Foolishly, I thought treadmills were more important.
So now, I sweat, heartily, every time I go for a workout. The disturbing thing, however, is that I seem to be the only one. While half my body weight is being absorbed by my gym towel, everyone else is dabbing at dry brows (and looking at me judgmentally). Is this some other freakish French trait, akin to their ability to consume an extremely high-fat diet without becoming obese?
For the girls, there is an easy explanation. Most of them waltz in wearing trendy clothes, full make-up, and their hair down, flowing around their shoulders. They climb onto an elliptical or a stationary bike next to one of their friends; and sullenly push at the pedals for a while (yes, French girls can be sullen even while working out). This type of girl exists at every gym though; we all know them, the girls who just come to look attractive in a tight outfit and try to scam on the guys who could be Jersey Shore rejects.
It was the men that gave me pause. How can you possibly run for over half an hour at level 10 or 11 with no air-conditioning and not break a sweat?
Maybe the French are aliens. Think about it, really, this would explain so much.
Until that conclusion is reached, however, I will have to continue to be the gross, sweaty girl at the gym (who runs while listening to trashy romance novels), existing in a world without air-conditioning and with a people without sweat glands.