Catch, Release & Run


Every woman wants to think that she’s still got it. But it’s a depressing day when she realizes that what she’s got is attracting the wrong kind of man. Step into my gym for a moment, and I’ll relate just such an incident that happened to me. Don’t worry; you won’t have to use the ab roller. You can just observe.

I was on my second set of chest flies when I saw him. He kept sending glances my way, and as I moved machines, he seemed to gravitate in my direction. He was a tall fellow, extremely easy on the eyes, and he had a nice smile. I went to get a drink from the water fountain, and when I turned around, he was there.

The watering hole - the perfect place for a predator to catch prey

The watering hole – the perfect place for a predator to catch prey

“Hey, how are you?” he said, not even bothering to use the fountain.

“I’m fine, thanks.”

“I’m Justin.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m Traci.”

“I was wondering if you’d give me your phone number. I’d like to get to know you.”

I studied his face. No crow’s feet, no fine lines, no chance in a thousand that the first digit of his age was a 3. Well, I knew an easy way to solve this problem. “You look pretty young to me, Justin, and while I’m flattered, I’m actually …” and here I inserted a number that did start with a 3 and went up from there. I stepped back to give him room to run for the door like his hair was on fire.

“Oh, really?  I thought you were 26 or 27 at the most.”

So in addition to being handsome, this guy was also a real charmer. Why can’t they make these in a 36?

“So you’re not going to give me your number?”

Huh. Well, he didn’t scare easily.  “How old are you, Justin?”

“I’m 20.”

And here I had to focus on blinking and respiration for a moment or two. Twenty?!  This guy was just in training pants a couple of years ago. “Twenty is just a bit too young for me. The fact that you could have been one of my students just doesn’t sit well with me.”

He shrugged. “I think that once you graduate from high school, it’s all relative.”

“And when did you graduate?”

“Last year.”

A 19 year old graduate. So probably not the sharpest knife in the drawer even if he was a beautiful piece of cutlery. I started to back away, afraid that any minute the cops were going to fling open a hidden door, scream “Pedophile sting!” and slap the cuffs on me. “Thanks, Justin, but I don’t think it would work out.”

I went back to the seated row and pondered the conversation. To be honest, there was just one thing that didn’t fit. I never attract drop-dead gorgeous men. Those guys in the gym that wear a headband, yellow spandex shorts, and can’t see their toes for the beer gut, sure. They love me. But a guy who’s handsome and nice?  How bizarre. Maybe my luck was changing. Maybe I was finally entering a season of possibilities. Maybe the years of the locust were finally at an end!

Justin walked back over as I rose from the seat. “You know, just because I’m young doesn’t mean that I’m immature. I think a lot of deep thoughts. I think about life and death all the time. You know how people around here think that the world will end and Jesus will come back?  Well, I’m not so sure. I’ve been thinking a lot, and I think it will end with the aliens. They’ll come back to the earth and resurrect the ones they’ve got buried in the lakes.”

Ah. There we go. The planets were back in line. This was exactly the type of guy I attract after all.  “You think the world will end with an alien invasion?”  I edged closer to the dumbbell rack and made sure I could wrap my fingers around a 15 pounder if need be.

Great for doing curls or heaving at nut jobs

Great for doing curls or heaving at nut jobs

“Yeah,” he said, smiling modestly. “I think a lot about things like that.”

Before or after you take your medication?  “You know, Justin, I think I’m just about done for the day” – big, fat lie since I still had two sets and upper abs to finish – “so I’m going to head home.”

“Oh, really?  Where do you live?”

Nice try.  “Oh, a long way from here.  I hope you have a nice workout, and you take care . . . ” to stay away from me, you big loon!

And for a person who doesn’t enjoy sprinting, I made excellent time out the door.

© 2013 – Traci Carver


23 responses »

  1. You can’t blame him for trying. 😉 If you really wanted to test his education level you could have interjected after his life/death statement, “Hey, Justin, some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice… What do you think?” Then when you get the deer in the headlights look, it is confirmed. And then take out your communicator and have Scotty beam you up! 😀

  2. Love this post. It could have gone soooooooooo many ways. Aliens were so unexpected. I think it would be a good idea to figure out what you will say to him if you see him again at the gym. I suggest wearing a cap made out of tin foil, along with some antennae, just to be safe. – J

  3. Great post. Don’t you love how real life gives us stuff to write about?

    I’m married and do have a three at the beginning of my age. That first line here, “Every woman wants to think that she’s still got it” applies to us guys too. The other day at work, a coworker friend told me that some girls she was talking to said I looked cute. I hear this, roughly, never, so I have to say it put a spring in my steps, of only for a day.

    Anyway, what I’m saying is I enjoyed this post and I hope you don’t get bothered at the gym next time 🙂

    • I guess the desire to feel attractive is universal.
      Typically, I meet nothing but kind people in the gym who have no real convictions about aliens or their future designs on our planet – thank goodness!

  4. “beautiful piece of cutlery”. *snorting* That got me. LOL You know, we DO have a groom store down here. I’m SURE we could find a 36 in there for you. LOL

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