It’s Tuesday morning and I’m in the gym just wailing on my quads. Feel the burn baby! Ok…so maybe I wasn’t squatting with a heavy bar on my shoulders, but my booty bar class is still very intense. I was in the midst of 20 (give or take) women and had just starting working up a sweat when I hear the door behind me open. I can see in the mirrored wall, a woman who was dressed like she is ready to go to church. She was gripping a can of something mysterious as she glanced around the room. Before I could figure her out, she began methodically dumping white powder from can to each corner of the gym.
Now she’s caught my attention. I could barely concentrate on the instructor in front of the group. This happens to be one of my pet peeves. It drives me bonkers when people just stroll into the gym and walk into an exercise class already in progress. It is completely disruptive. I could be perfecting my forearm scorpion stand, which requires extreme concentration, when someone comes clumping into the room. Ummmm, yeah… the world does not revolve around your busy schedule princess.
All right, now back to the woman who is obviously not there for the booty bar class and is dumping white mysterious powder at her leisure. I see small clouds of dust forming with every shake of her enigmatic can. Unless the powder is dander from a unicorn, which can cure Parkinson’s disease, I would prefer her not to crop-dust in the space where I am inhaling and sweating profusely.
Well now I am irritated. Not only did my class get interrupted by an inappropriately fashion woman, but she has just peppered the floors with an unknown substance. Do you think that I wouldn’t investigate? After the class ends, I probe the instructor and find out that the powder was not dander from a mythical creature… shocking… but a chemical that absorbs moisture from the room.
I stare at the piles of A-Neurological-disease-waiting-to-happen and I start feeling angry. It’s not bad enough that we are inhaling the dust, but now I see a woman drop her weighted bar into the chemical, while another one accidentally knocks her water bottle into it and then continues to drink out of it. I know… crazy! I feel betrayed.
I find myself being extremely aware of the correlation between chemical exposure and Parkinson’s disease. I look back at times in my life where I could have been in contact with Pesticides or other dangerous chemicals. When you’re young, you don’t even give a second thought to the environment and what you’re exposed to, let alone how it could impact your health. But now being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I see many potentially threats, but not one this obvious.
Next time I go into the gym I’m sure the powder will be gone. It will have been tracked around the facility and maybe even found its way home to an unsuspecting family. This probably happens everyday in many different ways. I guess I just felt that I was in a safe place, when in fact I was being exposed to chemicals without my permission. What’s worse? They were doing it right in front of me. I wish I could go back to thinking that the powder was magical unicorn dander. I guess it’s true what they say… ignorance is bliss.