The sun was rising over the Willamette Valley when I had just finished a killer upper body workout. Two days prior, and $29.00 a month poorer, I joined a 24 hour gym. I visited several gyms around Salem and I decided on this one because it had a Rocky Five quality about it. No fancy stuff! Just the promise of hard work and pain. Old ugly people worked out here and I fit in fine. I love that I can pick any of the 24 hours in a day in which to work out. Today I had chosen 5:00AM. It was a comforting to know that I wasn’t the only old ugly person to choose this early hour. Misery loves company and apparently old ugly people do too. Another great thing about working out at the gym for the pathetic is that there are no beautiful twenty something hardbodies to help you feel bad about yourself. A six pack in my gym is what we drink after our 10 minute workout. There isn't any muscle clad stallions with inflated egos and testosterone driven grunts to laugh at. I’m feeling pretty good about myself as I’m certain that after two full days of working out my muscles have doubled in size and I have lost 6 inches off my waist. I was humbly looking at myself in the mirror while admiring my obvious progress when the thought hit me that perhaps I should have joined the good looking gym. I decided to join my two fellow old ugly people on the elliptical machines. As soon as I arrived one of them bailed on me. I’m sure it was because they were intimidated by my sure physical prowess. The man that remained was tough. When I said “hi” when I arrived he just grunted. He looked like he was a Marine from Vietnam . I found an elliptical machine directly in front of him and climbed on. This was my second time on these machines so I was still learning all of the crazy high tech gadgets it possessed. It has been a long time since I belonged to a gym and the new machines offer many new options. This one had a built in TV with cable access, a stereo, heart monitor, built in fan and all of these crazy workout mode options. I started out on the elliptical machine at a fast pace. I wanted to impress the old Marine behind me. He was going at much slower pace and I knew my speed was impressive. As you know elliptical machines have long handle bars that you hold on to. These bars work in conjunction with the foot pedals. When the foot pedal spins down the handle goes down as well. I was about five minutes into my workout when I decided that I would like to watch the TV. I found the power button and turned it on. The channel it was on held no interest to me so I wanted to change it. I started to look all over the machine for a place to change the channel. The man behind me noticed my frantic search and said “you change the channel with the remote control which is on the machine next to you.” I said thanks. I reached over for the remote control and then BAM!!! The bar that was attached to the foot pedal slammed into my mouth with devastating force. I felt stars. Bam it hit me again. The remote control dropped to the floor as I felt the second blow. The taste of blood filled my mouth and my lip began to swell. My head hurt and I thought I was going to pass out. Behind me a heard an ill attempt to stifle laughter. I was so praying that the man behind me didn’t see that pathetic display of stupidity. I felt like such a looser! Completely embarrassed I stop my machine, pick up the remote control, got back on the elliptical, and did my best to pretend that nothing ever happened. The pain was tremendous! There was no way I was going to get off that machine while he was there. The man behind me finally picked up his things and left. I was so happy. I got off the machine, ran over to the drinking fountain, iced down my swollen face, and whined like a school girl. I’m pretty sure that I will be changing my workout times because I don’t want to face that Marine again. The good Lord always finds a way to keep me humble and at the same time give the gift of laughter to others. I have excepted the fact that at times I have the shape of an L on my forehead.