Dark clouds and heavy rain were passing through the Roseville area when I entered the doors of Anytime Fitness. Just like any other day, I got changed and hopped on to a treadmill. My pace has been improving lately and I was so happy to find a groove in my scheduled 6 mile run. The gym was busier than usual, probably due to the droplets falling outside. The gym manager left the door wide open so that every time the atmosphere rumbled outside, many of us nearly jumped off our equipment in fright. I was watching Oprah on the TV, some special about the ranch with the men who have multiple wives. It was intriguing and I was lost in the moment of running and watching these women. Then it happened. BAM! Lightning and thunder outside and the lights went dark inside. My treadmill stopped underneath my feet. I am usually a pre-planner. Someone who thinks about every possible scenario before it happens. It is a part of my job as the "go to" for emergency situations at work. When it leaks you run for the plastic to cover the books. But I had never thought about a treadmill stopping underneath my feet because the lights went out. And I could have a hilarious story for you about how I tumbled forward because the treadmill stopping shocked me. But it didn't. It just stopped. And I stopped with it. And so did all of the other people on cardio equipment. We looked around at each other in the dark with wide eyes. What do we do? Make a mad rush for the weightlifting area? Leave this building and run for cover? That is what the lady next to me thought she should do. She kept turning to me with this concerned look on her face and saying, "Is it safe??" The lights came back on within a few minutes. The runners on the treadmills resumed with no concern. Except for me and the lady next to me. I was halted because my machine was reading "Error 562" and wouldn't restart. The lady next to me just kept looking at me and saying, "Is it safe? I don't think its safe. I am scared." I didn't know what to tell her, honestly. I mean there was the chance that a tornado could come through or perhaps the machines receive some sort of electric jolt from lightning striking but the chances of those things happening were not great. I just smiled and continued to hit the button on my treadmill hoping that "Error" would go away. Well, "Error" didn't go away and I moved down a treadmill. The lady is still asking me if it is safe. I continue to smile and start up the treadmill. I don't know what you say to that. Is it safe? I don't really have any sort of authority to answer that question in an establishment that I am not working at. I could tell you every emergency procedure in my own building but I had no clue for the gym.
I went on to finish the 6 miles. Not great, but at least I was dry and away from the lightening.