What type of Wash Park fitness weirdo are you?
It's pretend summer in Colorado! You know, that time of year (read: every single month) when it gets up to 80-plus degrees for a few days, long enough to make you forget that it's probably going to still snow-out your cousin's wedding in June? Last week, when we experienced one of those first gorgeous fake-out weather patterns, I took the opportunity to do my exercise outside and walked around Washington Park (er, Wash Park to the yokels).
Home of the strange and unusual.
But the real charm of Wash Park isn't its many tennis courts, gardens and picnic areas, or its rec center with that nice indoor pool, or even its multi-path option for park athletes of all levels: It's the people-watching.
The park is full of people all day, any time of day, many of them doing stuff you'd never dream of doing (ever seen a dude on roller blades with ski poles? You will at Wash Park). And after my most recent trip around the park, I decided to outline some of the types of fitness freaks you might catch there. Here are just a few categories of Wash Parkers I came up with (and, for the record, I've used pictures from the Internet to illustrate some types, the better to protect all of Denver's public rollerblade offenders):
Extreme Fitness Guy/Gal
He's serious about fitness. Like, serious. Even in the park, when everyone else (read: me) is pretending to be working hard but really just socializing, she is there to train for the next Tough Mudder/Spartan Race/Warrior Dash, etc. He's running so hard, riding so hard, even rollerblading his ass off. She is Just Doing It, dude. He may even be the guy using ski poles with his rollerblades, so as not to miss a training beat when ski season is long over. If anything, this person is good inspiration for us slower sorts: Life is short, so they play hard (but fair, making room for the rest of us wobbling around the path), unlike those assholes in spandex on the Cherry Creek bike trail. (Note: Extreme Fitness Guy/Gal may also fall into the following category.)
Akin to the Extreme Fitnessers, this park type also works hard, but doesn't like to wear clothes. I don't think they're acting out some exhibitionist fantasy -- it seems more that they genuinely don't see the need for fitness apparel. It just gets in the way of their ripped bodies being able to live!
Almost-Naked Man typically does wear a pair of tiny shorts, an iPod, perfect beads of sweat on his eight-pack abs and a pair of sunglasses that make him look as though he's going no less than 500 miles an hour. Almost-Naked Woman will wear the same, just adding an extremely sports-enhanced-looking jog bra, for legal purposes.
Larry David on Rollerblades
Just add fruit boots!
Sometimes he looks happy, sometimes he's looks as though his beloved Pomeranian, Skittles, has just passed away. Regardless, Larry David on Rollerblades is huffing and puffing and wading upstream through the invisible waters of the bike trail on rollerblades or riding his ancient-but-now-hip-again Peugeot bicycle with everything he's got. LDOR might also have a bright-yellow Sony Walkman strapped to his belt next to his cell-phone holster on his dad jeans. If your viewing eyes are extremely lucky, you might spy LDOR carrying a boombox seemingly transported from another time (or taken off of the work bench in his garage) that shares his "tunes" (his word, not mine) with everyone who comes within five feet of his health-club routine. Note: He may also resemble George Carlin, Neil Diamond or Hank Hill in real life.