Sensibilities, in Playa del Carmen

Went for a run this morning. Nothing new in that, but this morning I ran at a local sport facility not far from our condo called, Deportivo Mario Villanueva Madrid. The facility is always busy with people out for some exercise, a pickup game of basketball or an evening fútbol match, even regular Zumba classes.

Deportivo Mario Villanueva Madrid, between 10th and 20th Avenues at Calle 34North

Deportivo Mario Villanueva Madrid, between 10th and 20th Avenues at Calle 34North












The track around the field is rubberized—great for old joints and a back tired of running on cement sidewalks. And there are basketball, tennis and handball courts, and weightlifting areas for the street fit crowd, heavy-duty, outdoor cycle and elliptical trainers, and scads of people using them all.

The Deportivo Mario Villanueva Madrid complex is used round the clock, 24/7. Stadium lights blazing all night, every night, save for those occasional nights of heavy rain.












As with any human microcosm, there are all sorts using the facility: senior citizen couples walking the track, the young and fit crowd running the stadium stairs, muscle beach types, friends, neighbors and families. Too, foreigners like myself.

And the stadium staff: a security guard, janitor ladies, and a guy in a wheelchair that seems to be in charge. He keeps an eye on things and is sort of a gatekeeper. And, he enforces the rules.

As I ran, all the while listening to an audio book and watching people come and go, a pale, very fit young man—I’d judge to be non-Hispanic, probably a tourist—entered the facility and started to run the track. He wore no shirt. If I looked that good, that fit, with a perfect six-pack as his, I’d not wear a shirt either. But, as I rounded the turn near the main gate, I noticed the gatekeeper had wheeled out onto the track to talk with this young man. He was informing him that he must wear a shirt while in the facility. Since he had no doubt made his way from hotel or condo, as did I, he did not have a shirt with him. So he left the facility, seemingly unperturbed, and took his run elsewhere. Not to be seen again this morning.

Given people’s sensibilities, at least here in Playa, I suppose it’s a good thing to have such rules. The ladies on the track would doubtless not want to see such displays; and many of the gentlemen, as well. I was able to quell my ego’s rants about my not measuring up to a standard such as that. I said to myself, “Hey, I’m a grandfather and a little belly fat is almost guaranteed, let it go.” Hell, I have a six-pack, too. It’s just under the chips and guacamole and maybe a beer or two.

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