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.
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.