by Melinda Gallo

Finally back at the gym

I joined the gym yesterday and decided to start going today. It felt so wonderful to be back. It wasn't that busy, which is what I expected, since people won't start coming back to the gym until Monday.

As I noticed when I came back to the gym in September, many of the same people who were here when I was a regular from 1997 to 1999 still come here now. I don't remember everyone's name, but we all seem to recognize each other. The man who used to work at the reception desk, Oriano, brought us all together. We used to stand at the desk together, tell jokes, and laugh. Unfortunately, Oriano passed away a week before my last visit in 2001. I came to the gym and another regular told me. I still think about him when I'm running on the treadmill. I can look into the mirror and see the reception desk, but now he's not there. A younger, not as friendly, woman has taken his job, but doesn't have many people stand around her.

When Dave and I signed up in September for a month, it was a rientro (re-entry) after the August holidays. It's always fun to see people because everyone you know welcomes you back. "Ciao, come stai? Ti vedo bene!" (Hi, how are you? You look good!) And today was no different.

Andrea, one of the regulars, saw me a week or so ago in front of La Standa when I was talking on my cell phone to Debora. He said, "Pari, scompari" (You appear and then disappear). He asked me if I was going sign back up at the gym and I said "Sė, sė, ci vediamo," (Yes, we'll see each other soon) I told him. So now that I'm here, he welcomes me back and kisses me on both cheeks. It's good to be back.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!