Meant2Be: Gym crush dream doesn’t work out
You’re 10 minutes into an hour treadmill run when she walks into the Equinox gym in Century City. She’s the love of your life, but she doesn’t know it yet. All Gym Crush knows now is that some tall guy on the treadmill is gawking at her. You quickly look away. Fantasy is healthy, you tell yourself, and this is Los Angeles, nothing if not a town full of dreamers. So you turn up the speed on the treadmill (in case she’s watching) and again give in to imagination.
Gym Crush rolls out her perfect thigh muscles and you can’t help but notice that her long brown hair is perfectly tucked away in a ponytail. You wonder how she’ll wear her hair on your first date to Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. You’ve agreed to this hot spot because it turns out, you’re both vegetarians! You pick her up in an Uber Select and wonder if she’ll notice when, by date four, you switch back to the more affordable Uber X. The conversation is easy and wonderful and you laugh at all the suckers who meet each other on dating apps. This is way better.
Gym Crush does squats while you’re planning your wedding in Malibu. You have it on the autumn equinox to remind everyone where you met. You invite some of the other gym members like Silver Fox, the Workout Twins, and even Jerkwad Guy with Great Hair. Your best friend will give a speech and joke that this is why his wife doesn’t let him go to the gym. You’ll laugh with everyone else but you actually don’t find infidelity jokes very funny. Pictures will be all over Facebook and you will get hundreds of likes. An ex-girlfriend will unfriend you when she sees, but you’re too busy being in love to notice.
Gym Crush does hanging leg lifts while you’re attending to your newborn baby girl. Sadie is not only brilliant for a 4-month-old, but she already has her mother’s defined calf muscles. You hold Sadie when Gym Crush passes you with her Nike gym bag over her shoulder, off again to the Westwood Equinox, your new gym since you got the condo in Brentwood. Gym Crush kisses you on the lips and calls you the best and you hope that this magical feeling never goes away.
Gym Crush stretches her quads on the stretching table but you’re upset because the magical feeling has gone away. Sadie has a brother named Ira and you all have moved to the more affordable San Fernando Valley. You’re at work on a hot Valley day wondering what happened to the cool, spontaneous Westside lives you used to lead. But then your phone dings and it’s a text from Gym Crush and she’s wondering if you could sneak out and meet her at the Encino Equinox for an hour. She signs it with two red hearts and you know that there’s so much love that everything will be all right.
You check the time on the treadmill and when you look back up you can’t find Gym Crush. You’re instantly back in reality. You jump off the treadmill, race through your shower and rub Kiehl’s body wash over the important spots. You toss your wet towels into Smiley Towel Attendant’s bin and make an insipid comment about how you’re hurting today. Smiley Towel Attendant smiles.
You run outside to the Equinox valet and see that your plan worked: Gym Crush is waiting for her car. But Jerkwad with Great Hair has sidled up to her on the bench and now you know why you called him Jerkwad all this time. You stand next to them and you eavesdrop while you pretend to look at your iPhone. She tells him she’s from outside New Orleans. You silently pray to God that Blue Shirt Valet Guy brings Jerkwad’s car first and when he does, you are reaffirmed that He exists and He is good.
“Funny, I spent three months in NOLA working on a Will Ferrell movie,” you say, knowing you just namedropped big-time. Gym Crush is friendly and she tells you that her name is Ryan, which of course is just the cutest thing in the world EVER, and you wonder if it’s spelled Ryan, Ryanne or Rian so you can stalk her on social media later.
Blue Shirt Valet Guy brings Gym Crush’s car next and she tosses you the greatest smile and tells you she’ll see you around. And you coolly say, ‘Yeah, for sure,’ but you wish you would have gotten her number then and there.
You never see Gym Crush again. The Century City Equinox closed last summer for renovations. You and all the other characters are now displaced to other L.A. Equinoxes (Equinoxi?). You’ll go to every Equinox in the Southland all summer, but the truth is that you might never see Gym Crush again. Still, the fantasy remains alive. And it keeps you religiously going to the gym. So maybe that’s enough.
Jonah Goldfinger is a Los Angeles-based screenwriter, and if your name is Ryan or Ryanne or Rian, you went to the Century City Equinox and you are single, please consider adding him on Facebook.
Do you have a story about dating, marriage, singlehood or any important relationship in your life? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.