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Six early mornings a week, I go walking. Two to four miles depending on how late I get started, what the weather’s doing and how much whichever dog I’m walking is annoying me. I leave the house anywhere from 4:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. which means it’s always dark and quiet and that’s the way I like it.

I’m not the only one who exercises by the light of the moon. There’s a small number of us – walkers, runners, bicyclists – who frequent the Nightstalkers Gym. Our reasons are as varied as we are. I go early for the aforementioned quiet because I like to think while I walk and that’s easier to do without lawn mowers and children and traffic. Work schedules, insomnia, body clocks, vampires – those are my guesses for the other Nightstalkers.

We work out alone together. I know a handful of the other members by name and some of them by house (entering and exiting). But we’re there for each other when we need to be. A couple of us pushed out a stuck motorist on a frosty morning last winter. Warnings are called across street corners: “The drunk guy’s in the park this morning – take the back way!”. And when one runner was felled recently by a seizure, another club member stopped to call 911. (Turned out the runner had a brain tumor and is currently recovering from surgery).

Our gym has no set hours, no t-shirts, no building, no showers and no membership dues. But it has loyal members and we’re all in it together. How bout you, writing partner? Care to share on your workout preferences?

Kelly

Not being a vampire, insomniac, dog-owner, or bound to a cruelly rigid work schedule, I prefer to work out in the daylight, without pets. I depend on my workouts for good physical and mental well-being, as well as to offset my occasional and irresistible urges to pig out. But that doesn’t mean I always feel like doing them. I go to classes at BRX fitness (a small studio here in town,) because I enjoy getting a sense of the folks with whom I am working out. There is a whole range of ages, fitness levels, but they are almost all women. We get to know each other bit by bit. I am known to be a complainer, groaning after ab work, asking “Seriously?” when the instructor chirps “Twenty more push ups, girls!” I call it “Keeping it real.” I love Kettlebell and Pilates and Zumba. I’ll occasionally walk to get to the grocery store or post office, or to celebrate a good dinner. I ride bike if I have an event coming up or the weather is exceptional and I have an hour or two to spare. I couldn’t handle my week if I didn’t do a cardio/strength blowout at least a couple of times a week. When my clothes are sweat-soaked and my breathing is ragged and my endorphin rush is pumping full-strength, then I know I am on the right track.

Lynnette

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