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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?


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.