It was 52° when I went to the sauna last night. Not your typical Florida day as we move into a new ice age.
I brought a hoodie, sweat pants and towel with me, for the abrupt change in temperatures, when my session was over.
Normally I hang for 30 minutes in the sauna, but last night I didn’t feel up to it, so I set a preliminary target of 20.
When I peeked through the glass door, I saw five people inside, but still plenty of room on the upper deck. So I went inside, closing the door as quickly and quietly as I could so the least amount of cold air enters the box. Some people don’t yet understand this concept – but I’ll save that transgression for another time.
Once my buttocks rested on wood, I noted the man turned sideways in the corner, holding his idiot-phone to watch the Warriors and Clippers game.
But he wasn’t only watching this game, he was blasting it loud enough for the others, most of whom were wearing headphones, to hear. As for me, I don’t wear headphones as my mangled cauliflower ears won’t give space for the inserts.
Anyway, I thought to myself in Zen fashion, I wonder how long it’ll take for someone to object. Although I found the guy to be I’ll-mannered, I enjoy seeing how things unfold without my participation as it gives me a window into reality I can write about later. This is my “in the whirld but not of it” mentality, some of the time.
Reminds me of the Wayne Dyer line, wherein he follows his children around the house, saying, “Come on, say something stupid. I need material for tonight’s speech.”
At the one-minute mark I’m already sweating; and before four minutes have elapsed, I’m dripping.
Five minutes in, a big guy on the upper bench on the other side of the hotbox stood up.
“Bro, I’m sitting here trying to listen to music and I can hear the game you have on through my headphones. It’s disturbing. Don’t you think it’s too loud. Look, I’m not telling you what to do, but this is bugging the hell outta me.”
The offender immediately stopped watching the ridiculously overpaid performers.
“Bro, sorry bro,” he says.
“Look bro, I’m sorry. Please forgive me,” the man who stood up added. “I almost died when I got into an accident with a semi-truck. I had surgery on my head and was hospitalized for a long time. So sometimes I get whacky, but I don’t know if anybody else here was bothered. Anyway, God bless you and God bless the rest of you. So sorry.”
Sensing an opportunity to participate in reality, I chimed in, “It was more than a little loud, but it’s all good now.”
“I’m just happy to be alive,” the man said.
“Where you from?” said the NBA fan.
“I’m from Brazil. Gold bless you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I didn’t mean to go off on you. I sit in here an hour a day. If you want to lose weight fast, this place is the key. It cleared up my skin. I was really fat after the accident. I sit in here an hour a day. I used to take steroids and had zits and pimples all over my face. They’re gone now, along with the extra weight.”
Now my 20-minute sauna objective seemed so weak.
“You sit in here for an hour at one time?” I questioned.
“I sit for 40 minutes, then I take a break and come back in for another 20,” he answered.
I instantly upgraded my goal to my typical 30 minutes, but then I got to thinking I should go for 40, in honor of the man who survived the accident.
The Brazilian man exited the sauna at 40 minutes, but not before telling everyone “God bless you,” at least a dozen times.
I continued by putting myself into my best Zen state by slowly rocking back and forth, activating my spine.
At 35 minutes the Brazilian returned and offered to buy me a protein drink.
“Thank you very much,” I said. “But I don’t need one. I appreciate it though.”
When my timer hit 40 minutes, I stopped rocking, stood up and thanked the survivor for his story.
“That’s 40 minutes for me, my friend. Thank you for the motivation. Thank God you’re still alive.”
“Thank you, bro. God bless you and I’m sorry for the eruption.”
“No, thank YOU,” I replied. “Glad you spoke up.”
I then sat on a bench in the locker room, put on my sweats, my shoes and my hoodie, and ventured back into the now colder 49° Florida evening.
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