17 Sep Welcome to the club. Welcome to Zenith
The bell rings. Aching, arching and stretching the joints, the ebbing of muscles begins. The heart
slams against the chest, pulsating to the rhythm of The Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive”; pumping life’s elixir.
She lays outstretched embracing the fatigue.
The woman’s eyes flicker to the ceiling. She closes her eyes shut and listens. Listens to her
laboring breath as her lungs thirst for air. Listens to her bursting, surging heart. Listens to the jubilant
celebrant cheers of peers.
They had done it. They had completed a class. She had completed her first class.
She inhales, breathing in through the nose. Four. She holds the breath. Seven. She exhales,
releasing the breath from her mouth. Eight. Her laboring breath lessens and her elevated heart rate slows.
She opens her eyes.
The woman’s eyes flicker to the ceiling. She smirks, her lips curve as the corners of her mouth
lifts upward. Her arms raise like a maestro’s gracious movement to commence the orchestra’s concerto.
However, instead of a thousand musical notes harmonizing, she marvels at her hands.
Her fingers, outstretched, curled and stiff from the leather gloves protective embrace. Her
knuckles, red with agitation and sore with the memory of contact with the leather bag. Her wrists aching
from the wrap’s binding. Her grin widens from ear to ear. She curls her fingers, soothes her knuckles,
straights her wrists and admires her fist. Bemusement lightens her eyes.
Wobbling, staggering and bending at the knees, she rises to her feet. Her eyes glancing to her fist by her
side, noticing a pair of feet. She glances upward to find the face belonging to the pair of feet. The face of
The coach grinning graciously reaches out their fist, acknowledging the woman. Worn, calloused
knuckles to red, sore knuckles. The simple gesture is the bond of respect and acknowledgment between
students in the martial arts.
The woman’s grin grows as she observes the room. A red rectangle of foam tiles framed by black
squares decorates the floor. The red guides the eye to the red crimson ring. A pendulum of leather bags
swings in rows on the outskirts of the room. The woman gazes at the inhabitants.
An energetic coach, a considerate representative, and the kind peers of various ages offering their smiles and experience.
Engulfed into the community’s warm embrace, she smiles jubilantly.
As she turns to leave and venture back into the world outside the gym, she hears an orchestra of
harmonizing voices shout, “Welcome to the club. Welcome to Zenith”.