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I guess it's The Nature of Things.

2004-03-18 - 9:56 a.m.

So I’m at my gym the other night and I’m waiting to get on a cardio machine. A treadmill would be good but I’ll settle for a cross-trainer. I hadn’t anticipated the lineups so it was now less than 10 minutes before class started and I’d have time for just the briefest of warm-ups. One of the cross-trainer users slows, stops, and starts to wipe down his machine. I ask if he’s done, he confirms, I put my water bottle on it, triumphantly marking my territory. At that moment a man approaches and asks if I’d been waiting for that machine and I, with a moue of regret, inform him that yes, I had been. Sorry. He turns towards another machine just available. My eyes widen and I turn to the guy finishing up with his wiping.

“Does that guy look like David Suzuki to you?”

He turns and looks, “Yeah.”

“I mean, he really looks like David Suzuki.”

He nods. “Why don’t you ask him?”

I squeak, scandalized, “I can’t do that! If it isn’t him, he’s probably tired of being asked and if it is, he probably just wants to work out in peace.”

So I hop on my cross-trainer, trying hard not to gawp over at the man, warm-up for the eight minutes before I see the class changeover happening, and then scurry to the front desk.

“Did I see David Suzuki working out in the cardio area?”

Jethro confirms that Mr. Suzuki did indeed sign in and he left his ID at the front desk when he did so. He seems curiously unmoved by this. The trainer, however, positively freaks the heck out, “David Suzuki! David Suzuki is here in our gym right now?

And thus it goes. The world, or at least our gym membership, is apparently split into those that watched the Nature of Things in their youth and are awed by David Suzuki, and those that don’t see the big deal. Having been a science geek since I was an embryo, I am firmly in the former camp. I would have been less excited had Keanu Reeves been there (though perhaps Brad Pitt would have rated higher on the scale. Ok, not “perhaps”).

David Suzuki raised the environmental and ecological awareness of a generation of Canadians and is possibly the most famous person I have ever actually exchanged words with (second would be Marc Garneau). And with that exchange? I denied him a cross-trainer. Hey, I needed to warm up.

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