Cardio with Obama

My morning routine usually starts off the same way every day. Wake up, go to the gym, grab a coffee and go to work. But when you get patted down by the Secret Service at the gym first thing in…

My morning routine usually starts off the same way every day. Wake up, go to the gym, grab a coffee and go to work.

But when you get patted down by the Secret Service at the gym first thing in the morning, you know something’s up. I hopped on my usual treadmill and put on CNN. The news ticker scrolled frantically across the screen, as footage of the President-elect was shown over today’s topic — “Is Obama Black or Biracial?”

It wouldn’t be long before I could ask the man myself, as he walked majestically across the gym floor in his track pants and sweat shirt. I did a double take, and soon after that, looked around the gym to see if anyone else knew he was here. Nobody seemed to notice.

But he hopped on the machine next to me and broke a mean sweat while reading a copy of USA Today and listening to his Zune.

What the hell do you do in a situation like that? Well, here’s a list of things I did while simultaneously running next to Mr. President-Elect:

  • Cranked up the speed to show my feats of strength.
  • Stared at him for a good 4 minutes.
  • Watched him watch himself on CNN.
  • Smelled my pits. Just to be sure.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TAKE A PICTURE?!?!” was the main reaction I got from friends. My beloved mother asked me to ask him for health insurance coverage. But as he walked away, wiping the sweat off his brow,  I couldn’t ask for anything from the guy and was satisfied with him just being my president.

And OK, fine — I’ll admit that I creepily savored his treadmill after he left.

    • Josh Kruger wearing a cloth surgical mask while wearing a tie and waterproof topcoat with City Hall's clock tower.

      Josh Kruger is an award-winning writer and editor-in-chief of Philadelphia Weekly. His past work includes years as a journalist with Philadelphia Weekly, his PW column “The Uncomfortable Whole” winning multiple awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Place award for newspaper commentary in both 2014 and 2015. Josh has written for a variety of local and national publications, and his work often includes his perspective as someone with lived experience with HIV, homelessness, poverty, trauma, and addiction along with expert analysis from years of experience in journalism and public service following a five year stint in local government communications. He is a member of Philly’s local LGBTQ community, a parishioner at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, a militant bicyclist, and resident of the Point Breeze section of the city with his cat, a senior tom named Mason.