Anyone who exercises regularly to stay fit and combat stress knows it has to be part of a daily routine, even if it’s one of the biggest days of your life. That includes Barack Obama, whom I caught of glimpse of as he worked out at the Denver Athletic Club about 8:00 this morning.
I was running a little late for a breakfast panel on the DAC rooftop and noticed as I hustled down Glenarm Street that a police car was headed toward the front door of the club. It pulled in next to a line of three or four of the big black SUVs that are ubiquitous in Denver this week (mind you, a number of them are hybrid Escalades and Tahoes — keeping the Secret Service greenish along with the convention’s wider efforts?). A small phalanx of press was clustered on the sidewalk. Looked like something big was going down, and I didn’t think they were there to catch a shot of Senator Salazar talking about winning the West in November.
I walked in, headed to the registration table in the lobby, and asked the young man checking off names if someone especially important was due to arrive.
“Senator Obama is working out upstairs,” he offered. No one else seemed to hear.
I’d come here Tuesday for another breakfast panel and accidentally got out on the 4th floor, rather than roof, so I knew it was where all the weights, treadmills and stationary bikes were. Since I was late, I was by myself in the elevator, and just for kicks, I pressed “4” again this time. The doors opened, and there stood a sole Secret Service agent in a navy suit. I walked out nonchalantly, feigning a need to find the restroom, and he pointed the way down the hall. I could hear Obama talking in the background, but where was he?
I craned my neck to see over the half-wall that blocked the workout area from the elevator doors. I caught a glimpse of Obama’s head, and maybe the neck of a T-shirt – was he jogging? Pedaling furiously? If only I’d been quick enough with my camera to snap a shot of him in the mirrored wall of the elevator as I reluctantly went back in.
Struggling to wedge a daily workout into my packed schedule has always been a challenge for me. But if Obama can do it on the day of the most important speech of his life, I should be able to manage amidst getting my kids off to school and doing some writing and editing and blogging and laundry before they come home again and we’re off to soccer and dance and piano and the grocery store.
All the rhetoric this week has been about how Barack is someone who can relate to and inspire regular people. Damn straight, I say.