A few weeks ago, Lipreading Mom got her rear off the couch and headed to the gym. Entering the workout center after the long hiatus made me feel naked. I’d left two items from my wardrobe behind: my ear buds and hearing aids.
While fellow gym goers suited up for an hour of elliptical skiing, many wore something I’d never dare wear when exercising: ear buds. Head phones. Whatever you want to call them. I haven’t worn head phones since high school. Lately, it’s difficult to place something in or over my ears that are already filled with necessary battery-operated devices. The same battery-operated devices that cost more than my diamond wedding ring are not insurance-covered and become useless when tampered with water or sweat.
I didn’t wear my hearing aids to the gym for the same reason that I haven’t worn headphones since the first George Bush became president. In order for my ears to survive a workout, I had to keep them naked.
If I’d worn headphones, I likely would’ve lost a decibel or two of hearing ability due to the noise-sensitive nature of my progressive hearing loss. Just the same with my hearing aids. If I’d worn them, I only would’ve amplified the obnoxious sound of gym air vents, or the hip hop song blasting over the intercom, or the middle-aged men groaning in pain while lifting barbels. Worse yet, I would’ve heard the sound of flatulence from the woman about to have a digestive attack in the ladies restroom. No thanks. I’d rather be alone with my thoughts while exercising instead of hearing music I can’t understand or environmental sounds I don’t want to hear.
True, it’s difficult to lipread fellow gym goers without my hearing aids. But who wants to lipread someone while jogging five miles an hour on the treadmill?
Someone with a more profound hearing loss than mine may need ear amplification at the gym for balance and safety issues. In which case, hearing aids are an absolute necessity.
I do wear my expensive listening devices everywhere else. Except to the shower or pool. Or to bed. Or any time my three-year-old throws a tantrum. (Okay, I keep the dang things in my ears then.)
And especially, most especially… Not at the gym. With all the noise in the world, can’t Lipreading Mom exercise in peace with her ears naked?