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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

An Intense Morning At Castro Valley Fitness...

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Worried girl
Not our actual client

On Wednesday morning, Velma walked into the gym visibly shaken.

The look on her face screamed of shame. Panic. Deceit.

For a moment the gym stopped. Then she spoke.

"Today's Wordle was not good!"

I looked at Archibald and our eyes met for a moment. We hadn't yet conversed about that day's puzzle. The one that many in the gym attempted daily. The one that kept many of us awake at night, replaying that day's challenge in our head over and over. Going over our mistakes. Our regrets.

Bargaining is the third stage go grief, after denial and anger. With the Wordle being played each day, there were many of us that never proceeded past that stage. There was no time before the next day's challenge must be accepted.

Knowing our Wordle schedule, Archibald played first thing in the morning whilst I attended to it later in the afternoon, Velma looked at Archibald who stared at the ground.

"It took me 5," he said.

Velma looked at me. "I guess you haven't done it yet."

"No. I'll do it later."

"It was a hard one."

Archibald nodded in agreement.

"I didn't even know the word!" she said. "It took me 6! You have to do it now so we can talk about it."

A wave of terror tore across the room and I felt the spotlight on me. Everyone's eyes on me. Everyone's expectations. I had never before attempted the Wordle with this kind of pressure. Could I live up to it? I had confidence that I could get it, I had only missed once before, but a being observed is a being changed. Could I live up to it?

I walked into my office in a cold sweat. My feet felt like cinder blocks. My hands felt like Christmas hams. I fumbled open my laptop and brought it to the gym floor. I could feel the stares as palpably as tiny darts piercing my skin. I opened the Wordle and, with my head held high, entered my usual opening word.


Wordle informed me that the I was part of the final word but it was not yet placed correctly. The E was in the right spot. No other letter was part of the answer.

The challenge was on. I could not falter.

I reasoned that the I was likely either the second letter or the next to last letter. Thinking I'd try to place it second for my next guess. I thought of my next word.


The I turned green, meaning it was now in the right place.

_ I _ _ E

I took a moment to look at the letters I had used and the ones I had still to select from.

The letter T stood out. I could discern no reason why.

I entered it into the first spot and the world became a flash. My fingers now moved by themselves and typed the word that I hoped would ensure a victory over my competitors.


As each letter turned green I knew I had met the challenge. I raised my arms in ecstasy and celebration! Huzzah!

Castro Valley Fitness


P.S. We can't guarantee Wordle improvement, but we can guarantee a place to talk with other Wordlers and get healthier all the while.

Personal training spots are available!

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