Sunday, October 9, 2011

That's Right, Put In Work

So after The Great Nike Acquisition it was time to put my money where my mouth was ($36 to be exact) and actually you know, use them. So on Friday morning, I awoke bright and early (otherwise known as 8:30 am) and forced myself to go to the gym.

After picking out my "First Day With New Sneakers" workout outfit and loading up my Lululemon aluminum water bottle (just using those words makes me feel more athletic) I headed over to the tiny gym in our apartment complex's clubhouse. I was elated to find it empty, as one of the biggest things that has kept me from going to the gym in my lifetime is that I hate working out around people, specifically men, more specifically, sweaty gym men.

There are multiple reasons I feel ridiculous at the gym. In no particular order:
1. I can never quite figure out how to use any of the machines.
2. I am fearful of being judged on the amount (or lackthereof) of pounds I am lifting
3. I like to put all three tv's on different crappy shows

Since I was alone, I felt the need to have photographic evidence that not only did I make it to the gym, but I coordinated my workout accessories with my new kicks!

sans makeup and sans shame. you're welcome, internet

Side note: Huge bummer because ALL THE REMOTES WERE MISSING. Three TV's and no remotes. It's like I was being tested by a higher power. I cried a little. Gym=fail.

So even though my psycho trainer/husband was not there to push me past my usual limits, I voluntarily did 25 minutes on the elliptical at Level 3. Thank you, thank you. I would have done more, but due to the amount of time spent putting together said workout outfit I lost some of my actual workout time if I was going to get back and shower and get ready for work in time.

However, at the near end of my Level 3 rolling intervals, I started thinking about using one of the machines that does arm things. Okay, I know there's a lot of those but I clearly don't know what they are called so I'm just going to say it's the one with the long bar that you pull down a bunch of times and you try not to let go of it so fast that it springs up and bangs against the machine. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

And then I saw him. Walking over to the gym with his odd girlfriend in tow like he was going to own that place. I panicked as I glanced at the time left on my machine- one minute of rolling and a two minute cool down left?! I'd never get off the elliptical in time to stake a claim on that machine. And sure enough, less than a minute later, I was face-to-face with him- Weight Lifting Man.

In case you don't know, WL Man is a particular breed of man gym rat that only works out his upper body. Now I know virtually nothing about exercise or anatomy, but I'm 99% positive that it's not really that healthy to do absolutely no cardio and pump iron EVERY DAY.

Our specific WL Man is a rather odd character, at least to me. We have never spoken, but I've completely made up a back story about him that is completely unfounded. He comes into the gym everyday around 9:30 wearing jeans, black almost like crappy dress shoes, a black fleece jacket, a weight lifting belt and weird little gloves. Top it all of with a black Under Armor skull cap and you have yourself a hell of a looker.

Needless to say, WL Man is enormous on top and relatively small on the bottom. Every time I see him, I literally have to stop myself from going up to him and asking him why he only works out his arms because I'm so dumbfounded as to why a normal person would want to look so unbalanced on purpose.

The main thing that is annoying about this breed of gym rat is that he uses 3 or 4 machines at a time for what I'm told is "circuit training." Now I think something like this would fly in a large gym that you actually pay for, but in a tiny clubhouse gym the size of my living room, you're taking up a quarter of the equipment that no one else is allowed to use. Not that I would ever ask, because I clearly don't know how to use any of those things and I'm afraid that he would like, bark at me or something. Again, this I am assuming because I have never heard his voice.

And of course a man like this can't work out in silence, so there is a fair amount of grunting that comes from trying to lift/press double his body weight. Of all the things I dislike about gyms, that has to be the absolute worst. I could spend my entire life studying men's brains and will still never comprehend the need to grunt while doing things, especially in front of people, like I don't know... women?! And I'm sorry- I'm not saying that I am by any means worthy of being stared at in the gym (see exhibit A above) but when there is a man behind me that I can't see and I'm sweating and elliptical-ing and he is grunting and making other odd noises, I cannot help but get freaked out.

If that wasn't odd enough, he also has a girlfriend/wife/significant other who comes to the gym with him BUT NEVER WORKS OUT. That's right- she sits on one of the machines (something with round thing that goes on top of your legs that you push up... I don't know it's the best I can do) and either reads or plays on her phone. It's not like she's his personal trainer as they exchange no words the entire time. It just makes no sense to me, and I probably end up burning more calories in my brain trying to examine their relationship than I do actually exercising with my body. The story I've concocted thus far is that they've had a tumultuous relationship but are trying to move past previous issues, however, WL Man still does not trust her and therefore makes her go with him EVERYWHERE so he can keep an eye on her. The more I see them, more details are added to this story in my head, so stay tuned for further developments.

I figured once I saw WL Man I knew my workout was pretty much done. I hopped off that elliptical, wiped down my machine and hightailed it out of there, with the slam of the door behind me silencing his all too familiar grunts.

So basically all I got out of this was 25 minutes of mild cardio and the realization that I absolutely cannot go back to the place until I make a new "Workout Playlist." I mean I almost didn't go because I didn't feel I had an adequate upbeat track list to provide the soundtrack to my physical transformation. But it was a lot for me, because I forced myself to go when I didn't want to and could have stayed in bed and no one's life would have been better or worse because of it (well, except for mine). So yay, me. A tiny, baby, minuscule step, but still- something.

But that was Friday. And I haven't made it back yet... and I ate fettuccine today... for lunch. And dinner. And I binged ALL DAY on Saturday and drank very sugary girly mixed drinks in honor of bachelorette whose bridesmaid dress I would like to fit into someday, otherwise known as less than 2 weeks from now.

But hey, tomorrow's another day.


  1. hahaha, this post was hilarious! :)

    1. Thanks, G. I hope you read the follow up that I finally captured a photo of my elusive gym partner!