Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The gym.

So I clocked some time on the elliptical at the gym on my lunch break (capped off by a Whopper much for the "gym time makes for a healthful lunch" hypothesis.) And I spent some time bouncing up and down and thinking about why the gym is so very problematic for me. Let's review in list form, shall we?

1. I have major naked issues. I don't relish seeing the general public naked, and I don't care to be naked around strangers. It held me back from exotic dancing, and it's making going to the gym suck a little more. I realize this is my dorkitude -- I mean, no one else seems to care about exposure to fat asses, mine or theirs, so why should I? But I do, and knowing it's my defect makes it worse, because I don't want to expose this defect by changing in the toilet stalls, either. So instead, I avert my eyes from Grandma Moses' Bea Arthur-bush and crouch in a corner, twisting myself into what probably amounts to undiscovered yoga positions to spare my fellow gymgoers a flash of my nip. This is stupid, and I need to get over it. I don't think getting over my fear of being naked in public is going to make the List of 52, though.

2. The amount of stuff going to the gym requires. I don't sweat much, even when I'm seriously exerting myself. Small sweat glands, or maybe I'm a lizard, I dunno. But this wetback's back is not very wet. Still, I don't want to head back to work smelling like workout ass, you know? And I think my co-workers would agree. So I have to bring a towel, soap, and a brush at minimum, plus all the clothes. For some people this seems like no big deal, but I forget stuff all the time. Have you ever tried to dry yourself off with a sports bra? Or the tiny sweat napkins they have at the gym? It takes some doing, and it's a vicious circle -- the less you go, the more square acreage you have to dry off with inadequate instruments. Maybe I could just upgrade gyms -- mine's pretty basic -- but that seems silly when I avoid the damn place like the plague anyway. And then -- then! -- you have to remember to bring the bag back in the house, or you've got these stank gym clothes and a damp towel moldering in your car, and a couple days later, you're trying to figure out what rodent climbed into your trunk, took a massive shit, and died, because nothing else could explain the smell.

3. I cannot stop myself from comparing my size with other women at the gym. I just can't. It's just, it's all out there. Like when the girl who could only be a stripper because she's like 20 and drives a Porsche sashays in and watches herself do these cute little swishy things with small hand weights in the mirrors, presumably so her arms stay lean. She is so...narrow. Like there can't be any bones under her skin, like she could compress herself like a mouse and squeeze under a door. There was a point my life -- pre-children, pre-thirties, pre-bacon and beer parties -- when my hips approached that level of narrowness, so I often think wistfully that I will never look like that again. This thought is usually followed up with, "Well, neither will she, most probably." And THAT is followed by a shot of Jim Beam and a derisive laugh, and then another shot, and then I'm under a dumpster with my keys in my ass.

4. I frequently ruminate while I exercise -- make mental lists and stuff like that -- but I have no way to write them down, and I always, always, ALWAYS forget what it was I was thinking about by the time I get to the showers. Seriously, I find this so frustrating, you wouldn't believe. But who brings a pen with them to the treadmill?

5. The music sucks, and I forget my headphones all the time. I can shut it out if I'm reading but I often find it's the insidious kind of rave bullshit that bores into your ears and wraps around your brain like a horny squid. For instance: "Every Time We Touch", by Cascada. It sucks. And I can't stop singing it.

I don't know...I just don't like going to the gym much. Gym activities aren't very fun. I feel good when I leave because of the exercise, but I don't enjoy it while I'm doing it. We had an elliptical at home for a while, and it made quite a nice drying rack for my fine washables -- so it's not just the gym, it's the mindlessness of the activity, I think. If I'm going to be engaging in physical activity expressly to get exercise, I really do enjoy a class environment more, plus it works more as an appointment for me than an errand. Perhaps switching to the gym with more classes is the best way to go about this.


  1. Stupid internet ate my comment. Shoehorning yourself into a routine that doesn't "work" for you is a ticket to failure.

    I don't know that working out at home will work any better for you with the kids and pets, but it solves the naked problem. A gym with more classes might help - that's why I joined the YMCA.

    I recently gave away the exercise DVDs I had at home because I admitted defeat. I cannot get myself motivated to workout at home, and frankly don't have the room to do so. 2 discs I never even used. Forget it. Thankfully I am okay with getting to the gym, so that's my routine. But continually trying and failing to workout at home was pissing me off.

  2. Yeah, you're right that it's about finding the right fit, between time constraints and the general chaos. If I think about it, the only time I have right now that's (usually) just mine is my lunch break. That's why I have the "get up early" challenge on the list -- if I get up earlier, I can maybe carve out some more time for myself.

    Getting pissed off is EXACTLY how I feel -- like, what the fuck, why can't I make myself do this?!

  3. WHY CAN'T I BE PERFECT??? Man, when I can answer that one....