Monday, January 17, 2011

Workin' on My Fitness

I can’t tell if my muscles are, like, giddy from activity or seizing from shock. Whatever the reason, my muscles are a-quiverin’ like Jell-O. My lovely friend Valerie let me use a guest pass to join her for a Body Pump class at the YMCA. She and I used to go to Body Pump every week together, and it was a grand ol’ time. Body Pump, for those of you who don’t know, is basically weight lifting to club music. It’s all about reps and toning muscle. It’s super fun, and I used to love going. But, after giving up my gym membership when I moved to the ‘burbs a few years ago, our weekly gym dates suffered, then stopped altogether. Sorry, Val! But tonight’s class, despite my shaky muscles and desperate sense of dehydration, was so awesome. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it. My body, though, is experiencing a violent reminder.

Here’s what I like about the Y. (I mentioned this back in November, but it's worth repeating.) It’s not uncommon to see people on the treadmills wearing jeans. No running shoes? No problem. Just wear those loafers you wore all day at work. No one cares if you look like crap. I preferred no makeup. No jewelry. People were lucky if I wore clean socks. Okay, so people didn’t make a habit of wiping down machines when they were done, and my friend Amy and I did have to formally submit a complaint about the dangerously bad B.O. this one guy always had, but whatevs. I can handle that, as long as there is an abundance of back issues of The New Yorker and plenty of people who have as little interest in chatting with each other as I do. Those are my people.

Geo (who is a total Gym Rat) asks me why I don’t just join a gym and quit complaining about not having a gym to go to. My response, which may as well be crocheted into a pillow, is always “Because I’m not spending $60 a month on a gym membership, when I could be spending it on groceries, gas, wine, and other staples.” I think I’m the last person on the face of the planet who doesn’t have a gym membership. The only time it’s glaringly obvious, though, is in the winter. Everyone goes to the gym because you can‘t do jack outside. But God, you’d think they were handing out Kate Spade bags filled with crack or something.

I held on to that like a Rebel Status for awhile, you know, refusing to conform. But now my body is just very angry at me for letting all my muscles atrophy for this long. Oddly enough, it doesn’t care that I’m taking a faux stand against the crazy high gym membership rates. For some reason, my muscles LIKE getting a work out. It’s almost like that’s what they’re for. I’m going to have to do something, because I am starting to agree with my body and I’m almost ready to give up my fake rage against the Machine that is Corporate Gyms.

Maybe there’s a way to compromise. Does anyone have a Thigh-Master I could borrow? Or maybe a Shake Weight? Or, hey, what about those giant machines that do 1,000 different exercises that also somehow slide under a bed? I could definitely use one of those. I tried to con my parents into giving me their elliptical machine, but it’s like the knew I wouldn’t use it for anything other than hanging wet clothes. We do have a pull-up bar in our house. The boys went through a phase when they all did P-90X, so they drilled a chin up bar in a door frame. I promised myself that I would use that thing everyday and one day be able to do 20 pull-ups, no problem. That was almost 3 years ago. I can do exactly one half of one pull up as of yet.

I’m definitely one of those suckers who, given the funds, would spend thousands of dollars trying to replicate a gym in the comfort of my own home thinking there‘s no WAY I wouldn‘t work out then. But then I would turn the gym into a wrapping paper room. And then it would become a second shoe closet. Talk about wasting money…stay away from me, Suzanne Somers!

It’s not even that I don’t LIKE working out. I actually do like it. I just also really like doing other things that, most of the time, seem way more appealing than going to the gym. Like napping. Or organizing my t-shirt drawer, or having a vodka tonic while reading blogs. Or, well, just not going to the gym. But I guess I’d like to not feel like I’m full of marshmallows anymore. Well, it seems there is only one choice: join a gym, or get a mallow-ectomy. Ugh. Decisions, decisions...

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