I am not an active person. That’s not to say that I can’t be. I was a gymnast and a coach from most of my life, but since I stopped coaching 5 years ago, my life has become pretty sedentary. I am a writer and a live video creator, so a lot of my time is spent in front of some sort of device when I’m not chasing children or cleaning something. Last summer I got engaged. In January I got my wedding dress. In May I realized that my derriere is too big for this dress, despite it being too small in the waist and bust (of course it’s too small in the bust). The dress is custom made in Spain, and cannot be sent back and altered in time for my November wedding, so I could either choose a new dress, or decrease the size of my ass.
Let me tell you, I hate wedding dresses, and the fact that I found one that doesn’t make me want to heave is a miracle. I would rather put myself through weeks of total hell rather than go wedding dress shopping one more damn time. Begrudgingly, I went and got a damn gym membership, and let me tell you, nothing fills me with as much loathing as when I have to go there.
I’m basically in a bad mood before I even get to the gym. I think about what book I could be reading. A lovely couch I could be napping on. Some work I could be doing. I go anyways, but still. When I went in to purchase my membership, I watched people come in and cheerfully scan their little key cards, hauling their gym bags a protein powders, looking like glowy, healthy, perfect people. Me? I walk in with my headphones in already like “Don’t talk to me. Don’t look at me. Don’t breathe at me”. The people at the desk probably hate me. I don’t blame them. I hate myself too when I’m in there.
I start out in the group fitness room, where people do Zumba and yoga, but I only go when it’s empty and quiet. I leave the lights off and make my way to the furthest corner of the room where I listen to music and stretch like the angry little recluse that I am. I can check my form in the mirror, and give myself a little pep talk before I venture into the rest of the gym.
Then, I need to make my way to the stairway at the back of the gym that leads to the cardio area. Doing that requires me to walk through the center of the gym, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but, I KEEP running into people I know but have no interest in speaking to. Like my horrible ex-bosses sexist husband. (don’t make eye contact just keep walking!) Some chick that had a crush on my high school boy-friend that wants to catch up (read, be nosy). Someone who used to be friends with my mom and knew me “when I was little”. Please. Just. No. I am sweating. I am wearing an uncomfortable bra. I smell like a yoga mat. I am hangry and I want cake. Now is not the time to catch up. I am beginning to understand why people wear sunglasses at the gym. It saves you having to make eye contact.
Then, there is the treadmill. I glower at it. It regards me as if to say “I already made two people puke today, go ahead and test me”. I haul my ass onto it and run for the recommended 20 minutes while watching videos on my phone. Just when I’m sure my lungs are going to explode, my time is up and I hurl myself off the damn thing like it burns me to touch it. My legs are jello. I give the machine a gentle bath with sanitizer and wobble back down the stairs, cross back through the center of the gym, and retreat back into the group fitness room for conditioning.
I took one look at all the machines on the main floor in the gym and noped right out of there. In gymnastics, we used medicine balls, bars, and handheld weights to build strength. I have no idea how to use any of the contraptions in the gym, but I have an appointment with a trainer to teach me how. For now, I stick with what I know with the weights in the group fitness room. I’m not going to end up on some kid’s snapchat story jumping around like an idiot on a machine I don’t know how to use, that’s for sure.
When I am finally through, I got to the shower, and then hustle out to my car so I can go home and lay on the couch with a book and complain about how sore I am. I will never be one of those people who find joy in going to the gym. There will be no cute #gettingmyfitnesson selfies of me. I will be the one in the back wearing sweatpants and scowl, sweating profusely and avoiding eye contact.
Are you a gym person or nah? Tell me in the comments!