Why the Gym Sucks, or My Butt Better Get Smaller, Darn It!

After long, careful, and semi-delusional consideration, I joined a gym. It was one of those things where I figured if I paid enough, I might actually use it. But who am I kidding? I paid a small fortune for my vacuum cleaner, and after the suction power novelty wore off, my carpets went back to being dirty. And like my vacuum cleaner, I probably won’t use my gym membership unless I have a Gosh Darn Really Good Reason. In my heart of hearts, I know I won’t step foot back into the bastion of cardio unless I know (with 100% certainty) that I have to show my thighs in public this summer. Without the threat of wearing an actual bathing suit on an actual beach in front of actual people (excluding my family, who have to love me even with my wobbly blindingly white thighs), I know I am stronger than any “I ate how many Oreos?” related guilt.

Even with the shock of paying gym fees that could fund the retirement of a body builder, the gym is not someplace I go without an extended mental pep talk. First, there’s locker room trauma to overcome. No matter how strategically I pick my locker, I always end up next to the one person decides to get naked and dilly dally around while she changes. This woman does not understand locker room etiquette. For clarification purposes, the unwritten locker room rules are:
1. Nobody wants to see the new boob job, even if it was expensive and they would look real on a 15 year-old with a future as a porn star.
2. Very few people outside of France and Florida are nudists. Limit nudie tendencies accordingly.
3. The old, excessively fat woman who has struggled valiantly with gravity, and sadly lost, will invariably be in the sauna. Avoid it unless there is a trained medical professional on your cell phone speed dial.
4. Peripheral vision is not a good thing.
Locker room etiquette is an important thing. If followed, it helps to lessen the stress of wearing lycra in public and makes the gym an easier ordeal to stomach. Otherwise, the locker room represents the beginning of gym induced psychosis.

The actual workout area is an even bigger ego slaying minefield. It is filled with sculpted, toned, skinny blonde women who have been genetically modified to no longer produce sweat. And I am sooooooo not one of them. For me, watching them on elliptical machines, cardo-ing away like skinny, graceful gazelles is extremely intimidating. While they push it to the max, their perfectly made-up-so-they-don’t-look-made-up faces sparkle, and their heads bop strangely to the right, in time to Hollaback Girl. It’s eerie. Kind of like 50 Stepford Jane Fondas.

Since I fully recognize that I am unable to compete with the athletic perfection of the women on the ellipticals, I usually opt for the treadmill. Running on one of these things is not only boring, it is also personally embarrassing. I am a heavy walker and consequently, I am a pounding runner. Unlike a normal person, when I walk, my heel hammers into the floor with each step. When I run, it’s like I am trying to start an earthquake with my foot. On a treadmill, I sound like I am creating sound effects for a bad ‘50s sci-fi movie about a 1,000 foot woman who eats Reno. By the time the gym manager begins to approach me in order to protect the equipment, I usually have had enough and will end the emotional beat-down. But sometimes, I am a real sucker and decide that a little time on the exercise bike would help the butt reduction. Yeah. Fun. And did I mention, I always forget my towel? Thus, I am not only a fat, sweating gym-goer, but also one who is unable to wipe up her sweaty butt print from the exercise bike. At this point, I just wish somebody would hit me in the head with a 5 lb. hand weight and end it all…

Needless to say, the gym is not my Happy Place. And I haven’t even mentioned the Big Boy Area (aka Free Weights)…

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2 Responses to “Why the Gym Sucks, or My Butt Better Get Smaller, Darn It!”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Hmm which gym did you join? I recently joined a new gym as well since Sawmill is going to be undergoing construction for a while…

  2. Laina Says:

    bwahahaha, 50 Stepford Jane Fondas. That made me LOL at work!

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