Ok, this may shock some of you. Actually, it will shock none of you. I don't really like working out. I know, right? Of late, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I must, for pretty much the rest of my days, do something I really don't like to do. And I mean I really, really, don't like it.
I don't like being out of breath. I don't like the naked chicks who saunter through the locker room, boobs flying every which way. I don't like the salty, basketball PE Class smell of the whole thing. I hate the crappy tv they invariably have on while you do your cardio (re-runs of "Charmed" and whatever sports is in season), and the oily looking men with their weight belts and excessive grunting as they lift barbells. I hate the upbeat dance music I must have on my Ipod in order to have any hope of getting thirty good sweaty minutes on the elliptical. I hate the weird moments of eye contact you make with strangers when we are both in extremis, faces knotted up in pain. But the only thing I hate more than all of this, is feeling flabby and tired and generally out of shape. So I go. And I suffer. I martyr myself for fitness. St. Nicole of 24 Hour Fitness. Patron Saint of bitching.
I have discovered through the years that I must engage in a series of psychological tricks and traps to get my ass to actually show up the the gym. For example, I must tell a lot of people I plan on going, so the shame of admitting I didn't will push me out the door. I must have the ipod fully charged, with one or two new songs a week to kick my own ass. And lately, the ultimate mind-trick, I must go immediately from work, to the gym across the street, before I even think of home and the couch and nice dinner with my hubby.
Yesterday, I tried a new one- "class with a friend"- I figured having someone go with you can only be a motivator, and besides, it breaks up the monotony of my usual tired routine. So Jen and I geared up straight from the office to take "24 SET"- a class, according the online schedule, that is conveniently at 5:30 and taught by someone named 'Smitty'. We get there, guns blazing, and notice that everyone has like every peice of equipment the fitness room has to offer set up in front of them. I shit you not- 3 sizes of hand weights, a barbell, 2 sizes of weights for said barbell, a mat, and a step. We grab all this crap, scratch out a territory for ourselves, and await Smitty, who, by name alone, I have assumed to be a squat, square muscular man, maybe like a human bull dog.
When what to my wondering eyes do appear, but a heavy-set lady about 60 or so, dressed head to toe in black spandex. This is Smitty. And Smitty sounds like Cartman from South Park. I have no words, just thoughts. And those thoughts are "Wha??".
The class begins easily enough, hopping cheerfully up and down off our steps, holding free weights (I haughtily chose heavier ones than most of the class. I am a stupid ass who deserves what I get). And then slowly, surely, things get hard. Squats. Lunges. Chest Fly. Pelvic Pushups. Crunches of all persuasions. And all of it intermingled with that giddy stepping up and this woman's weird voice: "Singleeeeees!! Push it!!!! Howya feeeeeelin?". At one point, my response to the "Howya feeeelin?" was something like "Yargghhhmehh!".
After an hour, I am utterly, utterly spent. Smitty has rocked my world. Jen and I vow to return next week, and maybe even to try kick boxing on Thursday with "Kip", who by the logic of 24 Hour Fitness Instructor names is no doubt an ex-marine covered in ink and muscles.
So today, I am sore like I had been in a car accident. And happy. I will never pre-suppose old ladies named Smitty who talk like Cartman cannot and will not kick my ass. And I have found yet another method of sneaking excercise onto my psychological plate. Hoorah.