Thursday, April 5, 2012

Global Thoughts

I have never really been a "gym" person. I'd always hear people talking about the gym and think to myself that it was a waste of money when you could exercise at home. A little over a year ago, under intense coercion from my husband and eldest child, I unwillingly became a gym person. And, though it is humbles me to admit after years of silent opposition: I love the gym.

The first few weeks were a bit awkward. I felt sort of like the new kid at school--awkward and uncomfortable. But after the initial settling in, I was excited about to go. Embarrassing my friend by asking how machines worked and what parts of the body they targeted, and strolling from machine to machine, trying each one, and enthusiastically voicing my approval or disapproval.  Letting people show me and help me. Apparently you are just supposed to know? Carie, my friend in life and workout partner, remarked, amused, if a little embarrassed, by my behavior, "You are good times."

Now, the gym is my refuge--an escape from the non-stop of life. And I have to admit, one of my favorite activities is people-watching from the safety of a treadmill, headphones safely in place. More than once I've created a whole life story for the person in front of me on the elliptical. Just last week there was a guy with a sweat-drenched QR code on the back of his shirt. It almost killed me not to scan it, nosy as I am, but I was just too unsure of the result. Of course, scanning a QR code while on the treadmill would be completely impossible for a klutz such as myself. Regardless, before I knew it, I'd completed my miles just pondering the possibilities.

By the way, I do not like the ellipticals. They seem like torture devices, and I am not nearly coordinated enough to operate them. Twice I tried. Twice I almost didn't walk away. Something about those handles, I can't quite put my finger on it. Course, I have nearly killed myself on the treadmill too, but it doesn't frighten me nearly as much. Once, while trying to change songs mid-run, I dropped my phone, and it shot off the back, striking an unsuspecting man walking by. That was a fun. My phone, by the way, was playing a praise and worship song, my preferred workout music, so the guy gave me a somewhat bewildered look as he handed it back to me. I just smiled and offered a red-faced apology.

For awhile, Brad and I were going to the gym together in the morning. I don't embarrass him, and he smiles at my quirks. Plus, he knows what all the machines do and how to work them, so it was like having my own personal trainer. It doesn't hurt that he's really easy on the eyes. Unfortunately, Lily decided that she preferred to spend the last few hours of her slumber in my bed, so that was the end of our early morning gym dates.

Lately, I've not been making it there as much as I'd like. The other day at the grocery store, I saw one of the older gentlemen Brad and I used to chat with in the morning. He wrapped me up in a big hug and asked me where I'd been. So cute! The funny relationships you develop at the gym. I've had more than one person think they knew me from somewhere, which has sparked all sorts of interesting conversations, along with headshaking and my husband remarking, "Babe...he was hitting on you." But I don't think that. And, I have changed my tune about the gym entirely.

I used to think the gym was kind of a "club," where the superfit scoffed at the rest of us. Now, I realize that we're all working toward a common goal. Some people have just been doing it longer and more intensely. Instead of judging those of us who are less fit, I like to think the superfit are encouraging us. Like Brad (who is one of the superfit) pushes me, "Come on; you can do it! ONE MORE." I usually respond to Brad's encouragement with dirty looks and profanity, but I'm working on that. And even if people aren't encouraging me, even if they are really thinking, "She needs to be locked up," it doesn't matter because in my mind they're laughing with me not at me.

3 comments:

  1. You're not going to believe this: I joined the gym yesterday. Your timing is perfect!

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  2. Yay!!! Want me to come ;-)??

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  3. Hi beautiful friend! I tried commenting on this the day you wrote it but I was clueless at to what I was doing from my phone. Something just wasn't working right. Totally forgot what I was said on it but I want you to know that I believe in you. Life will through curve balls and the storms of life may blow but at the end, the rainbow will shine down over you. I hope the gym time is getting better for you and if it is still hard, just exhale and press through! You can make it!

    Terra

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