This post needs a disclaimer at the beginning to explain my background and shamelessly suck up to two of my former bosses who are also my readers. Although I will henceforth blatantly poke fun at their chosen profession, I not-so-secretly wish for them to move back here and be my best friends. You got that, guys? Ok good.
I worked at a gym for three years, and it was the greatest job I’ve had to date. The gym is also a strange microcosm of joy and pain. Although I love our gym’s message of holistic health, fitness, and happy living, I will admit that I am not an exercise fan. Give me some yoga, and I’m a happy woman. I come in, stretch, do some major muscle work, think Oh my God, I’m never gonna live through this, stretch again, leave, think Oh that was lovely. I sure do love yoga, and repeat. I am, however, decidedly anti-treadmill…until now.
A few weeks ago, I started working out four or five days a week, complete with elliptical machines, iPod tune-age, and lifting. Having been a customer service expert myself, I know all the niceties that the staff members can say to me. You’re so dedicated! Your hard work is really going to pay off. Don’t you feel better now that your blood is pumping? There is never a better time to start caring for your health. However, I am re-discovering the things that gym go-ers and fitness gurus hide. Here they are, uncovered and uncensored (or as uncensored as I can be):
1. Don’t start two new jobs while you’re getting used to going to the gym frequently. In fact, don’t even start one new job while you’re getting used to going to the gym frequently. Because…
2. You will be tired. Oh, I know they tell you this anyway. They make it sound like it’s just a matter of getting a good night’s sleep the next night, or that the tired only extends to having some sore muscles that can be cured with a warm bath. Oh no. You will be so tired that it will feel like a 700 pound zebra is sitting on your chest. You will be so tired that you will smash your thumb in the closet door. You will be so tired that a few hours later, you will not be sure that you are actually capable of feeling said thumb that was smashed in said closet door. You will be so tired at 8:30 pm that you are scared to blink for fear that your eyes will not open again. Tired. So, so tired.
3. You will be hungry. Believe me, I know hungry. This is not just, Oooooh that brownie looks good. It’s more like, I could eat that 700 pound zebra if I ever got it off my chest. Thanksgiving is coming, and that is both a scary and delicious thought…
4. Yes, that man is wearing spandex bike shorts. No, he is not wearing underwear underneath them. Yes, his shirt is tucked into his spandex bike shorts. No, he is not quite old enough to be your grandfather, but he’s close. No, I didn’t want to see that either.
5. No, that woman is not wearing a bra.
6. Actually yes, that woman is wearing a bra. Yes, I realize that it is difficult to tell, and that is unfortunate.
7. You will drink water like it is green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. The good news is that your craving for more water is exactly what your body needs. There was that one episode of House where that boy drank too much water and had hallucinations that he was a prophet. Now, we all know that everything on TV is real (see: Kim Kardashian’s wedding), but we also know that the strange illnesses that occur on House are rare, so most of us don’t need to worry about such radical delusional divine intervention. However, there is one unfortunate side effect of drinking so much H2O: you will have to pee ALL THE TIME. Just because you increase your fluid intake does not mean you increase the size of your bladder, and I can testify that the need to rush to the bathroom will come at the most inopportune moments throughout the day. Just before you’re expecting an important phone call. As you walk into work. Every two hours while you sleep. When someone turns on the faucet in another part of the house. Yes, it will haunt you. Just check the floor plans of every building you go into, and you’ll be fine.
8. You will develop a strange love-hate relationship with parts of your body. As the exercise begins to take effect (or even before), you will notice muscle groups and body shapes that either please or displease you. Take caution when discussing this with others. “Oh my God, my abs hurt so bad!” is a socially acceptable conversation starter. “Oh my God, I have totally lost that flab of armpit fat!” is probably not.
9. That random spot you stare at while you run? Someone else thinks you’re staring at them. Just wanted to let you know. You should probably stare at the ground.
10. I suggest adopting an I’m so pissed right now and don’t even have a reason why face to avoid unecessary interactions with strangers. You don’t want to meet people at the gym. You stink. They stink. It’s just gross. Pray that you happen to run into them at Starbucks when you’ve actually showered and then you can begin the greatest relationship of all time.
Ten! Ten things on this list! I’m so proud of myself right now! I’m going to stop right here because, as I’ve said previously, eleven is an awkward number. If I haven’t totally offended them, this should have sufficiently convinced my former supervisors to move back here and come to the gym with me (meaning they work out like demons and I jog pleasantly on the elliptical and make snarky observations that I later post here)! Don’t forget to wipe down your machines so you don’t get MRSA and/or Swine Flu! 🙂