Monday, January 5, 2009

Gym Adventures

Today was the day. I was going to visit the gym for the first time since I signed up. I was going to be super workout girl and improve my cardiovascular health and decrease my chances of blood clots, diabetes, and heart disease. Yay, me.

When I got home from work, I thought I should find my iPod shuffle as not to have to listen to everybody around me myself wheezing and puffing as they I worked out. Nowhere to be found. Maybe I'll look in my office. I take all the plastic boxes out of the top of the closet and don't find it any of those. I call Jack at work (because this is important enough to interrupt Jack at work). He also doesn't know where it is. I guess I don't need it after all.

I start to change into my workout clothes and stare at my many, many t-shirts and analyze them all. Which t-shirt is comfortable and yet says "I so belong here?" Ah, yes. My MS150 shirt. Yes, everyone, I ride in the MS150 every year. That must mean I work out and train all the time. That's the one.

I start to head out the door and decide that throwing the ball for the dog would be a little more fun than leaving, so I sit on the floor for a while and do that instead. After about 20 minutes, I decide that I'm going to hate myself if I don't get up and go sometime tonight, so I leave Maggie on her own in the middle of the floor, fuzzy soccer ball in paws, wondering what she did wrong to make me want to leave.

I arrive at the gym. They had given me little scanny card when I signed up, but I don't really know what to do with it. Is there a place to scan it myself? Do I hand it to the lady? Awkwardly, I ask a guy in an official-looking polo shirt what to do. He tells me to hand it to the lady. She scans it and I'm on my merry way.

I head for the locker room first to drop off my bag, then notice that everybody's just putting their stuff next to their machines, but I can't turn back now. I enter the locker room, wander around a minute (thank goodness it's empty or I'd be that creepy girl wandering around the locker room), then come back out nonchalantly.

Now to find an elliptical machine. I want one in the middle... one that's not right next to somebody else... and preferably one without someone on another machine behind me so I don't think somebody's looking at my butt while I'm on it (don't lie, that's what you're thinking about when you're exercising too). I find one with the first two criteria and hop on. I start moving and pushing buttons right away in an effort to look like I know what I'm doing. Time? Um... 30 minutes, I guess. Age? 22. Weight? 110. No, I didn't really type that. Favorite movie? Runaway Bride. Let's do this thing!

0:00 - I start moving on the elliptical and look up. Hey! There are TVs up there! That's genius! Something to take your mind off working out! If only there was sound... Oh, cool... there's a place to plug in headphones and choose the channel you want. The sales guy spent 20 minutes showing me how to turn a treadmill on but failed to mention that I should bring my ear buds even if I can't find my iPod? That would have been good information to have.

3:24 - I'm walking 6 mph and I'm feeling good! The little hand thingies that are supposed to take my pulse aren't working, which is probably okay because all around me I can hear other peoples' machines beeping every so often when their pulse is doing something wrong... or right... I can't really tell. But I don't want to be the one whose machine beeps because my pulse is doing something wrong.

5:42 - Okay, this is getting a little boring. I'm trying to watch the Texas/OSU game, but let's face it, watching football isn't going to make this time go any faster for me.

7:19 - I've noticed that one channel has closed captioning, but unfortunately it's the one featuring "The Bachelor." If you thought "The Bachelor" was dumb with sound, you should try reading it. Apparently Tiffany-that-loved-him-on-the-bachelorette/Nicole-who-has-a-baby-so-they-have-something-in-common/Jasmine-the-dancer-who-likes-long-walks-on-the-beach/Wendi-with-an-'i'-that-played-golf-in-high-school-just-like-him/whatever-her-name-is-that-did-that-other-slutty-thing is thrilled to meet Mr. I don't mind pimping my kid out to get on TV Bachelor. Yay.

12:56 - I'm getting a bit hot. I'd really like a drink of water, so I pick up my bottle of water and nearly fall off the machine as I try to take the cap off. Thankfully, I catch myself before completely toppling off the thing.

15:20 - Halfway there. You can do it, Mandy. You're a rock star! That girl in front of me is going really fast. Yep, I'm looking right at her butt. No doubt about it... the person behind me is looking at mine too. Drat.

18:43 - Almost there! Getting close! Hey, that guy just got a paper towel and spray stuff and wiped his machine off after he was done with it. I remember the sales guy saying something about that. Hm... at the rec at college we used the towel we brought to do that. I wonder if I'm supposed to use the paper towel thing or my towel? Where's the nearest paper towel thing? I'll wait and see what this girl next to me does when she gets off.

19:18 - Guy on a machine in front of me gets off of his and doesn't wipe it down with anything at all. Wonder if the last person on my machine did that. Now I'm thinking about all the germs on the machine.

20:35 - Oh, the guy on the other side of me got off his machine and wiped his down with the spray stuff on the paper towel. Apparently there's one right behind me. I turn around to see where it is and almost fall off again. Note to self: stop being distracted by things that will make you fall off the elliptical.

24:55 - Okay, I'm really tired of this whole "working out" thing now. I want another drink of water but I'm afraid I'll fall off again. Better not risk it.

25:12 - Is it bad that I'm really happy to see a lot of unattractive people in here? Oh come on, like you liked seeing all sorority girls in their perfect little outfits with their perfect little hair at your college rec?

26:31 - Three and a half more minutes to go. Just three and a half more minutes. Meanwhile, Miss I'm-throwing-myself-at-the-bachelor-wearing-next-to-nothing is chatting single dad bachelor up.

29:00 - Almost there! Sprint the last minute! You can do it, Mandy! Yay, you! (Yes, I'm my own cheerleader in my head)

29:59 -!

30:00 - Cool down!? Another five minutes? What the heck?

5:00 - I'm going to walk really slow. I feel jipped.

4:24 - Hey look! I burned 300 calories almost went 3 miles! I'll just finish the last quarter of a mile and be done.

2:15 - I did it! 3 miles. I'm going to be done. Screw "cooling down" - can't be all that important, anyway. I wonder if I'm supposed to just stop or if I'm supposed to push a button... I stop walking, and the lights go off. I guess that's my answer.

I step off the machine and try not to look like Bambi learning to walk. I need ten more minutes of exercise to earn my 40-minute-a-day exercise point at work (in which you can earn an extra week's vacation if you get... I don't know, a thousand of them), so I head to the abs room.

The abs room is kind of full, so I find the closest machine and sit down on it. It's only after I'm down when I realize that I have no idea what I'm supposed to do on this machine. I grab the handles and put my feet where I think they should go and lift with my legs. Nothing happens. I pull the arm part down and it suddenly folds me in half. Oh, that's what it does.

I do a set of ten of these ab crunchy things, trying desperately not to let go of the handles and let the weights suddenly fall with a loud CLANK. 7...8...9...10... Success! Rest a second, then start again. 4...5...6...7... can't do it. Clink. Nobody was counting, right? A second rest, then start again... 3...4...5... Nope, I'm done.

In the meantime, girl-whose-butt-I-was-watching-earlier has her foot on the wall above her head and is stretching. 3 years out of taekwondo...I can't touch my toes anymore; I'm pretty sure I can't do that.

One more time. 5...6...7...8... that's enough. CLANK! I'm out.

As I leave the gym, I start to ask the lady who scanned my card if I need to do anything, when she interrupts me mid-sentence with a "have a nice night." I guess that's my answer. I stroll out the front door and do my best to catch pneumonia by strolling out to my car in a damp shirt in 35-degree weather.

I'm probably going to be a little sore tomorrow (from lack of working out for so long prior to this particular adventure), but for now, Maggie is really enjoying the way I smell and the fact that I'm sprawled out on the living room floor with her.


Teisha said...

wow. that makes me laugh, because it totally reminds ME of the 4 times a year I go to the gym. (In January, "I swear I'm going to work out this time...", March, "I need two weeks for rock hard abs before Spring Break...." In May, "I need rock hard abs in 2 days before summer..." and in September, "I swear this semester I'm going to work out, and not be one of those girls that only comes the first month of school!"

Except I still have to look at the perfect sorority girls in their cute shorts...lucky :)

Alicia said...

Your experience sounds just like mine. Except I hardly go. I was thinking the same thing about going this morning but I talked myself out of it. Good for you though!! Keep up the good work:) Hopefully you wont be too sore tomorrow!

Michelle said...

You really make me laugh. I'm proud of you for going to work out and for not falling off the machine or dropping any weights on top of yourself! Keep it up! Call me and maybe I can go with you sometime. (On one of the four times a year that I go to the gym, like Teisha). Hope you won't be too sore tomorrow.

The Hixson Family said...

This post had me laughing out loud! I can so relate!

Greg said...

you forgot to wipe the machine down...

Mandy and Jack said...

Oh yeah, I did wipe down the machine (with the paper towels and spray stuff); I just forgot to write about it. haha