Friday, August 12, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gym

I joined Freedom Fitness a few months ago. So out of character for me. Curves closed so a bunch of us decided to join a real gym. It's been the best thing ever.

These are some of the funny things that happened to me at the gym.

1. I start my routine in the circuit room (like Curves and why we chose this gym). After thirty minutes on those machines I go out into the BIG ROOM of machines. One machine I like is for angel wings. Not sure the flappy parts will ever go away but my upper arms are getting stronger.

You sit down to use this machine, raise your hands and bend your elbows so you look like you're about to do the chicken dance, grab than handles and push down so the weights rise. One day I pushed down and nothing happened. I looked at the weights and some he-man had it on 150 lbs. Yikes! I put it down to a respectable 60 lbs. Still it wouldn't budge. I stood up to get some leverage and pushed down and still nothing. I wondered why I was so weak when a young man came over and told me this machine operated by pulling UP on the handles. The machine I wanted was one over. I laughed and thanked him and he told me not to feel bad, he'd done the same thing.

2. I like to workout in the morning when it isn't so busy, but on workdays that isn't possible so I keep a gym bag in my car. I don't always remember to put clean clothes in it and return it to the car after I use it. On one such occasion I noticed it missing when I got to work so on my lunch break I went to the mall to see what workout clothes I could find on sale. I found 4th of July T-shirt on clearance for $4: navy blue with red, white and blue bird houses on it. The only workout pants in my size were black nordic track long pants. I didn't try anything on, I just bought them and went back to work.

Later that day, at the gym, I put on my new gym clothes. The nordic track pants were leggings, totally form fitting. The T-shirt was short and did not cover much of my big middle part. To top off this stunning blue shirt/black pants outfit were the brown tennis shoes (they live in my trunk) that I bought at Walmart one time when I'd just forgotten to include shoes in my gym bag. It took courage to walk out in public like that. I didn't hear any snickers in the circuit room so I used the machines, did a mile on the treadmill and thanked God that the people at my gym don't seem to care what anyone looks like.

3. I've noticed at my gym that guys like to workout in pairs. They spur each other on and work harder when it's a competition. I was on the waist-twisty machine and two young men behind were me using the sit-up machine. After continually not keeping up with his buddy, one boy said, "I need to work out with somebody weaker than me." I turned around and offered, "You could work out with me." He laughed and said, "Are you sure you're weaker than me?" I love a person with a sense of humor.

4. I have a big Great Pyrenees puppy (8 months, 80 pounds). I fed her before I left to exercise. She jumped on me, maybe to try to get me to stay. "Ouch Bear! Don't do that. Your claws hurt when you jump on me."

I didn't realize until I was on the waist-twisty machine again that she had ripped a hole in my workout pants. I was given this information by a concerned gym member. She put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Did you know you have a hole in your pants?" I shook my head, she continued, "Well, so many people wear their clothes ripped and with holes and I thought maybe you were one of them. But in case you just had a hole in your pants and didn't know it, I thought I better tell you." I thanked her and slunk away to check out the damage in the ladies locker room.

Sure enough, there was a big hole in my pants right where bear's claw had pierced my leg. Luckily my underwear wasn't showing and I had on a long baggy T-shirt that covered the hole when I kept it pulled down. I walked a mile on the treadmill, pulling my T-shirt down every few steps, before going home.

5. The kids who work at the desk are the greatest. They are so friendly and nice. I lost my ID tag moments after they gave it to me so the second time I went I asked what I should do to get a new one. They said they could sign me in by my name. From then on they remembered my name and I just smile and say hello while everyone else is showing their ID tags. Makes me feel special.

One day when leaving, the boys and I had a short, witty goodbye conversation. I got to my car and realized I'd left my street clothes in a locker. I wanted to just go home but I couldn't leave my clothes there so I sucked it up and went back in. "I forgot my street clothes." They didn't look surprised. Maybe they know me better than I thought.

Joining this gym was a great idea. I'm healthier and stronger, I come into contact with a variety of interesting people, and it's all good fodder for blogging.

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