Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Gym

I went to the gym this morning, for the first time in a very long time. And at 8:45 on a weekday, it had a crowd - not packed, but not as empty as I had expected. I thought it would be housewives and retirees, and there were some, but there were all these men between 25 and 45. Shouldn't they be somewhere doing something to earn money during business hours on a Tuesday? I thought of Girlchild's observation, whenever we sit in one of the 24 hour rush hours - "Doesn't anybody here have a real fucking job?"

I did 2.06 miles on the treadmill, not much but considering that three weeks ago I was still on 2 naps a day, I am pleased. Tomorrow I will do a mile or so and then weights - but that will be later in the day, because we have a medical safari at the crack of dawn.

Tomorrow morning I have to go for the CT scan, I hope it's the last of the brain-related things I have to do. I had guessed the total cost of my little adventure would come in at least $200,000 - I underestimated. Now I'm guessing at least $225,000, and probably closer to $250,000. So far my insurance has been paying everything, which is good because this would destroy me.

Anyway, it was good to go back to the gym, I'd forgotten how much I liked it. I forgot my headphones so I couldn't listen to the TVs in the cardio area, so I had to people watch to amuse myself. It's such an un-intimidating atmosphere, a nice mix of people - the man and woman on either side of me on the treadmills were white-haired and appeared to be in their 70s (and he was moving faster than I was - how embarrassing!) and people are trim and heavy and old and young, but almost all normal looking. I saw one fake-tanned borderline anorexic bleached blonde in the entire crowd. She was also the only one in a skimpy matching spandex outfit - everybody else is in something baggy and sweaty.

My only bad gym experience was at an all women's gym a few years ago. I joined because it was practically right around the corner and the best option in the area at the time. Let me count the ways I hated it. It was too girly - the weights were downsized for women (good for reach and comfort, bad for the amount of weight they allowed you to lift) and the women who used them tended to move slowly and chat a lot, sometimes sitting ON a MACHINE while talking to a friend nearby, ignoring my polite "Excuse me?" Which really meant "Look bitch, if you are not between sets, and obviously you are NOT, please get your ass off that thing."

The hours were erratic and it opened too late and closed early for a working person.

The manager of the place was bizarre - a musclebound weight lifter with zero body fat and 10 pounds of very fake boobs on her short frame. I kid you not, if she didn't have all that muscle she couldn't have stood upright with them thangs sticking out there. Between the muscles and the silicone, she looked like a cartoon. And her personality was as odd as her appearance. One Friday evening several of us were on the bikes and treadmills in the inadequate cardio area and she started hectoring us - we were losers because were were at the gym on a Friday night, why weren't we out having fun? (This was the manager, remember.) Apparently she resented having to work on a Friday night - though it was only around 7! We got to hear all about her plans for later. I was nice, I bit back the retort that jumped into my head, something about how we didn't need to sit on a barstool in a very dark bar to pick up men. That gym went out of business a few months later - I guess I wasn't the only one who was put off by the place.

So anyway, I'm very happy to belong to a gym where grandmas and pregnant moms and very overweight people work out next to the muscle men, the staff is nice, everybody lives in harmony, and it's not expensive and the hours are great. And I have an entire month to appreciate it every day.

My vision has improved to almost totally normal, and today I finished a sock. Sock yarn and size 1 needles - I can SEE again!


Debi said...

YAY for unencumbered socknitting! :)

I belong to Bally and when I first went, being the *fluffiest* one there I was a bit inhibited til I looked down (I used to walk the track on the top most level) and I spied a very ample ass clad in hot pink leggings and a very loud hot pink floral thong. I figured if no one was pointing and laughing at that, no one was pointing and laughing at me.

Catherine said...

Gyms can be intimidating and it's easy to get caught up in worrying about whether you'll fit in, regardless of your size - "Is it mostly male bodybuilders? Is everybody 22 years old?" I think everybody wonders. I just thought it was funny that yesterday it was the skinny blonde in the spandex - the TV image of the gym rat - who looked out of place when I surveyed the room. It was more her outfit than her body, had she worn a big t shirt and capris she wouldn't have stuck out, but in her skimpy matching outfit and tanning bed tan, she did not "blend." It made me realize that the "look" of the place is baggy and sweaty. :-)

Sue Woo said...

We used to call girls like that "Olivia Neutron Bomb".