Oh yes, what a glorious day!
I overcame my apathy and procrastination and went to the local gym. I loved it so much I wish I could go every day! Sadly, I’ve sprained or hurt my ankle, so I’ll have to do some upper body workout for a couple of days at home.
But what an adventure!
I couldn’t make myself enter the gym for several minutes, but I’m so glad I did! There was a young, athletic guy behind the counter who asked very politely – with a smile (a smirk?) – if he could possibly help me with anything.
“Could I come here? To this gym?” I asked. A stupid question if there ever was one, but I managed to find words in my blurry mind to pose another one that exceeded the dumbness of the first question. “Like – right now? At this moment?” Come on, woman, this is a gym! This is what it’s for. For people to come, pay some money and work out.
“Sure,” the guy wasn’t fazed. I looked around. There was just one man working out in the weights section. I felt relieved and confused at the same time. What was I doing there, all alone, with no one to tell me what to do? What if I didn’t know any of the machines? What would I do? But there was no way back. The guy took the money, gave me a key and showed me the way to the locker room.
The locker room was very neat and clean. It’s been less than a year since the gym is open, but still, I was impressed with the pretty showers and hair-blowers. I wondered if it was the same in the male locker room. I changed into my workout clothes and went out, with a bit of dread in my heart.
As soon as I saw the treadmills, the anxiety level subsided. I knew what to do for at least the first ten minutes. Surely I’d come up with a plan during that time. And I did. I tried out all the equipment that was in that part of the gym that could not be seen from the reception. All the equipment that had some sort of instructions on it, I mean. It took me almost an hour, and I felt I was nearly ready to stretch and to leave. I felt very invigorated and looked for some machine that would let me wind down and prepare the body for leaving. Something like an elliptical would do. I saw a black monster with an ominous title “StairMaster”. I approached it cautiously, but apparently not cautiously enough, since the guy at the counter saw me and came to me.
“I’ll show you,” he said, not listening to my meek explanations that my previous gym did not have any Masters of Stairs. “Let’s turn it on. You have to set the program. What’s your weight?”
And just like that I confessed to a complete stranger (a man, no less!) for the first time in my life, that I weighed 200 pounds. That didn’t faze him either, even though it seemed he realized it might be a sensitive subject and not an entirely safe question to ask a woman. He went on to show me the different modes (“here’s the fat-burning mode”), and left me to my vices.
I’m sure you know what followed. That StairMaster thingy was harder than anything else I had tried. In less than a minute I saw large drops on the display, arm rests and everything else around the monster. God, that’s my sweat, I thought to myself with strange satisfaction. I also felt my ankle that had ached from yesterday’s run. But of course, I couldn’t give up. I spent my last ten minutes on the StairMaster before stretching and hitting the showers, and I felt such high as I had never felt during my runs (and I get the endorphin kick very easily!). Then – another first – I swiped the sweat off the machine.
So I showered, changed (the bra was soaking wet, and I hadn’t thought of taking another one with me, even the socks were wet!) and left, thanking the guy at the counter. I felt invincible, and I still do.
I’m in love. I’m in love with movement, I’m in love with gyms, I’m in love with that particular gym. I want to know it like the back of my hand. I want to know every machine, every weight, every locker, every employee, every client. I can’t wait to go back there.