Friday, December 14, 2018

Me and Gym

(originally published in the Miami News-Record)

I’ve been going to the gym. Now, I’m not a gym rat or anything like that. In fact, there is 100% zero chance of that ever happening. I may have a genetic propensity to addiction, but going to the gym is excluded from that in my DNA. If I were to go to one of those sites where they trace your genetic makeup and tell you that instead of being Native American you’re in fact Scandinavian (which leaves someone in your family with some ‘splaining to do), I’m fairly certain that my family history will show me to be a descendant of a little-known and long-extinct tribe of very fat, very short, very clumsy cave people who loved carbs and died out pretty early on for obvious reasons. I mean, you can’t very well escape a ravenous saber-toothed tiger when you’re in the midst of a sugar crash from eating an entire loaf of fresh cave-baked bread. And also you keep tripping over your own feet.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, so I’ve gone to the gym a whole four times in the past week. Okay, week and a half. The point is, I’m actually going. I don’t hate it, but I darn sure don’t like it. But after losing this weight I have some extra baggage. And I’m not talking about a cute, coordinating Michael Kors luggage set. I’m talking about some extra body just hanging out on me now. Y’all, I have some serious bingo wings going on. (Read: flabby arms) And my thighs are super weird – but in their defense, they’ve always been that way. They’ve always been jiggly, but I’m just more aware of them now that all the rest of me is jiggling in unison. Also, y’all my butt is sagging. Yes, I’m 45 and that’s not all that uncommon for a woman of my age, but I don’t like it. If I’ve sacrificed my beloved carbs in order to, you know, not die and stuff, I’d at least like to have a cute hiney while I’m out here living.

See, fat is jiggly like Jell-O. It’s filled out and plump. Yes it jiggles, but in a uniformly pudgy kind of way. When you lose a significant amount of weight all that skin that was gently cradling the fat now has no purpose in life. So it just kinda….hangs out. It jiggles in an entirely different way. And it’s traumatizing and uncomfortable – for you *and* those who happen to catch a glimpse of you waving, jumping, or God forbid, naked. So I’m going to the gym in an attempt to tone up some of this extra junk. And to strengthen my heart because of the not-dying thing I’ve got going on.

I’m not very confident when it comes to working out. I don’t know squat. So in my mind, walking on the treadmill is a good start. Until I get in there and remember I’m not the best at walking. I’m incredibly clumsy and uncoordinated on regular ground, so imagine how I am on ground that is constantly moving. It’s sad, but amusing and also keeps those around me on their toes. See, I’m creating a stronger, healthier me while also providing a few much-needed services. While I am walking my way to prime cardiovascular health, I am also: 1) allowing those around me to feel better about their form and stamina. They don’t need to worry if they look inept – I’m doing enough ineptitude myself that everyone’s pretty much only focused on me and worry about proper form goes right out the window. 2) creating a vigilant community of fellow gym goers who make sure no one gets hurt in their watch. Forget about 81 year old Fred over there struggling on the kettle bell in the corner, y’all better keep an eye on the short youngish grandma on the rowing machine. She’s probably gonna lose a finger at some point. And finally, 3) I’m bringing humor to the gym. Because if you can’t get a kick out of me tripping over my own feet and subsequently tossing my phone across four treadmills and also accidentally almost strangling ol’ kettle bell Fred with the cord from my ear buds, then you have no sense of humor whatsoever.

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