Friday, August 14, 2015

gym class hero

I joined a gym. Wait! Where are you going? Come back!

Let me start over. I’ve never been one of those people who is, like, addicted to working out. One might even say that I hate it, or at least strongly dislike it.

I remember when a friend of mine came into town and asked if I wanted to get together. I was all ready to suggest lunch and then pedicures, but she said that she was going to a barre class and did I want to meet her? No thanks, I said. I’d catch her afterward at the sandwich place nextdoor. If we’re spending quality friend time together I’d like to ENJOY it.

I never want to go on a hike, so don’t bother asking. I’ll go on a WALK. Even an outdoor walk, through nature. But call it a hike and no. No thank you. I’ll sit here and read while YOU hike and we can hang out once you’ve gotten that nonsense out of your system.

Running (jogging) seems to be the only thing I can stand to do consistently-ish. When I lived in LA I would go running (jogging) around my neighborhood. Then, when I moved to San Francisco, my building had a little workout room so I would run (jog) on the treadmill. The machines in that workout room all had TVs with cable and DVD players attached. My apartment never had cable while I lived there, so it was a good way to get my Teen Mom fix.

When Niall and I moved in together, we moved into a building without a workout room. Niall seems to actually be one of those people who truly enjoys exercising, so he has been dutifully going to the gym the entire time I’ve known him (not to mention running, cycling, playing assorted sports, and generally making me feel like a sloth by comparison).

I tried a few things here and there.

I took an adult beginner ballet class. Not to brag or anything but I did ballet for several years in middle school and college, so I felt like it would only be a matter of time before the other adult beginners would be eyeing me and whispering “Shouldn’t she be in the ADVANCED class?” Instead, what happened was that everybody expected me to be really good since my shoes were so worn (see also: from college (see also: never get rid of anything!)), but I pranced around like one of the hippos from Fantasia. I quit after a few months because It was TOO HARD and not fun and I was not nearly as fairy-like as I had expected.

I thought about getting a fitbit, but they’re really expensive, so instead I bought the Jane Fonda workout and Richard Simmons Sweatin to the Oldies videos. I had fun doing these a few times. They’re not terribly intense workouts and they are also somewhat hilarious (see also: Richard Simmons's shorts). But for some reason there are too many steps for working out at home. I have to change into something I don’t mind getting sweaty and then switch the TV to the right mode and then scoot the coffee table over and ugh, maybe I’ll just sit down.

A couple weeks before the wedding I decided I wanted to work out a little. Not to lose weight or tone up, but just to help my endurance a little and ensure I wouldn’t collapse and die from dancing the night away at our wedding reception.
So I asked Niall if I could go with him to his gym to check it out, super casual like. We went, and they were having some ‘friends and family’ dealie so I signed up for a (basic, totally chill, I-can-quit-anytime-I-wanna) membership.

The gym guidelines, as I explained to Niall* are:
- He can’t ever shame me for not going or not wanting to go to the gym
- If I ever bring up that I’m thinking about going to the gym, he should enthusiastically encourage me
- He can invite me to go to the gym with me, but he can’t ever suggest that I should go to the gym
- He can’t criticize what I do at the gym

Now it’s August, and that means I’ve been a gym member for a little over 2 months. For some reason I have been able to go to the gym, despite the fact that, yes, I do understand that this involves FAR more steps than working out at home does. But I guess I don’t mind the steps as much? Maybe it’s easier because it’s more of a routine. My living room is where I hang out, eat, relax, but the gym is only where I do gym things. There’s no possibility I’m going to go all the way to the gym and then sit down on the floor of the locker room and read a book instead.

So far I have spent my time at the gym running (jogging) on the treadmill, with very occasional uses of the cross trainer peppered in here and there. HOWEVER, I reserve the right to go to the gym, do a couple stretches, and then sit in the hot tub if that’s what I’m up for on that particular day. And that will still COUNT as going to the gym. I need motivation and a reward system that is beyond “staying healthy” because clearly that’s not enough or else I would be joining Niall as he bounds out of bed every morning for his run like a goddamn kangaroo. The other good thing about the gym is that it is located in a little plaza that also has a Ross and sandwich place and a grocery store. So sometimes after a run (jog), I’ll take a little stroll through ross or treat myself to something yummy for lunch. Running: not its own reward.

I had to add a new one over the weekend which is:
- He can’t make fun of my gym outfits/accessories.

I’ve said this before, but I’m a person who likes to have all the accessories that go along with a thing. I like having my little gym bag and a purple lock for using the lockers at the gym. I have my sunglasses and my headphones that are specifically gym-only. I also have my gym clothes. Niall was chuckling the other day because I was trying on various new gym clothes and preening in front of the mirror, while he is perfectly happy to work out in old crappy shorts and tee shirts. I explained to him that I know I COULD wear regular old clothes at the gym, but having my cute little shoes

and outfits

are much more enjoyable and THEREFORE make me much more likely to actually GO. This is my Gym Outfit that I wear to the gym, GOLD STAR FOR ME.

Really, the whole point of this post was to show you my new purple gym outfit.

*Niall hasn't ever body shamed me and I'm not worried that he would, I just wanted to be explicit with my gym-interaction-expectations.