I suppose you’d like an update on how the whole ‘going to the gym’ thing is going. Many of you are like me, and have little to no interest in working out. I’d like to tell you, right now, that I have completely changed and found a love for all things fitness-related,, but I can’t, because I still hate it. I still hate going and I still hate picking up heavy things and putting them down. I still hate how getting to the gym cuts into the the very little ‘me’ time that exists in my life. And most of all, I hate being surrounded by people that love being there. For me, going to the gym is like being the only Hip Hop fan at a Country concert or the only rational person at a Trump rally. I just don't fit in.
However, the fact is, I am still going. If I simply must go to the gym, I like the one I’ve chosen. I like the corner I’ve carved out to do my workout and I like that they leave me alone until I need help. Sometimes I like to go at odd hours so I can have the whole place to myself. For someone like me, someone languid and indoorsy, it’s pretty ideal.
Have I lost weight? Sure, but it’s negligible. The real difference has been in my back. It used to always hurt, and often ‘go out’ as they say. There was this one time I reached into the dishwasher and couldn’t go upright for days after. For six months I haven’t felt that twinge warning me that I was doing too much, or pushing too hard.
It might not seem like much to you, but for me it’s been great.
So, I continue to go, not because I like any part of it, but because I really want to see what cool thing might happen next. Perhaps, this incessant stiffness in my neck will take flight, or my odd left hip will right itself.
Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.
See you at the apartment.
I’ll be spending some time in ‘the apartment’ this week. Today I had a bit of a rough start to the morning, and don’t worry I’ll fill you in because we are in this together, right? Let me start at the beginning.
I recently had some very memorable visits to the gynecologist. I wrote about them here and here. These visits have been leading up to a surgery I’ll be having next week. It’s minor surgery, only day surgery, but it’s still surgery so I’ve been a little wound up. If you know me, you’ll know I can get wound up over weather or dog farts. I’m not exactly as easy going as I’d like to appear. I collect Buddhas (which I know is fundamentally in contrast to the teachings of Buddha) because I wish to be calm and zen and all the things those bad ass little buddhas represent. It's not working, in case you were wondering.
Anyway, today I was feeling particular nervous. It’s the second day of school and I teach Kindergarten so I knew I’d be beyond busy today. I got a bit of a late start and felt the pressure as I rushed out the door, kissing my kids and forgetting the best part of my lunch; the cheese, of course. It’s not like I ever get to sit and enjoy my lunch as a teacher, but I was so looking forward to that cheddar.
I jumped in the van, slammed the van door and reversed it past the new boat we can’t afford narrowly missing the trailer hitch (and I suspect my husband has an over-under on when I’ll finally hit that trailer hitch) and started the trek to work.
I do most of my crying in the car, you know. So, I cried. Partly because of that cheese, and partly because I’m afraid of this surgery, partly because my eldest is so nervous about school starting and my youngest and her autism service dog have so many hills to climb, and partly because I love that stupid new boat so damn much.
I cried until I got to the busy drive-thru. I settled myself as I waited for my turn. I took out my blood pressure pills, as I do everyday, and readied myself to take it with my first sip of iced-coffee. I ordered my coffee and I pulled up to the window, as rushed as anyone else at 7:00 in the morning, and as I simultaneously reached for my bank card, attempted to turn down the music (because the young girl working had no business listening to Fetty Wap), I poured the entire bottle of pills in my lap just as she handed my coffee out the window.
When I did this, I closed my eyes for far too long before I took the coffee from her, smiled as I paid, and turned up Fetty as I drove away. I could feel pills being crushed under my feet and as I glanced to look at the damage I promptly spilled most of my coffee into my schoolbag; and then I cried again. I know it’s silly. It’s only blood pressure pills and coffee.. My anxiety medication was still tucked away safely in my purse, (of course), but damnit if that wasn’t all I needed to break today.
So more tears as I hit the highway, and because I was feeling especially sorry for myself I decided to play one of my favorite songs. I knew I wasn't going to live in it today, but I wallowed a little in self-pity for the remaining drive, committed to buying myself some new art supplies, and cranked my song because I’ll admit I have a flare for the dramatic.
I’m settled now, and the day is done and I feel far better. I’ll leave you with that song, released the year of my birth.
See you at the Apartment
I couldn't walk right for four days after that first gym visit, you know. Going downstairs was the worst. Nay, sitting on the toilet was the worst. Have you felt this ungodly pain? I debated staying down on the toilet after I peed until I had to pee again to avoid the pain. Why don't people tell you this shit? You know what else hurt? Raising my arms to wash my hair. I hung my head and did my best. And all the while I cursed that gym.
But guess what?
I went back. Twice actually. And I expect to go again.
Don't get me wrong, I still hate it. It's probably as close to state-of-the-art as any gym in town and the trainers are great, but I still hate it like I hate windchimes and not being filthy rich. (I mean, I've said it before but I don't even have a hot tub).
Sure, the psychologists among us may posit that my hate is misdirected and my anger is really at myself for getting so out of shape in the first place but I prefer to focus the bulk of that self-hatred directly on the gym and its well-toned people.
So, today was my third visit. I was all alone in the gym because it was early Sunday morning. It occurred to me I could make a giant bed out of the yoga balls and listen to music but I decided the responsible thing was to do the work out like I intended and besides there are too many windows.
I did it. I picked up those “cow bells” (yes I've been informed they are called kettle bells, but I like my name better) and I worked out for thirty-two minutes straight.
Like I said, small steps.
And when I was leaving I felt good. Not physically good, of course, because working out blows, but I felt mentally good because I did it, and best of all, I was done.
And as I hobbled out of that gym I found the white powder that sweaty men put on their hands and I pulled a mini-Lebron, just because I wanted to. And then I, of course, cleaned up my mini-mess with my socks.
Also, I wanted to mention, that if you are local and even remotely out of shape, could you please join this gym with me. I'm surrounded by hard-bodies and it makes me cranky.
Anyway, message me for details. I'm sure I've made it sound especially enticing.
First day at the gym. It sucked. I hated the atmosphere, the people, the fucking smell. I hated it all. I did it because I know I should. Like the dentist or a Pap test, it's gotta be done. Fuck that gym and its fancy equipment and fit-ass people. I know I stand out. At 5'10' and 266lbs, at my full term pregnancy weight for Kate, which incidentally, is my little girl, whom I adore, whose diagnosis I've been blaming myself for for five years and said guilt might have something to do with this weight gain.
I worked out with Travis or Trevor or Liam. I don't fucking remember. He was pleasant and knowledgable.
He, at no fault of his own, asked me to lift those fucking cow bells for fifty minutes. My body, which loves relaxing and luxury and all of the creature comforts life has to offer, was mad as hell. I felt dumb, I looked dumb and I hated it.
I walked out in pain. So much front-leg pain. I'm sure there is a name for that kind of pain but I don't care to learn it.
Fuck that gym.
Tomorrow is gonna hurt. Tomorrow will be worse.
How is this in any way a good idea? Those cow bells I carried around hurt my muscles in a way that makes me want to shove those cow bells right up Terrence's firm ass.
I shouldn't take this out on him. He doesn't know the pain of one hundred extra pounds and birthing two large children and just life. Just life. But fuck him,he's gonna take the heat.
Fuck those cow bells and fuck Timothy.
I left that gym and drove to McDonald's you know. It's not a place I eat, or crave. I was just angry. I didn't know how to settle so I went and ordered a small chocolate sundae. I don't know what the fuck I was thinking except for maybe "how quickly can I sabotage the first healthful thing I've done in five years".
I don't really love sundaes. In fact, it would be one of my least favourite "treats". Maybe in some small way, some minuscule way, that is growth for me.
Sad, isn't it?
Here's the kicker.
I'm going back. I'm going back to that stupid gym and with those stupid fit boys that roll their muscles on giant foam rollers as if it's a real thing, and I'm going to try again.
I bet you can't wait for my next update....
*all opinions are my own and in no way reflect the excellent service I received from "that fucking gym" and "Tony"
I'm heading to the gym today. I have nervous belly and I hate the thought of it, but I know I have to try, again. I have always hated the gym. It's probably why the magnet pictured adorns our wine fridge and it makes me smile every time I see it.
I dread the feeling I get when I walk in and I can hear the clanking of weights on bars, and the rythmic sound of feet effortlessly hitting the treadmill. I cringe at the smell of sweat and some kind of industrial cleaner that almost certainly does not fully remove the sweaty person's scent from the machine you're about to attempt. I despise the music that pumps out, meant to fire you up, because it mostly blows.
You know what else bugs me? (I'm fairly negative regarding this whole idea if you haven't noticed). The fit as hell people who need the gym like some of us need books. The are so happy and comfortable there. It's like every visit is a chapter closer to finishing a great book. I guess I don't hate these unassuming gym-goers. I just envy them. I wish I craved exercise the way I crave time alone. I wish I craved movement the way I crave napping with my cats. I wish I craved getting fit the way I crave a new series to get totally lost in.
I guess I have to come to terms with this because I've made the appointment.
Anyway, some of you probably have some kind of healthy balance between your love of literature and the gym and that's great. but for now I think I'll download a good book to listen to while I 'workout' and try and block out the periphery. Maybe it won't be that bad.
If my ego survives this first go, I'll fill you in. For now, though, wish me luck.
I don't want to quit you Facebook, I don't. It's just getting to me lately. All the videos of girls who can braid their own hair upside-down and backwards into intricate mermaid scales. Even worse the videos of the neglected and abused dogs barely alive until some kind souls rescues them. You know we are forced to watch (or at least fast forward) the video until we can see that dog when he is a healthy tag-wagger.
It's becoming a lot of work. It used to be the biggest problems on your newsfeed were vague-bookers with statues like: "Could things get any worse?!" with no explanation, but we knew we could scroll on by because reading "what's wrong, hun?" and "PM me" in the comments was the best you'd ever get from those attention-seekers. Otherwise You might occasionally discover a racist or homophobic 'friend' and purge that asshole right off your newsfeed (so not really a problem at all).
Now along with the sad dog videos and freakishly nimble-fingered hair braiders we have countless pouty-lipped selfies and weight-loss ads, (just me?)
It's exhausting, but I stay and do you know why I stay?
See you at the apartment.
The Apartment grew from the shared fantasies of some tired moms. They imagined a place where they could enjoy peace and quiet. They imagined a place where they could decorate as they please and have as many cats as they wanted. They imagined a place where they could fail at baking simple recipes and laugh as they ate it anyway because, well, chocolate. They dreamed of a place where they could burn themselves with glue guns while attempting to re-create some perfect pinterest projects that would cost more in crafting materials than it would ever cost in a store. These moms wanted a clubhouse of sorts and they imagined it as: The Apartment.
So here it is. In all its imaginary glory.
What should we do first?