The problem with working out is two-fold. Number 1: I suck at it, and number 2: I hate it. Ok, I don’t really hate it… there are just other things I’d rather do. Like eat.
I have succumbed to the great American scam… I have joined a gym. They fool you is what they do… you walk in because your friend has a guest pass and there are all these pictures on the walls of women with six packs in sports bras and boxing gloves, kicking the shit out of some punch bag. You develop those swirly things in your eyes and walk with your arms jutted out like a zombie, right to the front desk, and without realizing what you are doing you robotically say “I want to look amazing and be able to kick-box like that girl from Alias. I want to do that by joining your gym. What type of payment do you require? I have here with me the fruit of my labor which is my first born son.” Then they thrust paper at you, one sheaf right after the next, saying things like “Oh yes, everyone simply loves coming here to Energy. Just sign here, on the dotted line. No, not with ink, here’s a knife so you can cut your finger and sign in blood. Anyway our rapport has been excellent. The fat just drips off as you work out! Here, sign this also. Don’t worry about reading it!”
So it’s Monday, and I wake up early and pack my clothes so I can walk right to work afterwards. I don’t own a “gym bag” so I use a suitcase. And I’m wearing a hat, a long coat, and mittens. I look like I’m travelling home… to Saturn. They see me coming from a mile away. “Hi…” I stammer at the front desk. “It’s my first day.” There’s a teeny little muscly girl at the counter who looks me over. I know she’s thinking no shit, but she says “well, welcome! There’s a dressing room downstairs.” I assume I’ll get to the dressing room and receive further instructions, so I haul my luggage down to the dressing room, peel off my winter armor and stuff everything into a big locker. No instructors. Hmmmm…
I venture outside of the locker room and I’m standing there, feeling quite idiotic, staring at all the equipment. Erm… now what? I notice two girls on what I assume are Elliptical machines, watch them for a minute to get the general idea, and wander over. I try not to swing my arms too much when I walk. The last thing I want is to be in front of these work-outers with my ass jiggling all over the place in my yoga pants. (They’re not really here to work out. They’re here to laugh at me. I know it.) I choose a machine behind them. I’m hoping that if I just step on it and start moving stuff around, it will work and everything will become clear and I won’t look like a moron.
So I’m working out! I choose the “fat burning” setting on the machine, and I’m sweating like a teenage guy on his first date, and I’m kinda proud to be honest. I’m breathing real hard and I sort of smile to myself, thinking of all the calories I must be burning. And suddenly the machine beeps at me, like real loud, and a couple of people turn around. I ignore it, but it beeps again… BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! What!? I ask it, looking down. The electronic banner across the top says SLOW DOWN TO REDUCE HEART RATE! Wait… reduce my heart rate? I thought I was supposed to feel like I’m about to die. I notice a button with a glowing heart on it, and give it a push. “Heart rate – 200” it flashes. That means nothing to me until I see a chart on the machine that says my “target heart rate” (whatever that means) should be about 130. Uh-oh… After looking around and seeing teeny muscly people everywhere, I choose to ignore it. I feel ok… I mean maybe I’ll slow down in a minute or get off this thing or something. I continue to move the pieces of this machine, feeling with each passing stride like my limbs are going to fall off, huffing and puffing, but proud of myself nonetheless. Then I look down at my time. 3 AND A HALF MINUTES!?!?!?! YOU’RE SHITTING ME!! And what do you mean I’ve ONLY BURNED SEVEN CALORIES! LIAR!!
Amazingly enough, I stay on that damn thing for 30 minutes, then stumble off and back into the locker room, where I pass out on a bench, my legs still quivering from the strain. When I’m able to stand again, I shower and dress (out of my suitcase). Monday’s score reads – Elliptical: 1, Megan: 0. I’ll be back Elliptical, when you least expect it!
Today, as I stand at the doorway between locker and scary machinery, I wonder what the hell those big bouncy looking balls in the corner are for, and should I be using one?