Not too long ago, I decided I get specific and pencil in a few workouts on my calendar because they kept falling off my plate for a variety of excuses. I’d let go fallow my gym membership and I was vacillating about what to do. No, I said to myself, I’m gonna go. I’m gonna go and get my money’s worth of gym amenities. (Annoyingly I read somewhere that gyms profit the most from people like me: I basically give them wads of money each month without asking to use their services in return. That’s pretty dumb. Worse, even knowing that fact didn’t make me change my behavior.)
The next moment I would say, it’s too nice out, I’d rather focus on activities I can enjoy outside. I’m gonna cancel my membership…no, I’m gonna suspend my membership to lock in the rate for when I want to use it again. (I’d negotiated a pretty reasonable rate* and didn’t want to give up that rate as a point of pride.)
Ultimately, I decided I’d just increase my use of the gym little by little.
I became determined to smack down any excuses to getting my butt in the gym. I was gonna up my workouts–or at least up my visits to the gym. Ever heard of the term “executive shower”?– and stop wasting money.
My first attempt was to go for a run (outside) and use the lockers and shower–use of the shower and nothing else defines an “executive shower,” and I love the concept. So, there I was, at the gym, changing when I realized I had only ONE sock in my bag. Really? One sock? How does that even happen?** I stared. What now? Run and risk a huge blister? Not run? I guess technically I could have done a workout that didn’t entail the use of socks, but I was stubborn. I clearly had but two choices. I stared at the sock in my hand, then to my shoes on the ground. I decided to go for it.
The second time I went to the gym was for a spinning class to help prepare me for a bike trip from Georgetown to Harper’s Ferry on the C&O Canal.*** There I was, in the locker room, had my shorts on, sports bra, TWO socks and sneakers…and no shirt. What? Really? The location of the locker room in relation to the spinning room was up two flights of stairs and basically in the path of…everyone. I’m not a prude by any stretch but the thought of walking around the gym in only my sports bra wasn’t appealing to me, almost as unappealing as not taking this damn class. I looked inside of my empty gym bag…confirmed: nothing inside. I wore a dress to work that day and pondered just wearing that to class. No…that would look weird…I had my blazer…my blazer! Perfect! Problem solved. So, I put it on, speed-walked up two flights of stairs in front of every man woman and child in the gym and practically ran into the spinning room. I adjusted my bike seat, the handlebars, hopped on, readjusted…and took a spinning class like a boss.****
The third time, I made it to an evening barre class. If you’ve never taken a barre class, I highly recommend it–an amazing workout for beginners to the fittest of the fit. It’s a challenge–be warned. So, I used to go to this class weekly. I was so proud to see my strength increase: more push-ups, more wall work (up, and up, and up, down, and down, and down) without stopping to scream in pain. It had been months since I’d last been to a class. And, there I was, on my hands and knees doing some horrible leg lifts when the instructor, a super sweet, very in shape woman, came over to me, leaned down and whispered, “are you okay?” I just have no words to the many things that went through my mind at that moment. “Are you okay?”…I think only an emoticon can summarize:
I’m just glad I got through this lightening round of gym mishaps…I wish this meant I was past the point of ever having to worry about mishaps again, but for someone like me, every time I pack my gym bag, oh, the possibilities abound.
* The rate would be reasonable if I actually used my membership, and by not using it, I was still giving my gym money each month for no reason.
** At the end of this blog post I confessed my absolute shock about the fact that when I would regularly go to hot yoga classes in Pittsburgh, I almost always forgot a towel to dry my mat while in mid-pose, and that almost never did anyone else forget to bring one. That I would run out the door with my gym bag containing only one running sock isn’t that big of a surprise to me.
*** As of Oct 1, pending government shutdown as the C&O is a national park…that and pending we can’t find a way on the trail regardless.
**** No one noticed me walking from the locker room to the spinning class, no one noticed me in the spinning class, nor on my walk back to the locker after class.