February 21, 2005

Proud to Look Bad

Me..when I get back from the gym Posted by Hello

I don't perspire, I sweat. When I get back from the gym, I have to put my clothes in the dryer, before I toss them into the hamper. And that's ok, because I go to the gym to WORKOUT, not to socialize, not to catch a man, but to get some work done.

The alarm goes off, it's 5:00 a.m. I roll (literally) out of bed, get into my workout gear, and head out to my car. It's pitch black. Do you know how hard it is to get up, dressed and out the door when you know the rest of your family is happily tucked away in their beds? But I do it, because if I didn't, I'd be fat.

No, let's be honest.

I exercise because I eat. I'm not one of these people who can survive on lettuce leaves and rice cakes (though I have moments). I've accepted the fact that I'm a chocoholic and there's absolutely nothing I can do, or someone can say to me, to change that fact. I'm addicted to sweets. I go in spurts, I don't eat it everyday, but I get such strong cravings for something sweet that it's a physical reaction. I used to scoff at people that told me that, but it's true. Something in my brain simply screams, CHOCOLATE! NOW!

Now that I've accepted the fact that I will always eat candy, that I can control myself, but that it will occasionally happen, I have to combat the calories somehow. Hence, exercise.

So, I'm driving to the gym (it's a good thing I'm usually the only other car on the street because I don't remember driving there half the time). You know what's surprising? The number of joggers out that early in the morning. They're everywhere! And not just the joggers, I see this same older gentleman every morning (in fact, he seems to time it so that he walks by our house just as I'm driving out of the garage. I've almost hit him on a few occasions. THAT will wake a person up) walking his dog. I think it's great. Kudos to him, man.

I get to the gym and hope the "regulars" haven't taken all the mats. I have to stretch when I first get there, it's amazing how stiff my muscles are in the mornings.

Oh good, I beat them.

I claim a mat and start my routine. I work the heck out of my arms (I have my grandma's arms, God rest her soul). As I'm doing my routine, I'm constantly dodging the regulars and their routines. Of course I don't speak to anyone for three reasons: 1. I'm a snob (*grin*) 2. I'm on a time schedule and talking takes time and 3. I'm a GROUCH when I first get up in the morning (my family knows to leave me alone until my scowl disappears).

So, it boggles my mind to watch some of these regulars. It's quite obvious they are there for the sole purpose of gossiping. I have to admit, their stories are amusing, but there is one woman in particular that I just have to laugh at. She LITERALLY lifts the dumbbell once, then calls it a day. She gets on a treadmill, and walks (slowly, I might add) for five minutes. Then she gets one of those antiseptic towelettes and wipes down her treadmill as if she's been shooting sweat all over the room. I don't think I've EVER seen her sweat.


And then, at precisely 6:30, the whole herd of them hit the showers, together. Well, they don't take a shower together (at least I don't think so and frankly, I don't WANT to know), but they all head for the locker room and get cleaned up for work.

Why bother going to the gym at all if you're not there to workout? Perhaps the woman doesn't have anyone at home and this is her way of reconnecting to the human race. I don't know, but what a waste of money! At least, in my opinion. But then again, I'm anti-social so I wouldn't understand the need to TALK to people at any time, let alone at the gym.

I NEVER stay and take a shower. Ever. It reminds me of those nightmarish days back in high school when they MADE us take showers after gym class. That was probably one of the most humiliating experiences in my life. It's especially painful for a person who developed late in life.

And then, there are the ones who actually wear lipstick and curl their hair to workout. I simply stand there and blink at them in astonishment. They are the ones who are fun to watch. It's quite obvious why they are there and it's not to work their pecs. Now granted, you don't see this sort of "workout bunny" in the morning, we all look pretty bad - bed hair, no makeup, saggy clothes. But go in the evenings - it's a different breed. I can't totally diss the women, the guys are just as bad at that time of day. They are strutting around in their muscle shirts and flexing muscles, laughing loudly to gain attention and grunting for effect when they lift the weights. It's like a ceremonial mating dance, watching the females try to pretend they aren't aware the guys are staring at them and the guys trying to catch the females' attention. The clothes tend to get smaller and tighter as the day progresses as well. I know, I've been there at virtually every time during the day (back when I was trying to figure out a good time that worked for me). The difference is literally day and night.

So I come home looking like that monkey up there. Pale, wrinkly, hair sticking every which way (especially when I wear a hat) and I'm proud of it. It's physical proof that I'm getting the job done and not just "talking" about it.

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