Posts Tagged ‘the gym’
Riddle me this, readers:
You’re at the gym. It’s empty, but for one solitary person – a clumsy redhead, say – who is wheezing away on the treadmill right next to the wall. This treadmill is one of about ten such machines, so there are lots to choose from. Do you:
a) Use the treadmill furthest away from the wheezy redhead.
b) Use one in the middle of the row, so you’re not too close to the wheezy redhead, but not so far away that she’ll worry that she smells or something.
c) Use the treadmill RIGHT NEXT TO HERS, even although there are, as noted, about eight other ones to choose from.
d) Leave the gym immediately. Ain’t no way you’re sharing space with a GINGER.
I would choose option A. This is because I hate people, and I like a bit of space while I’m working out. Also because I am apparently incapable of listening to music without kind of mouthing along to the words, and sometimes, you know, busting some moves. I’ve been listening to a lot of Lady Gaga on my runs: you can imagine how good THAT looks. Put it this way: you totally CAN read my poker face. GOD. When I’m not singing, though, my mouth just kind of hangs open, like a slack-jawed yokel, and I CANNOT keep it closed. Which is… nice.
So, yes, I would choose option A every time. Every other member of our gym, though? Option C. Doesn’t matter how many machines are free, they will choose the one next to mine. Every. Time. This is how The Others behave, obviously. It kind of horrifies me, because as well as the aforementioned “mouthing”, I sound like I’m having a fit when I run. Seriously, it’s like I’m dying. And when someone else is running along just an arm’s length away from me, I have to spend the whole run repeating, “Shut your mouth. Be quiet. Stop singing. Shut your mouth. Be quiet!” (In my own head, obviously. Well, at least I THINK I say it in my own head…)
(Note: I obviously don’t mind people being near me if the gym is busy. Well, I do, but I don’t feel I can complain about it. I’m talking about when it’s as quiet as the grave, though, and I’m the only other person in it. )
This is, of course, the same phenomenon I used to notice when I would go swimming at the gym, and instantly my lane would fill with fifteen other people, while the rest of the pool remained totally empty. Terry says people just like a bit of company, and I’m weird. This may well be true. Either that or it’s the “If you’re crazy, come and sit next to me!” sign on my forehead…
It hasn’t been a good week for my clothes. No, I haven’t lost any of them, but…
First of all I managed to dye my running shoes grey. Yes, grey. They WERE a kind of beige colour, but all of that running I’ve been doing recently had turned them the colour of mud, basically, so when I got back from Wednesday’s run, I decided to throw them in the washing machine, so they’d be nice and clean for my planned trip to the gym the next day.
“And I will throw a bunch of BLACK clothes in with them!” I thought. “Because THAT won’t be a disaster at all!”
But of course, it DID turn out to be a disaster. Because the running shoes came out of the machine GREY. And that’s how I came to find myself making the Least Exciting Shoe Purchase in the Whole World Ever:
running shoes, yesterday
(Yes, I have noted the irony of the fact that I replaced my dyed-grey shoes with a pair of naturally grey shoes…)
In fairness, I had been planning to buy new running shoes for a while. It had become clear to me that if I intend to keep up the running, I would need two pairs of trainers, one for the gym and one for running outside. Because the gym will probably throw me out if I keep trailing mud across their nice clean floors, and it’s not exactly practical to keep washing them all the time. (The shoes, that is. Not the floors. I’m definitely not washing the gym’s floors, no way.) So I bought these, put the old trainers back into the machine for another spin (on their own this time), and, of course, they came out looking totally pristine and back to normal, so I really didn’t need the second pair at all, except I totally did. Whew!
Anyway, as I said, when I washed the shoes, I washed a bunch of other stuff at the same time, and one of those things was a black sports top of mine.
And when I tried to iron that black top? I burnt it, so now it has a giant iron-shaped mark, right in the middle of the chest. Excellent!
And when I let out a shriek and ran to switch off the iron, lest I damage something else with it? I caught the leggings I was wearing (for yes, readers I WAS WEARING LEGGINGS AND I DON’T EVEN CARE, SO THERE) on the back of Rubin’s “den”, and I ripped those leggings to shreds. Well, shred.
Total damages for the day: one pair of running shoes (now thankfully restored to working order), one top, one pair of leggings.
Not bad for a day when I only actually left the house once!
Terry has just reminded me that I haven’t yet provided my monthly breakdown of Things I Bought for February and so, because I know the world will surely end if I don’t list these items, here it is…
February was a bit of a crappy month, as you know, but unhappily this extended to shopping as well as to getting locked out of my car and growing a second head. In a way, you could see this as a good thing (Terry does) because it meant that, for the first time in ages, I was a Good Girl and didn’t spend ALL of my salary the second it hit my bank account, but you could also see it as a Bad Thing (I do) because, well, it just wasn’t much fun, really.
The main source of the Not Fun sprang from the fact that I “took a notion”, as my granny used to say, for new gym clothes. It’s a bit of a pain this “taking a notion” for something. It happens to me a lot, and it generally means that I end up spending all my money on lots of the same kind of thing. Like, one time it was pyjamas. I decided I absolutely could not live without lots of new pyjamas and other “lounge wear” items, and so THAT month I was really well dressed between the hours of about midnight – 8am, but after that, not so much.
Another time it was bed linen. I wanted new bed linen, and I didn’t just want one set: no, I wanted MORE than one set, and I also wanted some cushions and nice blankets, too. (Note: I don’t ALWAYS “take a notion” for things related to sleeping. Just a lot of the time.)
Anyway, this month I took a notion for new gym clothes, in the mistaken belief that they would cause me to leap pout of bed every morning with a smile on my face, just raring to get to that gym, by God! February’s shopping, then, consisted of:
- One pair of capri-style running pants
- One pair of jogging pants
- Two tops
- One zip-up jacket thing
- One sports bra
- One black dress
- One,er, bikini
- One cardigan
- One short-sleeved top.
And NO SHOES.
This month: must try harder. (Kidding! I’m kidding!)
This weekend marks the one year anniversary of Terry and I joining the gym. We decided to celebrate the occasion by forgetting to renew our membership, so that when we turned up for Body Pump on Monday morning and tried to swipe our membership cards, the turnstiles wouldn’t open for us and a recorded message started blasting through the entire gym saying, “INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT! GUESS WHO HASN’T PAID THEIR MEMBERSHIP FEES?!”
Ok, maybe not that last bit, but a small queue did form behind us as we resolutely tried to force our way through the barriers, completely oblivious to the fact that the gym had PUT A BLOCK ON OUR CARDS. Even although the membership technically doesn’t run out until Friday. GOD. Luckily, Terry had brought our bank details with him, so we were able to sort things out and gain access to Body Pump, but the experience had clearly put me off my stride, because when we finally made it into the studio I managed to select The Step That Always Falls Apart As Soon As You Touch it, and it clattered to the floor in three pieces, making so much noise that everyone stopped what they were doing to look at me.
Then I picked it up and immediately dropped it again.
Then I picked it up a third time, swung round and… barrelled straight into the punch bag that hangs from the ceiling.
The next morning, when we arrived for Body Combat, we discovered that our cards were STILL BLOCKED, and riot police were preventing us from entering the gym. I wonder why?
Anyway, despite the fact that I drop the equipment on a regular basis and haven’t been able to use the pool since January, I’m actually feeling pretty pleased with myself that I lasted out the entire year, because let’s face it, I really didn’t expect to. At all. I mean, I was really just humouring Terry when I agreed to join up, and my intention was to only use the sauna and spa, and to make sure I didn’t break a sweat, ever. But somehow I managed to keep going, and am now actually going even more regularly than I did to start with, when I was still in hot pursuit of that free towel. Yay me!
And now I’m going to go eat cake…
Today at the gym (four times in a row! GO ME!), before the class even started, I managed to:
1. Drop a barbell on my thumb, creating the kind of pain that makes your heart rise into your mouth, and makes you feel like you’re going to throw up any second.
2. During a gap in the ear-splittingly loud music that was playing at the time, shout out the phrase, “HE LIKES TO STOP AND PEE ALL THE TIME!”
I think I may be starting to understand why I’m Amber-No-Mates at the gym…
(On that second one, I was having a shouted conversation with Terry at the time, about a man I’d spotted through the window, who was out running with his two dogs.
Me: I wish I could go running with Rubin!
Terry: You could go running with Rubin.
Me: No I couldn’t: I’d never get to do any running because he…
Well, you know the rest. And so does everyone who was in Body Pump this morning. Gah.)
On the plus side, this product, on sale in the gym’s reception, always makes me smile, so it’s a good job I always have my phone camera with me at the gym, for those “pretending to be busy” moments:
OMG, size zero! Isn’t it terrible the pressure kids are under to be skinny these days? Particularly given that, as we all know for a fact, size zero is ugly and unattractive, and ALL MEN hate women who are that size. Because those women are not “real” women. Nosiree.
Note: I’m being sarcastic, by the way, just in case anyone didn’t realise. (And trust me, I have to say that because there’s pretty much always someone who doesn’t. Case in point: the angry comments I sometimes get on this entry from people who want to tell me off for being so “nasty” about redheads and “hating on them”. Because yes, folks, I am secretly one of the redhead hatrz. That’s why I have this headfull of red hair, you know? Because I hate it. Not as much as I hate the use of the phrase “hating on”, though.)
Where was I? Oh yes, size zero. Yes, I was being sarcastic above, because God knows, this is my pet hate right now, the way people would never in a million years make a derogatory comment about larger women (and quite rightly so), but think it’s absolutely fine to call thin ones “ugly” and tell them endlessly than no men find them attractive. Names like “stick insects” and “lollipop heads” and “skeletons” are bandied about with gay abandon in the UK media right now (and particularly in the fashion blogosphere, where slagging off the skinny girls is de rigeur these days), but overweight people are regularly described as “curvy” and “voluptuous” and “real women”. (What are the thin ones, then? Imaginary?)
It winds me up. So much, in fact, that I don’t think I can even trust myself to write any more about it without it degenarating into an incoherent rant. Even more so than it has already, I mean. Here, have a picture of my dog:
A long time ago, in a land not-so-very-far from here, there lived a
beautiful princess young woman who decided to take a step class at her local gym. “I shall take a step class,” said the young woman. “Because I bet that won’t hurt AT ALL.”
So she did take the step class. And it did hurt. But not half so much as it hurt the next morning when the young woman tried to get out of bed and instantly fell flat on her face. Somehow, in the still watches of the night, her poor, tired leg muscles had seized up completely, leaving her legs “frozen” in a sort of “sitting down position”. The young woman could straighten her legs, but not without a great deal of pain, so she was forced to walk around all day long with her legs in that same, “sitting down” position. This sucked, especially given that she now had a flat face too, after falling out of the bed.
At this time, the young woman worked in an office which could only be accessed via a steep flight of stairs. Of course, when our heroine arrived at that office, still in her leg-locked, hunchback position, she found she couldn’t negotiate this staircase while standing up. Because she was a determined young woman – and also: a stupid one – however, she decided to persevere, and made her way up the stairs by sitting down on her poor, aching butt (also injured during the step class) and hauling herself up with her arms (thankfully functioning normally). She made her way back down in the same, ungainly fashion.
After that, the young woman didn’t go to step class no more. But years passed, and as she grew older but no wiser, the young woman started to realise that she could not possibly continue to eat the Easter chocolate at such a rate without doing something to work it off, so the young woman had a long, hard think to herself, and she thought, “I know! I will take a Body Pump class! Because I bet lifting heavy weights for 45 minutes won’t hurt AT ALL, and that whole “step class” fiasco was probably just a fluke.”
And so it was that our heroine found herself in a Body Pump class, lifting weights to music. And almost instantly, she realised that this? Was a mistake. Even although there were other people in the class who’d never done Body Pump before either, the instructor decided to focus her attention on our heroine. “Everyone add more weights to their bar!” she would shout encouragingly. “Ginger girl at the back: go down to the lightest weight possible!”
It was during a set of exercises known only to the girl as “Oh my holy God, why am I doing this?” that our heroine realised she was in trouble. Because, you know that scene in Harry Potter where Harry has all the bones removed from his arm and had to grown them back? That’s exactly how her arms felt. Only without the “growing back” bit. Because the girl was still stupid, though, she persevered. “Am I not the girl who once ran for 49 minutes and two seconds before almost fainting with exhaustion, after all?” she asked herself. She was, indeed, that girl. But perhaps a better question to ask herself would have been, “Am I not the girl who once fell off her bike twice in thirty seconds?” because seriously, WHO PUTS THEMSELVES THROUGH THIS KIND OF CRAP?
Well, I do. For this, people, was no fairytale. I AM THAT GIRL. Today? My legs aren’t quite “frozen”, like they were after step, but I’ve been avoiding the stairs as best I can all day, and let’s just say I’m really worried about how I’m going to get my wine glass to and from my mouth tomorrow.
And next week? I’m going to do it again. And I’m also thinking of signing up for Body Attack. Because seriously, I bet that won’t hurt AT ALL…
What’s that in my hand, I hear you ask excitedly? (Note: not really, but let’s just pretend, ‘kay?) Oh, nothing much… just my FREE TOWEL that I picked up today, having successfully completed my thirteen visits to the gym in the first month of membership, that’s all:
Whee! Dontchya wish your towel was hot like mine? Dontchya?
It’s ready for its close-up:
“My owner went to the gym and all I got was this lousy towel… P.S. I will probably pee on it later.”
So, yeah, that’s the fruit of all my hard labours at the gym. Kinda crappy really, isn’t it? Now I will never have to go back again! Weird thing, though: during my thirteen-but-actually-fourteen visits to the gym this month, I have actually learned to like it, just a little bit. I mean, today I even ran on the treadmill as opposed to just walking on it while flicking through my iPod playlists, and that’s a really big achievement for me, y’know? In fact, as soon as I’m finished writing this entry, I’m going to go and order me a new green hoodie to replace the old green hoodie that (ahem!) worked out so well for me last year. * Cough * So, it’ll be the new new green hoodie. I am excited already.
Anyway, from the plethora of photos of my towel, and the talk about hoodies, green or otherwise, you will have concluded that either:
a) I am going for the title of “Most Boring Blogger of 2007″ – and looking likely to win it
b) There is STILL absolutely nothing happening in my life at the moment.
Um, I guess it’s a bit of both, really, but at least by writing this post I will give my mum something to say when friends of hers ask her what exactly it is that I do for a living - she will now be able to say, with pride, “Oh, you know, she takes pictures of towels and posts them on the Internet. She’s one of those ‘bloggers’.”
As it happens, though, I have been working very hard recently – so hard, in fact, that I have had to take the almost unprecedented step of trying to get up early in the mornings in a bid to fit it all in. Yeah, that sucks. When you tell people you work from home, they instantly imagine it’ll be all sleeping until midday and watching daytime TV, but they are wrong! Sometimes even I have to drag my sorry ass out of bed at a decent hour of the morning, and that really doesn’t go down AT ALL WELL with the sorry ass in question.
This morning, for instance, I was awakened by the alarm on my phone, which I had cleverly set last night, forgetting that sometimes my phone likes to just randomly select a ring tone to apply to its alarm, and sometimes that ringtone is – why, it’s the one that sounds JUST LIKE A RINGING PHONE!
That was how I found myself leaping from my bed in the early hours of this morning, shrieking to Terry that “OMG SOMEONE HAS DIED AGAIN! AGAIN!” Then there was another few brief moments of panic as I decided that it was obviously TERRY who had died, owing to the fact that I bounced around screaming for at least a minute before working out that, whoops, it was just the alarm on the phone, and Terry DID NOT BAT AN EYELID or move a muscle. I think I now know why he never manages to get to the phone in time when The Phantom Phoner calls…
I am done with the pool. No, that didn’t take long, did it? And actually, to be fair, it’s not so much the pool I’m done with so much as it’s The Others:
Yes, The Others have troubled me for the very last time – or I hope so, anyway – but they have gone out with a bang, driving me from the pool this afternoon after a mere 15 lengths. Bravo, Others!
See, I was swimming in the super-wide “only really for children and old people” lane. When I arrived, there was only one other person in it. By the time I left, there were five of us, all swimming en masse, and bumping into each other like tadpoles in a jar. Every time I reached the end of the pool and turned round to come back, another person would emerge from the changing room and slide into my lane. The water was so choppy from all of the frantic activity that it was like swimming on a storm-tossed sea, only with Others all around you. So no, not the most pleasant swim I’ve ever had in my life.
In the “fast lane”, which is really only wide enough for one person, there were two Others: one powering up and down at a rate of knots, and the other just floating gently on his back, because he was That Guy Who Wears a Nose Plug Just to Float Around Like a Dead Person.
In the middle lane, meanwhile? Was The Whistler.
I swam for as long as I could stand it, but when I noticed a sixth person beginning to insert himself, sardine-like, into the pool, I decided to get the hell out of Dodge and go and soak in the jacuzzi instead.
Unfortunately, The Whistler decided to come with me.
I went to the poolside showers to wash the chlorine off first, and in the time it took me to get there, The Whistler had made it to the jacuzzi. “PEEP!” he said as I pressed the button to switch on the shower. And “PEEP!” he said again as I turned the shower back off, grabbed my towel and beat my retreat.
I got dressed and went to sit in the lounge to wait for Terry. Before I sat down, though, I wandered over to the window overlooking the pool and looked in. THE POOL WAS EMPTY. EMPTY. When Terry went in, just a few minutes later, he had the whole pool to himself. Gah. Freakin’ Others.
Anyway, clearly this state of affairs cannot continue. With the pool now established as the private domain of The Others (Leader: The Whistler), I’m going to have to venture into the gym itself. GOD. If anyone would like to start placing bets on how long this will last, just let me know. I’m determined it’ll last at least a week, though, so to this end, I went shopping this afternoon to buy gym clothes, on account of I gave all my old gym clothes to the charity shop, thinking I would never need them again. This leaves me with absolutely nothing I can wear to the gym, other than an ancient pair of yoga pants which I bought when I was about 20 and some running shoes Terry bought me five years ago.
Things I Do Not Own:
- Jogging pants
- A hoodie
- Any shorts that are designed for function rather than fashion
- Any t-shirts that are designed for function rather than fashion
- Ummm, what else do people wear to exercise in?!
Things I Have No Particular Wish To Own:
So, I hit the shops and bought these:
And also: a really nice little cashmere blend cardigan with a little bow at the neck, which will be absolutely no use at the gym whatsoever.
So! Ancient pair of yoga pants and old white trainers it is then! I did try to find gym clothes. The problem was that I’m a skinny short ass, so all the pants were way too long and all the tops were way too baggy, and also: I have no idea what people wear to the gym. What do people wear to the gym? Do they wear leggings? Or do they wear… something else? Help me out here, people: what do you wear to the gym?