The Gym

This weekend Aaron joined the gym with us – I’ve been a member since last spring with the kids and we’re on and off attenders. When we’re on – we’re every day. When we’re off, we’re usually hiding and cursing the automatic monthly payment. Either way – if you stretch out all the times I’ve been since I joined, we’re getting our monies worth.

Aaron has been talking about joining the gym with us for a good 6 months and we finally got around to it this weekend. Not because we don’t want him there with us, but because his schedule generally likes to kick him in the shins while he’s sprinting toward home.

It’s more of an internal battle, to use more time away from the kids or me, to reduce stress. Which, hello? I am all for it. The guy needs a hobby – and punching things or throwing balls, running, swimming and lifting weights? All great hobbies. Good for your heart, too. I am a fan.

But here’s what he doesn’t know about the gym, and this is what I’d like to call “The Beginners Guide to our Gym: A Warning.

1. I know this because I’ve asked, and guy’s locker rooms aren’t like you see on TV. They don’t sit around in towels, completely naked – throwing dirty socks around or telling Yo-Mamma jokes. Turns out when you’re naked, you’re all a bit like the girls locker room. Like a little lost bird who just wants to find her nest again. Flailing limbs, tripping over half strewn on clothes in an effort to avert your eyes from the ass in your face, possibly the years worst-kept beaver trail and then you have to look them in the eyes and be all “Oh hey! This Weather, huh?”

2. You’re so cute, you gung-ho newbie! Try every class and get those stamps for your promotional $50 giftcard. You know what the gym is doing right? A service to themselves: in an effort to keep them past the 60 day drop out, if we dangle a gift card in their face they’ll totally complete the program and learn to love being told that they’re doing it wrong. HARDER! FASTER! DO NOT SLOW DOWN! That gift card? Is only good for the gym, not a great night out – or your favorite retail store. You can buy 50 bottles of water! On them! Or pay for other classes, or kids classes. And well, working that hard to like sweating your balls off should mean I get something shiny when I’m through.

3. Spin class will break your vagina. I mean … well, I mean your vagina. I’m not a guy. I tried the spin class 8 very sore weeks after giving birth to an over nine pound he-man child, whom made his exit from my body through the birth canal. Spelled that one out for ya, huh? That’s technically only 2 weeks after the doctor inspects your still raw-meat girl parts and says, hey guess what! You can totally “practice” making more babies already! This doctor is generally a male because any female doctor would look at you, commiserate and then write you a prescription for an entire 4 months that having any kind of sex will incapacitate the ability to ever give a blow job again. That’s how it works.

4. When you start to have a routine to your gym schedule you’ll notice the routines of other frequent gym-goers as well. You’ll start to know which locker you prefer and which shower stall. You’ll begin the rhythm that will eventually be like coming home, taking off all your stress from the day and zoning out for an hour or two, maybe three. DO NOT INTERRUPT THE RHYTHM OF YOUR GYM GOER COUNTERPARTS. You noticed that Speedo guy likes the locker at the end of the 3rd row, don’t throw his game off and steal it. Don’t strike up conversations with folks on the treadmill, there are people who LIVE on those treadmills (I am one of them) and I stare directly in front of me with something really loud with lots of bass streaming in my ears – and I run away as fast as I can, for as long as I can. Do not disturb this kind of therapy. You know where the chatter’s hang out? Good, go there.

5. Welcome! It’s just like high school PE class only no one is timing your mile.

I’m pretty sure Aaron’s gym experience will be awesome now. He says he’s going to try the Spin class today … so, you know. I’ll be buying foam donuts this afternoon.

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