I hate the gym. I dread it. I don’t really want to go. But sometimes in life, you have to do things you don’t really want to do.
Let me clarify- it’s not the actual gym I hate. I recently joined a Planet Fitness and I joined it specifically because of it’s low price, it’s “no frills” approach, it’s distaste for preening and parading around in spandex trying to show off what great shape you’re already in and the fact that many of the members working out there were either older or heavier than me and dressed in baggy shorts and ripped old t-shirts. It very clearly was the kind of place people came to get sweaty and get fit and then get out. I like that a lot. So, really, it’s not the gym I dread, it’s the people I run into AT the gym.
For instance, on more than one occasion, I have seen a students from my high school at the gym. And they’ve seen me. And I’m a friendly person and a nice enough teacher and few students (that I know of) hate me, so these interactions go well, but it’s hard to maintain an aura of “I’m so cool and worldly and I know things you don’t so you should pay attention when I talk” while you’re huffing and puffing and pouring sweat from every orifice that will pour. I have a feeling that if I were an elementary school teacher, this would be an entirely different experience, but since I teach high school, well, it’s just kinda embarrassing.
And then, a few weeks ago, shortly after joining the gym in fact, I saw my husband’s ex-girlfriend. In the flesh. In MY gym. And she got on the treadmill in front of me, just over to the left. Ugh. Since we had never met in person and since I’m sure she’s never seen any pictures of me (though I discovered a cache of some of her when we moved, which my husband HAD forgotten about and promptly DID throw out, but still…) she had no idea who I was. And there was really no need for conversation. So instead I just stared at her like a stalker with a mission as I finished my workout right behind her and then left the gym in a hurry. Now, when I pull in to the parking lot, I’m hunting for her car. And once I get inside, I’m hunting for students. And once all this hunting is done and I’m sure I’m finally alone, I can settle down for a workout.
Yesterday, despite recognizing a student in the parking lot and actually walking in together, I managed to stay on the elliptical for 30 minutes. I was inspired by my successful weigh-in at WW which FINALLY somewhat matched the weigh-in’s I’ve been doing at home (I knew it’d only be a matter of time before that cold, calculating scale actually gave me some credit!). AND I signed up for a personal training session next Monday to customize a weight lifting program for me. I left feeling pretty darn good… until my husband wanted to go for a 12 mile bike ride after work. On the BWI airport loop.
The loop is fairly flat, with the exception of a few hills, and these hills to me seemed gargantuan. It was hot and humid and my body is not used to working that hard in those conditions. And, oh by the way, I had already used my poor legs for 30 minutes of exercise, so the hour and fifteen minutes I pushed them to pedal for felt like undeserved punishment. But it is, after all, a loop, so there’s really no where to go but forward if you want to see your car again. A little over 12 miles later, I felt unbelievably proud. And sore. And determined. I think I can make in an hour next time. I mean, even if it does hurt a bit, at least I don’t run into anyone on the trail so it sure beats the dungeon, er gym.