On some days, God made supermodels. On other days, he made people like me.
I’ve been going to the gym three times per week for the two months. It has become part of my routine and while I would be lying if I said I enjoy it, I do enjoy becoming healthier. What I want is to become skinnier, but I have an impressionable six-year old daughter, so words such as fat, skinny, etc. are not used in my house. Instead, we aim to be “healthy.”
I started out in the old lady classes. The instructors talked about healthy bone density and how to avoid hip injuries. While we pumped away with our little three-pound hand weights and moved slowly to the music, I could see into the opposite classroom where my friends were hauling barbells up and down, doing crunches, and pouring sweat. I would wave merrily and keep barely-sweating with the oldies. However, it didn’t take long to realize that my fat ass needed a little something more.
This led me to body pump classes. My first one was grueling. I introduced myself to the instructor and when she asked how in shape I was, I merely laughed. Pear may be a shape, but not the one I am aiming for. She took great care of me and showed me exactly how I should lift, the appropriate weights, and alternate postures. The first problem I had was that I couldn’t curse as much as I liked because if I stopped counting for even a minute, I lost focus and was pretty sure I was going to bring the barbells down on my chest and crush my boobs into pulp. The second problem was that my legs were sore for three days afterward.
However, at the end of my first body pump class, the entire group gave me a round of applause. At the end of my second one, with a different instructor, the entire group laughed at me. I’ll take both. At least they are interested in my progress. After my first (and last) disastrous spin class, I had a few people approach me to encourage me to try again and give me pointers (and a gel seat) to urge me back onto the saddles. In every group class I have taken, someone always shows me what to do and keeps me motivated. Sure, I may want to kill some of them, especially the perky ones who cheer through the pain (I am so looking at you D!) and the already skinny ones who don’t even seem to need the gym at all (S), but we all have our body issues to bear.
When I don’t take classes, I use the cardio and weight machines to “strengthen my core.” I really just want to flatten my tummy and tighten my ass, but I’ll take what I can get. I met with a trainer on my first visit and he gave me a list of machines, weights, and reps to perform. I feel like an idiot, I am pretty sure I look like an idiot, but I do them faithfully. I’m not as good on the cardio machines. It is much harder to make myself run because I’m sure the sound of my thundering feet is deafening and I really don’t want to poke an eye out. My girls may be double-strapped down, but they are still lethal weapons.
So every Tuesday and Thursday and whatever third day I can fit in besides, I go to the gym. I watch Ken and Barbie, a lovely couple burnished to a golden copper, who both work out in a full blow-out and makeup. I watch the little old man who uses the rowing machine wearing jeans and a cardigan. I check out everyone’s asses because that’s the only part I can see to determine which style and shape I am trying to achieve. I say hi to everyone I know, try to get my place in either the back of the class (the better to hide) or the side of the cardio machines (the better to watch ESPN), and try to remember that sweat is good. Money to have lipo would be better, but sweat is good for now.