So it's Friday and it's been two weeks now since my gym membership was restarted after a temporary freeze due to Hubby's job loss back in January. (He's gainfully employed again, thanks.) Have I been to the gym in the last two weeks? No, because I'd gotten into a lovely habit of NOT going these last six months, thanks.
I was talking about going with my friend Dee (no, that's not her real name, but the name of the gym isn't SILVER'S either. Gotta protect the innocent, me, from lawsuits, ya know!) and Dee mentioned that she was thinking about joining Silver's.
I felt it was vitally important I warn her against a couple of things up front. And, given how hard she was laughing once I told her this tale, I figured I should probably give you all a glimpse into my life as a gym rat.
About a year ago, a brand new Silver's Gym opened in the space that used to be a grocery store with a very good bakery. No irony there. My favorite coffee shop shares a parking lot with the gym...as does my favorite Chinese place, sub place, and pharmacy that has my favorite candy. Hubby mentioned that I should look into a membership, since they were still under construction and memberships were super cheap.
Super cheap, by the way, is a relative term that means different things to different people. In this instance, super cheap means they were going to wave the sign up fee (which they actually took out of my account anyway "by Mistake" and then it took them six weeks to refund it...) and since I signed up for a membership when all they had was three treadmills in an unairconditioned cubicle, I was going to have the privilege of paying under $30 a month ($29.99) for the rest of my life.
Bonus, one of the things with my new Silver's membership was I got two sessions FREE with a personal trainer. I'd never had a personal trainer before. I've watched "Biggest Loser" like a million times. Dee and I watch it together, while we drink wine, eat chocolate and heckle the "Losers." (is that wrong?)
So it was with visions of Jillian and Bob dancing in my head that I went to my first session. I was teamed with a studly young dude named Steve. (That's his real name. I don't care about getting sued by him.) Our first session, apparently, was about talking. We talked about what I was doing right (not much..but I drank enough water every day.) and what I was doing wrong (too much for me to list in this blog.) We set a goal for me. (I wanted to stop having to shop in the Gigantor Lady department at Mumus R Us.)
The second session, he promised, would be all about work. So bright and early on the Saturday of 4th of July weekend last year I popped in for my second free session with Steve.
Steve was eating breakfast when I got there. It seems he, too, enjoys the donuts and frothy creamy drinks from my favorite coffee place across the parking lot.
"Go get on the treadmill," says he, inhaling another bite of glazed donut. "I'll be there in a minute."
I didn't question it. I mean, this is what Bob and Jillian do, right? Eat donuts while the fatties warm up?
So after about fifteen minutes of my free hour, Steve strolls over, and says, "You need to speed that up." He then takes it upon himself to set the treadmill to a speed I wasn't aware my legs were capable of matching. Then, still blowing DONUT CRUMBS ON ME he starts a conversation with me.
"What do you?"
"I'm an author...." pant, gasp wheeze.
"Really, what have you written?"
It should be noted, and I speak for writers everywhere, I hate that question. What have I written? EVERYTHING since I was five. What have I published...that's the bigger question.
"My-first-book-" gasp choke
"What's it about?" More crumbs on his part, more panting on mine.
I pushed the "PANIC" button on the treadmill and said, "Skippy, we can talk or you can kill me with this treadmill, but we cannot do both."
"Let's go to the machines," says Crumb Boy.
Now we're sitting on one of those muscle machines, you know the ones that sort of look like something the Medici's would have loved? Or maybe something born of the Spanish Inquisition...whatever. I tell Crumb Boy Steve that I want to work on my GUT. Which means, of course, we spend all of our time torturing my arms. It must be something like Trickle Down Economics...
"So what's your book about?" asks the very interested Crumb Boy, who is now eyeing a blond woman who just strolled in.
"Oh it's about a woman in her middle years, who's in love with a retired rock star, sort of like Rick Springfield."
At this point I stop trying to pull the 900 pound weight Steve's attached to whatever pully and lever machine I'm using and I say, "You don't know who Rick Springfield is? How young are you?"
Crumb boy take a swig of his frothy beverage. Did I mention he got it with the whipped cream? "Never heard of him. Hey Biff, have you ever heard of Rick Springfield?"
Now, Biff is three machines down, torturing another woman who looks about my age and weight class. She stops trying to hoist a ball the size of a small cow over her head and says, "OH I JUST LOVE RICK SPRINGFIELD!"
AHA! I have made a friend at the gym! I start talking to her about his tour schedule and all that, while Thing one and Thing two are trying to decide if Rick Springfield was a president or something they probably should have learned in junior high, or maybe they just haven't gotten to that chapter yet in their high school history class.
Suddenly Steve realizes it's almost the end of our free hour and he does NOT want me to have ANY FUN, and therefore hire him as my actual personal trainer. So he gets this serious look on his chocolate stained face and says, "You can talk, but there's no stopping the work out!"
I do two more reps (that's gym talk for attempts to lift something that's far too heavy) and my time is up.
I walked out of the gym and out of Steve's life. The next three days I was unable to lift anything because I couldn't bend my arms. This got in the way of my adult beverage consumption over the holiday weekend. Very hard to drink a glass of wine when you are unable to lift your hand to your mouth. I had to bend at the waist (My gut muscles were very nice and flabby thank you) and drink through a straw. On the bright side, I think I lost a pound because I couldn't actually lift food to my face.
So tonight I'll make an attempt to get back into the gym. I won't be working with a personal trainer, of course. If I going to get food on myself, I'd like it to be food I've chewed, not someone else.
And on that note, hey, come on down to Silver's Gym and work out with me! (I'll be the one sitting on the recumbent elliptical, watching the movie in Cardio Cinema!)
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