Friday, June 29, 2007

Cheerleader Ninjas in the Weight Room

You must read this hilarious description of Ev's latest gym adventure:
I May Not Be Much Yet...

It's so good, you'll develop strong abs from laughing so much.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Reader Contribution.

Here's a reader contribution from Jessie. I was horrified for her when I read this.

I havent been to the gym in quite some time, as I just let my membership expire after the terrible experiences that I encountered while going there. As much as I attribute my excellent labor and recovery with my second son to all of those laps around the pool, Ive just been too scared to go back.

The first thing that I noticed when I first joined was this couple who never left the spa. They were in their 40's, they were neither fit nor fat, but they never actually worked out. As the spa at my gym was somewhat of a social gathering, they would often get into conversations with whoever was in there with them that day. Fairly normal, maybe they were just "spa rats," right? I can respect that, but there was something odd about this pair. You see, every few minutes, mid conversation, the man would turn to the woman and sing to her. Not just a few bars, but an entire song...slowly. And as he would sing to her, she would gaaaaaaze lovingly into his eyes. Right when people were having a relevant conversation!
"Yeah, gas prices are really high, someone ought to do something about it."
"Oh yes, I agree. My first, my last, my everythiiiiing!"

And it wasnt that he was bad, its that he wasnt very good. It would happen three or four times durring the hour that I would spend in the pool, and everyone in the spa just looked at each other and wait until he was finished to continue speaking. It wasnt that scary, but it was odd.

The time that I got scared was when I was sharing a lane with some man. I was six or seven months pregnant at the time, and he noticed it. He stopped me when I was using my kick board and asked me if I knew what the baby was, and all of that seemingly normal stuff. Then he asked me if I was going to deliver vaginally. I told him to mind his own business and I swam to another lane, but it didnt stop him!

"I was just wondering, because I learned the other day that sometimes women deliver vaginally with their legs up in stirrups," and he proceeded to lean back into the water and put his legs up in imaginary stirrups.

"But sometimes," he continued, "ladies will push the baby out doggy style."

So then he pushed his imaginary baby out doggy style, holding onto the side of the pool for leverage. I decided to cut it short that day and I went into the locker room, only to remember that my friend had my locker key, and she was out in the gigantic gym somewhere, so I had to sit and wait for her to finish working out, all wet in my bathing suit.

After that, I decided to start going to the gym at night. That couple in the spa was still there, they were always there, but on this particular night that I went, some huge family used up all of their guest passes to get 20 rude teenagers into the pool for a party. Annoyed by them swimming across my lane to play Marco Polo, I went inside to ride the bikes. While I was in there, some woman next to me was on her cell phone talking about kegal (sp) exercises for a good 20 minutes, so I just decided to go. When I got to my car, a gym employee was sweeping up shattered glass, as all three of the cars that I was parked by (including the one in front of me in the next row) had their windows broken. I decided that my gym was in a really bad area, so I didnt renew my membership.

There arent any big gyms around here, so I tried to join up with a small one, and the lady would either stare at me, or get on the machines and try to go faster and do better than me. I guess Im not a gym person.

Friday, June 8, 2007

File Under: What the Fuck are They Thinking?

(I worry that there are too many things filed in that category, by the way.)

Yesterday I was at the YMCA getting in a little cardio on the ellipticals. These machines are all the way at the end of the room, up against a glass wall that overlooks the pool. Half the length of the glass wall is taken up by the ellipticals, and the other half of the glass wall has stacks of free weights against it. In walks a woman, probably in her mid-forties, with four plastic Target bags bulging with stuff. She walks over to the free weight stacks and wedges her bags in the seven inch space between the weights and the glass. She is dressed in a denim skirt, a fitted lavender tee-shirt, and bright green crocs. (As an aside, can I just say that I don't think I've ever hated a shoe with so much passion as I hate crocs. Except maybe Ugg boots.) Her hair is done in some kind of poofy do, held back from her face with fancy little clips. Honestly, she looks like she just came from lunch at the mall. She then proceeds to get a pair of weight lifting gloves (the kind with the fingers cut off) and a lifting belt out of one of her Target bags. She dons said attire over her mall outfit and begins lifting weights.

Sometimes, I wish I had mind reading abilities.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Laughing All The Way...

Thursday was the last workout with my trainer, Guido, before my two week cruise. I don't know if the anticipated absence was the reason, or if was just the mood we were both in, but we laughed our way through this entire workout. It was a great way to finish up.

It started as soon as we began talking.

I joked that Roger Clements has a "tired groin" because scar tissue from an earlier injury is starting to break up. Scar tissue from my foot surgery last January is breaking up, too, so I wanted to whine that I shouldn't have to do some exercises because I have a "tired toe." Yeah, that didn't get me as far as it's getting Roger.

I whined. I still had to do the moves.

We went on to come up with new nickname for me: The Debinator. I like it as much as a name the kids gave me when I was a substitute teacher: Robywan Kanobi.

The laughs continued through funny stories about earlier workout session: the Jim Brown story while we did wall squats; the time I threw I threw a minor fit about an exercise; the time I almost fainted.

I breathe poorly while working out, almost holding my breath at times. Not a good thing. Guido can spend a third of my workout telling me to breathe (breathe in, Deb. Now breathe out. And breathe in..) I was doing lunges across the basketball floor (holding my breathe), turned to start back when it became either time to stop and catch my breath or time to faint. I stopped.

"We quit the lunges and went on to something else at that point then, right?" Guido asked.

I gave him "that" look. "No. We're talking you in trainer mode. You let me rest for 30 seconds then told me I still owed you eight lunges."

He couldn't believe that 1)he made me continue and that 2) I did.

Well, yes, he could. That the relationship we have. He pushes me a lot further than I'd ever push myself. And afterward he marvels that I do it all (with a minimum of whining). We always surprise each other.

While we did the body composition measures at the end, he asked me for details about my trip. I told him we were flying into Istanbul and staying at a hotel with a view of the Bosphorus Straits.

"That sounds beautiful, Deb."...

"Um, Guido, you haven't the faintest idea what the Bosphorus is, do you?"

"Nope. Not a clue! But it does sound beautiful!!"

Yes, a geography lesson followed. I earned that Robywan name long ago for a reason!

Mr. Sweaty Guy

One bike was already being used, but all the others were free. I went to my normal one, but it was very wobbly so I didn't feel like wrestling with it and went to the next one, which was beside the one in use. I figured that guy had to be almost done anyway, because he was there since I entered the gym about 1/2 hour ago.

I start my workout, blasting my ipod and watching the news without sound. (I saw that Pope video like 18 times.) I notice that I'm being sprayed. I look up, and the guy next to me, Mr. Sweaty Guy, is quite literally pouring sweat, and some of it is splashing me. I wipe myself off with my towel and adjust myself as best I can to minimize being covered in Other People's Sweat.

For several more minutes, that goes on. Finally Mr. Sweaty Guy leaves, and 2 things happen:
I get blasted by the air conditioner, which he had apparently been blocking from me completely. It was a relief of cool air for me, but how was he sweating that much with that cold air directly on him? Then I notice that he did not return with a paper towel and cleaning solution (provided just a few short feet away) to wipe down his sweat-mobile. There were puddles of sweat on the seat, handlebars, and the floor around. I swear ducks were swimming there.

Gross gross gross.