Wednesday, January 31, 2007

No Pain, No Gain? Music is the Answer!

I can't move my legs. Yesterday I seemed to have done a very effective lower body workout and it hurts to move. This will negatively impact my cardio workout today.

And, I still have yet to add Bon Jovi onto my iPod! I swear, it takes me forever to get around to handling technology. Still, at one point Debra suggested we share our playlists, which I think is brilliant so that I can find more good music to add to my "machine."

Here's the bizarro mix I listen to:
The Animals - House of the Rising Sun
Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way (I need to get rid of this)
Beatles - various songs from various albums
Beyonce - Crazzy Right Now
B-52s - Love Shack
Christina Aguillera - You are Beautiful (seriously, I love this song)
Deelite - Grooze is the in Heart
Dido - her first album + White Flag (I so love Dido)
Fastball - The Way
Fugees - Killing me Softly and Fugee-La (I suspect that is not the title)
Led Zepplin - tons of random songs (LOVE Zepplin! Yeah!)
Madonna - Music and Ray of Light albums (Ray of Light is amazing)
Prince - When Doves Cry and Purple Rain
Queen - We Will Rock You (I need to add the second part of the song)
?Mark and the Mysterians - 96 Tears (great oldie!)
Sugar Ray - I Just Want to Fly (a song that makes me want to sing very loudly)

I think I have more stuff on it, but the playlist is not in front of me. (I'm impressed that I remembered this much.) But it is clear that Bon Jovi is needed badly, and that I must finally gett rid of that damn Backstreet Boys song. On the other hand, I do like their song "Everybody," so perhaps I'll swap it out... I could also use some older Madonna, like "Like a Prayer."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Some tips for the chick that went straight into the toilet-stall to change, instead of in the actual locker room

1. This is a locker room. In a gym. It was built specifically for the purpose of changing one's clothes.

2. If you needed affirmation about #1, I was in there, and I was half-nekkid myself.

3. Don't try to pretend that you went in there to pee, by flushing the toilet when you were done. Since it was just me & you in there, I did not hear any peeing. Plus I saw you take your gym bag in there and emerge wearing different clothes and shoes.

4. If you must ignore #s 1-3 above, at least go into the big stall, you dolt!

Monday, January 29, 2007

She Came for A Workout... but What Kind??

There was some question what her intent was coming to the gym. Her outfit left some doubt.

Shoes: White. Athletic in design. Even laced and tied.

Pants: Cotton and Lycra blend. Black. Mid-calf length. Form fitting. Still rather typical gym fare.

Top: Nylon with polyester lace trim. Leopard print. Baby-doll shaped. Thin straps paired with bra's black straps. Low cut in front. The keyhole opening in the back bisected by her black bra band. Definitely more of a "let's just roll into bed" message.

Hair: Tussled.

I spotted her first on the stationary bikes, then later by the weight machines. I expected to see some interesting action by the bench press bench...but never did.

Friday, January 26, 2007

newspaper guy

I can understand not wanting to watch tv while you ride the bike at the gym (even though at MY gym, all the cardio equipment has their own built-in tv). Some people bring magazines. Not a problem. The guy next to me last night brought the NY Times. Understandable.

The thing that was not understandable is that he brought the whole paper. And it was not folded neatly in a readable way. There were pages stuffed into the drink holder, wrapped around the handle bars, crumpled in his lap, and just everywhere you could think to stuff a newspaper page.

For how messy it was, he was very relaxed. He was not exerting himself while on the machine, but he was moving a bit. I guess something is better than nothing. Makes me wonder what would happen if he didn’t have the crumpled newspaper with him to “read.”

Monday, January 22, 2007

press "end call" ...just for a minute

While I'm changing in the locker room, a girl walks in on her phone. "Blah, blah blah. Jenny called you? Did you tell her we were interested?" Then she proceeds into a bathroom stall, still talking. The other women and I are all wondering WTF is up with this phone girl. It's very quiet. Then Phone Girl begins whispering. "I'm kind of in the bathroom at the gym, and everyone can hear me."

I don't know if she meant that everyone could hear her conversation, or could hear her peeing. Because it was both. I think the person on the other end of the line could hear both as well. I'm just saying, there's a time and a place...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hot Tub Hollering

A few nights ago I went to the Y to swim as usual. However, also as usual the schedule in no way reflected how the pool was actually being used. Thus, I needed to wait for a spot to open up in the sole lap swim lane. To pass the time I decided to sit in the hot tub despite the apparent risk of getting a STD (yes, I'm kidding about being concerned, but according to Oprah it could happen.) Maybe it was just because it was pretty cold out, but the water seemed unusually hot. Let's not reflect on that one too much. Anyhow, it was fairly crowded and everyone had a dazed and relaxed look on their face. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a young girl, maybe 11 or 12, and her younger brother who looked about 8, each wearing goggles and swim bubbles, carrying a kickboard stretched out under both arms. Just as the girl was about to take a flying leap into the very hot water, her mother let forth an ear piercing lecture. It was in another language, so while I don't really know what she said, I think it was something along the lines of "Get the fuck out of here now or you'll never be allowed to watch TV again!!!!!!!" Those two kids not only went scurrying out of the hot tub area but they flew into the lockeroom. A few minutes later the mom followed them. The other hot tub patrons and I were very shocked that
  1. Our serene reverie had been broken by ear piercing yelling
  2. Someone actually disciplined their child at the Y.
Miracles do happen.

A Lesson from Driving to the Gym

One of the many reasons that Husband and I continue to pay exorbitant fees for our gym now that our main location is a hole in the wall is because we can still access other locations that are not holes or dank basements. This includes gyms in Los Angeles, a place I never go; San Francisco, a city I used to visit frequently when I was a gainfully employed member of society; and Chicago, where my parents live. There are four locations in Chicago, all in ridiculously upscale areas, the closest being in a suburb about 15 minutes up the higway from my family compound.

Thus I found myself in the funny situation of driving to my workout. I know that for every other American who does not live in NYC, this is not funny at all, but completely normal. In fact, during summers when I lived with my parents while I was home from college, I used to drive to the community center abut 3/4 mile from their house so I could walk on a treadmill. Still, these days, I generally walk to my gym. No matter where I've lived in NYC, I've always gone to a gym within 5 or 6 blocks from my apartment. Part of the warm-up and cool down was the walk to and from the gym. Now that my gym is a dank basement, Husband and I even sometimes walk 3/4 mile to work out at a nicer branch of our gym, although now that it is freezing out, we love the dank hole.

Anyway, my point is that I discovered something important while driving to the gym on Sat. The radio was on in the car, and Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi came on just as I turned into the parking lot. I sat in the car for a few minutes so that I could car dance to at least the first chorus refrain, and that's when it struck me: my iPod had no Bon Jovi on it! This must be fixed. What have I been thinking? And just think, had I not driven to the gym, this error of my ways might have continued undiscovered!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Who IS this woman sitting in my recliner??

Wednesday afternoon I had some simple foot surgery: two bone spurs removed from one joint (apparently when I do anything I do it to the extreme). For the two weeks that I'm healing, I'm not supposed to go to the gym.

Now in the past, I'd think: yeah! two weeks with no sweating, no treadmill, permission to take it easy. Unlimited internet and knitting. Sweet!!

But all I can think about now? How can get a good upper body workout without straining my foot? Because my shoulders are rolling forward, my back is aching and my abs resemble that bowl full of jello.


Who IS this woman??

And how can she get that workout??

New Member

I was at the Y today when out of the corner of my eye I saw something gray flash by. "Wow that guy is moving pretty fast," I thought. On closer look, I thought "he's incredibly cute and he looks like such a nice guy. I would love to go over and give him a big squeeze." Then he quickly leaped onto a chair and then a table. Yeah, he was incredibly agile. I was so impressed with him that I just had to take his picture and post it on this blog. Some of you might recognize him because he's been on TV a lot. You could say that he's a celebrity. In fact he even has his own video. Okay, so I'm obviously kidding. But with all the coverage "Goliath" is getting, I'm worried that he may start to get a complex. I wouldn't be too surprised if he decided to join his local Y.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

hey skinny, WTF?

I walked into the locker room to see the Skinniest Girl In The World. Her waist was smaller than my arm, and I have small arms. She had just emerged from the post-workout shower, so I saw enough to wonder how she even did a workout. I'm pretty sure lifting any sort of weight, or running, or anything that people do in gyms besides shower would break her. I'm actually surprised the water in the shower didn't cause a few snaps.

She had conveniently placed all her clothes (and makeup and razor and everything in the world) in nice little piles on every single stool. This means there were no stools for me to sit on, or put my own clothes, makeup, and razor on. (And no, I didn't have makeup or a razor with me.) So I picked up her neat little pile of clothes on one stool and put it on top of another neat little pile of clothes on the next stool. She looked up at me with her skinny skinny face but realized it wasn't worth a confrontation because I was in the right, and I could break her in half with my thumbs.

She finished putting on her skinny skinny clothes and left. I reflected on my own not so skinny skinny body, but decided I like my curves. I don't want to be a stick like her. Even though she was little more than a skeleton, there were no bones sticking out. She wasn't sick or gross looking. She was just much skinnier than anyone else in the entire world. And she was at the gym. You know, to lose weight. Not like me.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

And the Definition of Lap Swim is...

To the teenage boy in the lane next to me,

I'm all for love and physical affection. I think it's great that you and your girlfriend care about each other so much. However, I wasn't too impressed by you. For starters, the pool was crazy the other night. Normally at 9 pm it's pretty dead (it's the suburbs of MA, not NYC), but for some reason everyone and their dog was at the pool. Okay maybe not the dog. While I don't mind splitting a lane with someone, I definitely prefer to have my own. Which brings me to you. Good for you and your girlfriend that you decided not to go with the typical dinner and movie date and instead tried to do something healthy and get some exercise. However, it's that exercise that I have an issue with. Just like how you wore goggles which allowed you to try to look at my rack and the racks of the other women swimming in the pool, I also wore goggles. Wouldn't you know that my goggles allowed me to see what YOU were doing underwater - groping your girlfriend. I'm glad that you were having a good time, but you were taking up a valuable lane. Obviously you must have been confused by the definition of lap swimming. You see lap swim means to swim back and forth across the pool, not to try and lap up your girlfriend while you're swimming in the pool.

This Workout Stinks

During my workout yesterday I was being followed by an old man with bowel incontinence. I'm all for the elderly getting some exercise. Hell, I encouraged my grammy to join Silver Sneakers. But if you have to wear Depends because you shit your pants a little every time you lift a weight, perhaps you should do your workouts at home and not at the Y. Or at least come at an off time of day instead of lunch hour when the place is packed. Heightened sense of smell due to pregnancy plus an old dude with a load in his pants are not the makings of a pleasant workout, let me tell you.

weighing in

There’s a scale in the locker room. It taunts me. Dares me. Beckons me.
I don’t even own a scale at home, nor have I ever. But the other day, the gym scale won out. After my workout, I went over to it. I kicked it to make it work, then I stepped on. I won’t reveal the number that was displayed, but it was 10 pounds more than I’d been telling myself I weighed, which is still more than I like to think I weigh.

Of course, then I realized that I was already in full dress, including shoes. So I promised myself that next time I’d make sure to weigh myself at a more sensical time. Next time? Why does there have to be a next time? I never cared what I weighed before – it’s the introduction of a scale in plain view that has corrupted me.

I’ve been able to resist the temptation thus far, but I don’t know how much longer I can hold out.

Goodbye Gym, See Ya In February

Tuesday was my last workout in the gym for the month as Wednesday some simple surgery will keep me off my feet for a couple weeks. As I walked out, I was thinking that other times in my life I'd be walking out and not returning. This time is different.

I joined 24 hour fitness during their "biggest loser.. 6 sessions with a trainer" special. I wasn't taken in by the marketing; it coincided with my plan to find a trainer and it's the only gym around. My goal was simple: lose 35 pounds the right way.

Things started to change, however, at the end of my first half-hour sessions. All we worked on were stabilization moves, yet I felt like a puddle of goo. As I headed to the desk, Totally Adorable Trainer (tm) stated: First, we're going to improve your posture and stability.

Stop. Dead. In. Tracks.

Wait... all I want to do is lose some weight and Totally Adorable Trainer(tm) is talking about posture?? When I recovered my composure, I realized he was thinking about the whole me, something I haven't done much of before. (yeah, in less than charitable moments, I figure he's thinking about the long term fees heading his way... but let's think more positively. He is, afterall, my Totally Adorable Trainer (tm)).

In the past 3 months, things have moved slowly; I've spent most of that time working on my own with very limited results. Which is why I said normally I'd not return. It's easy to think that this isn't working and give up.

So why aren't I?

1. My mood is significantly up most of the time. In fact several times now, I finished a workout positively giddy. I'm smiling and joking a lot more.

2. That back ache I've had for years? Gone. Same for the numbing achy-ness of my bad shoulder. Might I be able to return to the golf course someday?

3. Eight pounds and 10 inches lost so far. Disappearing more slowly than the polar ice cap, still the weight is going in the correct direction.

4. Shh. What I thought was a menopausally-induced incontinence that would curse me the rest of my days? Just poor muscle tone. Nearly cured. (what I save in Poise pads alone will probably pay for a couple training sessions a quarter).

5. OK.. must I say it? Totally Adorable Trainer. We've only had a couple real sessions since I worked through those 6 simple sessions. Each time I get something different out of these that makes it easier for me to come back.

So hurry up February...

Monday, January 8, 2007

happy 1 month birthday, Gym!

My gym is a real gym now. It's passed its 1-month birthday. There are regulars now - I recognized two people today. All the good lockers were taken, so I had to use one on the bottom. That shows that people are going to the gym (but we'll see how many are there next month). The tvs in the cardio machines show real programming now (though the satellite still isn't hooked up, so it's just basic cable). Incidentally, watching "Friends" while riding the bike reminded me why I don't watch tv. I'm cool with my music.

That's all. I just wanted to brag, because I signed up for the gym in July. I've been waiting months for it to be a real gym.

My Favorite Gym Character

My favorite character was at the gym when I went this afternoon. Actually, she almost blinded me today. Her usual outfit consists of white bike shorts and some sort of neon colored bikini bottoms with a white halter top and little black half-sweater thing that she wears under her perky boobs. From the back, she sometimes looks like she has no top on because the halter ties under her huge blond mane.

In the past, she has worn a neon pink and neon green pair of bikini bottoms. (The neon green ones make me think of Borat and I laugh really hard in my head because that scene cracked me up.) Today, however, she was wearing very bright yellow bikini bottoms and a matching glowing halter top. My gym is now in a subterranean holding cell - er, I mean, basement - so the yellow particularly seared my retinas through the gloom.

I saw her there last Friday as well. As I was getting ready to leave, she began yelling across the gym to someone utterly drop-dead gorgeous woman out of my eyeshot. You may wonder how I know she was so beautiful if I never saw her, but I assume she was because my Favorite Gym Character kept bellowing that this woman "could be Miss America!" The other woman thanked her repeatedly, although I thought she sounded a bit mortified that this was being shouted across the gym.

I have yet to see my second favorite gym character, Super Sweaty Loud Grunting Weight Lifting Man, since the old location of my gym closed. So I will adopt Debra's Bouncing Betty as my second favorite character because the description cracked me up. Even if I meet it sometimes... (Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself, you can't laugh at Super Sweaty Loud Grunting Weight Lifting Man!)

Next Time She Should Check for Her Brains...

I was in the locker room a little later than normal this morning, so it was my first experience with "Bouncy Bette". Either that or she just joined. I don't really care.

Standing at another locker in the same bay as me, she adjusted her yoga pants just a little lower on her hips, pulled her top a little higher on her waist while humming something loudly. Then stopped with one shoe in her hand and spun around a couple times.

BB wondered where her shoe was. Where her shoe was?? Was it still in her car?? Had she dropped it somewhere? Or left it at home? It took her 3 trips out and back to remember that a) she didn't have her shoe in the locker and b) she didn't have her lock on her locker either.


BB found the treadmill right in front of mine, so I got the whole picture of her workout. She thought she was running... I thought maybe she suffered from Tourrette's. While most of the runners have a smooth flowing gait, BB bounced left, then right.. her head bobbing up and down to her music, her hair swinging half a move behind her hips. Every once in a while, she'd stop swinging her arms to (I hope) emphasize some phrase in her current song.

She stopped about every 5 minutes to run off and do something (get a drink, maybe go pee..) meanwhile leaving her stuff on the machine so nobody else could use it. Fortunately, it wasn't too crowded yet, so there weren't a lot of of people waiting.

Even so, she only lasted about 15 minutes on the treadmill before moving off to the weight machines. I'm thinking she makes up with energy what she misses in focus. Fortunately, though my gym has all the equipment in one large open space (it used to be movie theater), I lost track of her at that point.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Yoga people

I think yoga people are a special breed. They talk softly. They smile beatifically. It's a little strange. Most of the people who take yoga at my gym are not actual yoga people -- they're like me, yoga-curious. I've been doing it for almost a year, and I have seen some strange things.

First, what's with the late people? I understand that the class begins at 10:40, which is kind of an odd time. Perhaps people forget, and think it's 10:45. But that doesn't excuse the people last week who came in at 11:20. Or the couple who, every week, comes in at 10:45 and then wanders around for five minutes getting drinks of water and setting up their mats, etc. Every week? Please, does it not start to register that every single time you come in, everyone else is already in half-lotus and breathing?

I also notice the lady who is there almost every week who arranges her yoga mat at right angles to everyone else's. She does the whole class sideways. It's a little unnerving, because she always sits near me (I have a spot -- it's in the one area with no mirror).

Then there are the dyslexics. Listen, I'm not saying I've NEVER turned left when someone said "right," but there are people who do it every single time, even when it's perfectly clear that the rest of the class is going the opposite way. These are the people that, in certain positions, you end up staring at when you should be seeing ht ebacks of their heads. Why? I must know. And I feel like we have a special bond, since we're always leaning towards each other being mirrors, like in some New Wave video or something.

Oh, and on another note, despite the fact that I had read all your posts about the gym being busy in January and my own knowledge from previous years, I still drove into the parking lot today and thought to myself "Geez, it's busy here! I wonder what's going on?"

Saturday, January 6, 2007

The Jackass

When I was about 38 weeks pregnant last June, I went to the Y for an evening swim. Apparently everyone else had the same idea and it was pretty crowded. I was really annoyed because this guy had taken a stool and placed it at the end of the lane (on deck) and was sitting on it with his legs sprawled out so that no one could enter the lane without asking him to move. He was coaching his son. The lifeguard ended up coming over and pointed out to him that 1)It was not a private lane 2) It was adult lap swim (apparently the legal age in MA is 12 since the son wasn't asked to leave). He was pretty annoyed and even said that I was inconveniencing him and that his son was a competitive swimmer, but he moved his stool so that I could get in the pool.

This evening I went to the Y to swim and was pretty surprised when I walked out on deck and saw someone sitting on a stool parked right at the end of the lane. Yes, it was the same jackass! Luckily there were a couple of open lanes so I didn't need to share a lane with his son. However, when I was using a kickboard I happened to look over and see the man hovering over his son's lane with a kickboard out in front of him. His son was at the other end of the pool. Let me just take a moment and say that I was a competitive swimmer in junior high, high school and college and whenever a coach need to get our attention when we were swimming, he/she would throw a pull-buoy in front of us as we swam (no, not at us.) Anyhow, this guy waited until his son swam back to the his end of the pool and his butt broke the water during a flip turn. This jackass dropped the kickboard smack on his son's butt. The son stopped swimming and came up sputtering. The man made some sort of motion that it was time to go. (In addition to all this weirdness, you don't normally stop a competitive swimmer mid workout and say that it's time to go).

After I finished swimming I went into the hot tub for a few minutes. Since there was no one else in the pool the lifeguard came over to chat with me. She mentioned that before I arrived, the man kept on yelling at his son to swim faster and faster and the boy ended up bursting in tears. I knew that the man was a jackass! She also mentioned that about an hour before he had gotten there someone had thrown up in the swimming pool. Everyone had to evacuate. Apparently there were 75 people in the pool when it happened. Mass panic broke out as everyone was convinced that they had contracted a terrible virus. The manager had to come in and calm everyone down. Too bad the jackass hadn't come earlier. Talk about being inconvenienced.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Running Your Mouth, Not Your Legs

Hey ladies: it seems that I was an even bigger fool to begin with than I thought. Some douche bag wrote an article about how us delicate flowers are not meant to run. Ever. Check it out. Tell him to shut the fuck up.


Do Not Try This at Your Gym

I like to watch TV while I do cardio. Generally, the best programs to watch while exercising my cardio vascular system involve mindless, but highly entertaining crap, such as MTV or VH1 shows (NOT Flavor of Love) or even better, Wheel of Fortune. I also love watching Jeopardy!, although it does not fall into the category of mindless crap.

Anyway, last night I was jogging on a treadmill. Two other rows of cardio equipment stood between me and the TV. I was reading the closed caption of the TV instead of plugging into the sound system because I also wanted to listen to Led Zepplin on my iPod while I ran. Unfortunately, a tall guy (OK, that's almost everyone compared to me) was in the treadmill in front of me, and his head slightly blocked the screen. This meant that I had to veer to my left to see the words. Yes, you know what is coming next.

As I moved further and further to the left side of my treadmill so that I could read the Final Jeopardy question, I wound up with only one foot securely on it and the other not really on it. Then I was sucked back and nearly fell off the thing. It was scary. I think it got my heart pumping more than my jog, actually.

The guy next to me gave me a dirty look, although that might be because I also had bad gas. It's hard to tell why people are glaring at you when Led Zepplin is pounding your ear drums.

(From Suzanne - it is not allowing me to post anything under my own moniker, which is really fucking annoying.)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

My Gym

I had to shield my children from paparazzi when we left the gym today.

I'm not kidding.

Turns out a certain Miss Blonde Just Divorced from a guy who's name rhymes with Dick frequents my gym and just happened to be working out with a new trainer who everyone assumes she's screwing.

Trust me. They are not screwing. The assistant working out with/next to her wouldn't allow it. And the guy is clearly just a trainer thrilled to have been given the opportunity to sculpt Daisy Duke's ass. You can tell they are not screwing. Trust me.

Maybe everyone really wants to see a photo of Miss Blonde wearing black stretch pants and a black tank top and a black hat pulled so far down you can't see her eyes as she dashes from the gym entrance to a waiting SUV (driven by Daddy?). I can't imagine why, but maybe they do. Maybe they want to see it so much that when I leave my gym, it's necessary for several cameramen to be smoking, swearing, and leaning against their car hoods as they nearly block traffic on the small, suburban side street.

Sure I joked with them and told them to make sure to catch me in a good light...but they can go away now. My Hollywood Suburb gets it's share of C D and B list actors as residents and shoppers. A certain Mrs. Nearly Killed Her Kids in a Drunken Car Wreck Everyone Knows Her As Kirk Cameron's Annoying TV Sister nearly plowed my family and I down in Target not too long ago. She's a maniac with a cart, let me tell you. And she apparently is always in a hurry. But that's it. That's the kind of celebs I like in my town. The ones you recognize, but not enough to really bother. Like the time Mr. Isuzu and I got our prescriptions together at Longs.

The ones that DO NOT attract the sleazy photographers that linger on my town center drive.

So, Miss Blonde, I'm not sure what you are doing here or why you've decided to frequent our quiet little city, but whenever you finish filming whatever it is you are filming here, feel free to take trainer boy and get the hell out.

If you've actually moved here, may I suggest the 24 hour fitness on the other side of town?

Crossposted at The Queen of Spain

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Wrong Way!


I was recently graciously invited to comtribute (after shamelessly begging for it, so thanks!). I figure that people are goofy at my gym, too, and I wanted to share. The most common odd thing I see is people using the equipment incorrectly. There's a machine that you sit on and do (basically) chest presses. There's a foot lever thing that allows you to disengage the arm at the end. I'm not sure that makes sense, but whatever. Anyway, the idea is to use resistance, do it slowly, and do a number of repititions. So what do I see? Guys get on, set it to its maximum weight, then turn purple trying to push it out ONCE, lifting their booties off the seat, and finally using the foot bar as the weights (which have lifted like half an inch) crash to the bottom. Then there are the ladies who are in their fifties or so who get on the same machine, set it to five pounds, and push it back and forth so rapidly that it creates a wind. Has no one heard of moderation?

Also, please note that I am not poking fun at the anorectic girl's disorder, because that's just sad. What I AM poking fun at is that after working out (running on the treadmill for two hours apparently does not burn enough calories unless she also waves her arms above her head) she then drags her 5'10" 90 lb self into the locker room, strips to her shorts, and does a number of stretches barefoot and topless that involve her putting her bare feet on the counter at which most other women fix their hair. Why does the stretching need to be done in the grooming area? I don't know. Why does the stretching need to be done mostly naked? I also don't know. What I do know is that I'm not leaning on that counter anymore...

It's Highway Robbery, I Tell You

So the gym building that I have gone to for the past 4 years or so closed on Dec. 24. An evil developer bought the site and is planning to tear it down, along with the great billiards hall that I rarely went to but meant to go to frequently that is above the gym and the parking garage next to it. These three functional buildings that serve a neighborhood need of sorts will be replaced by very high end condos that serve no actual need that I can tell. I don't see tons of rich assholes homeless and wandering the street because they can't find an apartment to drop $2 million+ on. (Bitter? No, I swear I am not bitter about this at all. Sure.)

Since there is a fairly decent overlap between the people who go to my gym and the rich assholes who can afford a condo starting at $2 million, the evil developer is rebuilding a newer, shinier gym into the condo's basement and commercial space as an "amenity" to ensure that the annoying rich people with $2 million and more available to buy an apartment will find their "lifestyles" match the apartments. In the ensuing several years of demolition and new construction, which will make my neighborhood noisy and filthy, a temporary location has been renting for some of us displaced by the process.

The temporary location is only around the corner from the old building. However, it is about 1/10th of the size, so many members were not "invited" to join the temporary gym. Initially, Husband and I were among those displaced persons, but a kind guy at the front desk took pity on me and my increasingly large gut and slipped us in. The new location opened on the 28th. On that day, I discovered that you can take a formerly stripped down gym (it used to be a very bare bones gym before it became my gym), add fancy tiles to the floor and flatscreen TVs with cable, and call it my gym, thus charging very high rates to go there, but it will not actually be anything more than a stripped down gym with no locker rooms that used to go for $45 per month and now is $85.

That my friends, is what I call highway robbery. Robbery! (I may join another gym after all the dust from other people's new years resolutions settles down. But combined with the other gym refugees from my gym's closure and the new year's resolvers, the other gym near me is REALLY overcrowded these days.) Thanks for letting me vent my anger as a victim of a gym crime.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

January 2 at The Gym

Today is the most important holiday for The People Under the Stairmasters. It is the first day in which gyms are open following everyone's resolution to lose weight for the New Year. I always forget that this means that all of these individuals congregate at my gym on January 2. I am embarrassed to admit it, but despite my responsibility to mock gym goers on behalf of this blog, I was more aware that it is Ford rememberance day (and thus no mail) than that it was such an important exercise holiday. I thus innocently headed off to the gym to swim. The first sign that something was amiss was that the locker room was pretty messy. The trash was overflowing, and there was a lot of toilet paper all over the floor of the bathroom stalls. Still, it didn't really click.

Then I went out to the pool. Immediately I noticed that the hot tub was crowded and there was a ton of people allegedly lap swimming. By that I mean one entire lane was taken up by three individuals who were throwing a ball back and forth to each other in the shallow water. Was that exercise? Sure. Was that lap swimming? I think not. One of the gutter lanes had an opening so I went to share the lane. Normally, I think sharing a lane means that the other person and I split the lane. However, my partner's version of sharing the lane was to sit on the stairs. Okay, at least he wasn't in my way. Then he got out and another man and previewed a new form of exercise: the swimming pool lap walk. He jumped in and walked from the shallow end as far as he could, turned around, walked back and got out. Possibly innovative. Definitely odd. Over the course of 40 minutes I had two additional lane partners each doing something that was not lap swimming.

Look, I'm happy that these individuals decided that they wanted to exercise this evening. Okay, maybe not the guy with the see-thru worn out speedo. And maybe not the guy who was so anxious to get to the pool that he forgot to bring a swimsuit and just wore his Docker shorts. I just wish that they would really lap swim during the desginated lap swim time. Honestly even if they weren't lap swimming, I wouldn't give a rat's ass, except when they disrupt my swimming.

The good news? I only have a couple more weeks until the new years resolutions are broken or they decide it's a lot easier to use the stairmasters. (Or swimming pool lap walking proves so effective, that that guy no longer needs the exercise.)