Today something very traumatic happened to me that I feel the need to share on here, mostly because I don't want this blog to stray too much from the original topic of "exercise," that I intended for it. Also with all these blogs about my singularity, I feel the need to throw off the scent of desperation from myself for at least a little while. I don't think this post will actually help, but hey, it's worth a shot.
Ok, so. Today. Traumatic experience.
I don't usually work out on Mondays. I have class basically from 10-6, and by the time I get home, I never really feel up for it. Also it gets dark. Well, not anymore since Daylight Savings, but I am still using that excuse anyway. It's a pretty good excuse. It does get dark eventually. And I don't want to get caught out there in that evil darkness! I don't have any fancy reflectors to ward off the endless traffic from running straight over me. Hey I'm serious here. This is California. It could totally happen the very moment I step onto the sidewalk of a busy road in the dark. Or in broad daylight, actually.
I was working out on Monday nights for awhile at the beginning of the semester, when I was obviously more driven and on track. (The eventual dwindling of my diet and exercise is inevitable over each semester, but my determination is usually revived with each break, in which I consume far more than is comfortable for a normal human being.) This meant going to the small gym at my apartment complex every Monday night. And every Monday night I would put on my exercise clothes and feel anxiety about how other people might be there, and then they always were, and I hated it. So I stopped going.
But with my mud run less than 3 weeks away, I have been feeling the pressure to really keep up a routine. And work on my arms more. I am still pretty sure if I tried to get on the monkey bars right now I'd slip and fall and crack my head open and cry like a baby about it. So I really need to work on that. It's my last chance. And so tonight I went to the gym in my apartment complex.
It's not a bad gym. I mean, we pay a considerable amount to live here, even if it IS the cheapest housing around. Our apartment complex is actually pretty nice overall. It's got 2 pools with hot tubs, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a basketball court, and a gym and clubhouse. Do I ever use any of these? Nope. But we got em! The gym itself has two rooms. One room with all the mirrors and fancy equipment. You got your treadmills, a couple of ellipticals, two sets of weights, some of those bike thingys, and the scary weight contraptions I avoid at all costs for fear of using them wrong. Hey, it's been 5 years since my last PE class, ok? I don't remember how to use any of those things anymore. I mostly just stick to the treadmills and weights. I am usually pretty sure I know how use those correctly. Pretty sure. Most of the time.
The other room is a big, open, carpeted room with basically nothing in it except a bunch of stray exercise balls. They make me kind of sad, these exercise balls. They seem so lonely.
Anyway. Tonight I put on my exercise clothes, and standing up from my chair in my running shoes, idly looking out the window, I actually felt a strange surge of confidence. I don't usually just stand around in my running shoes. I took a moment and soaked in how much taller they made me, and I felt like I could totally kick ass right then. I could do anything! It was a very profound moment, really, standing in my running shoes. So with that burst of confidence, I headed off to the gym.
To my disappointment, there were people in it when I arrived. You must try to understand, you see, how much anxiety I feel over other people seeing me workout. I mean, people make me anxious enough in normal situations already. But when I am all sweaty and stupid looking? Ugh, no thanks, I'll pass. Which is why I have avoided gyms all this time. I always thought running around outside would be worse, but I have discovered if you stay away from neighborhoods, no one is really around to see you long enough to make a judgement beyond "Oh look, that girl is running. She is working hard. Wow." And then they zoom past in their car. If they even notice you, that is. Like I said, California. Driving. The two don't mix well. But running in a small room covered with mirrors where it is incredibly easy to make awkward, sweaty eye contact with the person on the treadmill next to you? It's the worst.
Fortunately for me, it was just two girls in the gym who were casually working out and chatting. I wasn't planning on doing any running due to a slight injury I gave myself during my 5.5 mile run yesterday. You see, halfway through my 3rd mile my hip really started to hurt, and I had switch between walking and running every few minutes all the way home. Amazingly it only added 3 extra minutes to my previous time on that run. No big deal. (Explanabrag moment!) But since they were using my weights, I hopped on the treadmill for a little speed walk warm up. Much to my pleasure, they left within about 5 minutes of my arrival. Perfect! I could just round out this warm up into a half mile and then get started with the weights.
And then he walked in.
One very attractive dude. The kind of attractive that makes someone look like they could be on television. Maybe he has! Who knows? It is Southern California, after all. He had very sexy arms, obviously. This was a gym we were in, not an In N' Out. And he had on nice looking work out clothes and get this--fancy weight lifting gloves. I don't know what those gloves are really called or why you need them, but I do know one thing: They make you legit.
Great. I can deal with other young women who obviously aren't as committed to their workouts as I am, or flabby middle aged folks, but young, hot, attractive dudes who clearly know what they are doing? That just sends my anxiety through the roof. I know this because there are a lot of these guys in our complex, and I have dealt with them in the gym before. But none so hot as this. I ended my warm up and prepared to flee to the carpet room, which is always empty. Not without first having to maneuver my way around him of course-- as he was standing in front of the weights I needed-- squeaking out "excuse me," at a barely audible level and dodging around him. I think he had no idea I was there. But I managed to make it to the carpet room safe and sound. And most importantly, out of sight, where I could complete my sets in peace and solitude. (Only not really, since one wall of the carpet room is all windows looking out across to other apartments, but I usually just pretend those windows don't exist)
So I did my work out, struggling but pushing myself through it as usual, sweating like a beast and dripping all over the floor (I'm sorry other people who use that room), my planks getting more and more difficult with each set. I kept myself going thinking, "1 down, 4 to go....Halfway done....Only 1 more set, c'mon we can do this! Ha, see we are already done with planks!" Speaking to myself with the royal we, you know, the usual.
I was in the middle of my lateral raises on my last set when something very surreal happened. Hot Dude strode through the doorway-- the sacred doorway which connects my special-alone-time-carpet room to the rest of the gym-- walked straight across the room to the far end and started doing stretches against the wall. I was dumbstruck. No one has ever dared come through the door before! Not while I have been in there, anyways. And why did he have to walk all the way to the other side of the room? I was standing in the middle, along the edge next to the door (no one coming in through the door to the gym can see you when you are in that spot). Why didn't he just use the wall that was directly in front of him? He walked as far as he could into the room. Dude, I know this room is open to all residents, but can't you see that an insecure and red faced young woman is in it right now, doing lateral raises that are no doubt horribly out of form?? I don't want anyone to call me out on that! I don't think I can do legit lateral raises, ok?!?
But what could I do? I kept on with my work out, thanking the lord that I was nearly finished. Meanwhile Hot Dude kept on stretching in his mysterious and sexy way. Oh how legit it was! I never stretch! I always forget or if I do remember, I get too lazy to do it. I approach workouts in the way I am sure some men approach sex. I just want to get on with the real thing and get it over with, and once it is done I am tired and don't want to deal with anything "relaxing," or whatever.
Now, I would like to take a moment and point out that I am sure some of you are probably thinking "Oh gurrrl he totally came in to check you ouuuut." But this cannot be true for several reasons. First of all, while he was stretching he was staring straight at the wall the whole time. Second, during my workout some hot asian girl had come in and started running on the treadmill in the other room with him, so he had plenty of distractions in there. Third, I don't like to call myself ugly even in the worst of times, but let's just say that chronic bitch face + work out hair + sweaty and red-faced= not remotely attractive. Oh, and you can't forget the way my calves look swollen in my running shoes. The very same running shoes that made me feel so confident and strong earlier. "Oh the irony," I grimaced to myself as I tried to do overhead presses--probably the exercise I struggle with the most-- without letting my arms shake too much. I spent the next few minutes trying not to grunt or pant too much through my next few sets. Even if he had headphones in and was staring at the wall, I wanted to risk no chances. Unfortunately trying to hold in grunts as you simultaneously try to do the best possible pushups you can at the end of a tough workout is not so easy, and every now and then one escapes your mouth. You have no control and it completely takes you by surprise, so you end up letting out a high pitched squeal-grunt. Just try imagining that. Hot, right? Let's just hope those headphones of his were noise canceling.
As soon as I finished my crunches (I was doing full sit ups earlier but I was yet again afraid he would secretly judge me on my form inside his head as he watched from the corner of his eye, so I decided crunches were safer) I pretty much leapt out of there, hastening my way out of the gym entirely. It was only as I was leaving did I realize it may have been better if I had just turned to him the moment he walked into the room and said "I'm sorry, but you are way too hot to be around while I am doing this." It could have made a good pick up line. Or maybe it could have at least made him leave anyway. Of course, this would have never worked for a few reasons. One, he had headphones in and it would have been weird to try and talk to him. Two, I never have the guts for that kind of stuff and always chicken out at the last second. Three, I didn't think of it until I left. And four, a guy that hot probably has a girlfriend or at least really high standards. Oh well. So these things go.
I guess the moral of the story is don't let your shoes go to your head, because you never know when some hot guy will walk in and knock off your socks. And your shoes. Metaphorically. In the bad way.
Or maybe sometimes embarrassing things happen and the most we can hope for is to never ever see that person again. Oh please oh please oh please....