Saturday, February 6, 2010
With a Physique Like Mine
I joined a gym this week.
Yes, I know. It wasn’t necessary. With a physique like mine, well… one shouldn’t mess with perfection, should one?
The simple facts are these. I have never been petite. I’ve never been a Twiggy and certainly, I’ve never been short. In addition to being so tall that small children picnic in the shade I cast on a hot summer day, I am also considered ‘big boned’. Who came up with that term, anyway? Big boned. Hmmm. It’s not like anyone can actually tell that I’m big boned. I mean, I do wear them on the inside, as the current fashion dictates. No one has ever seen my bones to accurately label them as being ‘big’. In my opinion, that process of labeling someone by the size of their pelvis, clavicle or femur should be abandoned. Without full body x-rays who’s to know whether I’m big boned, or simply thick skinned? Hmmm?
I rest my case.
Anyway, back to my story. Since I am thick skinned, and have been nearly all my life, I’ve contemplated joining a gym in the past. I even went to the Iron Barn with my friend Terri for a couple of ‘work out’ sessions a few years ago.
There’s another term I take umbrage with. ‘Work out’. For one thing, we were inside. I don’t think there was a single window open in the Iron Barn, nor even a stall door. We were definitely ‘working in’. And the word ‘work’ doesn’t seem to suit what we were doing, either. To my way of thinking, work is something one does–not by choice, but by necessity. We don’t go to fun each morning in order to earn a paycheck. We don’t fun on the woodpile each autumn. See what I mean? We earn a salary and stockpile firewood out of necessity, not because it is particularly enjoyable. If we happen to get pleasure from our jobs, that’s a bonus. And if it transpires that we actually love throwing junks of wood from ground to truck bed, from truck bed to woodshed, from woodshed to tier and from tier to wood box, well then… we need to get a life! (Yeah, I’m guilty of that, too.)
My point is, Terri and I chose to spend an hour cycling and walking and squeezing and lifting and squatting and bending. Why?
It beats the heck out of me. I’m quite sure it was peer pressure that made me do it.
So what is it that has prompted me to join a gym now? If that first foray into the world of sports bras and Spandex was so uninspiring that I only went two or three times, why would I decide to repeat the experience?
Well, it’s like this. I’m squishy. That’s right… squishy. There’s not a single place on my body where I can poke my finger without the tip of it disappearing. No firmness. No tight abs, no tight buttocks, no tight anything. And I’m not sure, but I think my one remaining stomach muscle let go when I was lugging a new freezer out to the woodshed with Steven. I took hold of the bottom of that appliance, stood upright, and sproing! There it went, the traitor. I can’t imagine what-all is holding me together now.
Yep, I’m squishy, and if you don’t believe me, just give me a poke or a prod next time you see me. I am the perfect specimen of a woman suffering from severe Droop, and I dare anyone to contradict me.
So. I went to the gym. The trainer wasn’t there, but I’d assured her I would be fine, as all I intended to do at the start was work on the cardio equipment. (Cardio is Latin for ‘torturous sweat inducers’, in case you are one of the non-sweating populace and need a translation.) Being sure that I could do something so simple as to walk, I decided to try the treadmill.
The first surprise was that when I tried to walk on it, it didn’t move under my feet. I treaded, and the only thing that happened was that I walked smack into the front of the machine. I was pretty sure that I was supposed to stay in one place, and the belt under my feet was supposed to move. I stopped and looked closer. There were buttons on this treadmill, and lights. And instructions. I felt the stirring of hope. I can read, after all.
I pushed the button that said ‘Quick Start’, expecting to be launched into a fast-paced jog. I was there to exercise, after all, and it said ‘quick’! The belt started moving, but the pace was slower than a crawl. I poked the up arrow, and it sped up a little. I pushed another arrow, and the tread portion tilted. Excellent! I increased the speed of the machine and began my so-called ‘work out’. Legs pumping, lungs expanding, I began to move! Without going anywhere, of course…
And then it stopped. Without warning, the belt slowed and came to a rest. I was sure I hadn’t pushed any ‘Quick Stop’ button. I read the instructions again. Poked the ‘Quick Start’. Adjusted the speed and the incline. Walked my cotton-pickin’ heart out. For one minute. It stopped again. I was beginning to feel a little foolish. I wasn’t alone in the room, after all. What if I looked like a nimrod? It could happen! I’ve looked like a nimrod before!
I tried on my ‘nonchalant’ face. You know… the one that clearly says ‘I meant to do that.’ I reset the machine, walked and stopped. Reset, walked, and stopped. Four cycles of that foolishness was my limit. A girl can only wear nonchalance for so long before it begins to resemble nincompoopance.
Lucky for me, there was an exercycle right beside the treadmill. Now bikes are something I know! I’ve traveled a good part of this state on a bicycle. How hard could that be?
I sat down and positioned my bum as comfortably as possible. Like bike seats the world over, this one was also made for maximum torture. I’d learned my lesson on the treadmill, and quickly realized that this exercycle was an electronic piece of equipment, as well. So I poked a few colored lights and waited for the fun to begin. Waited for the pedals to start turning.
Yeah. I think next time I go to the gym, I’ll make sure the trainer is there.
Nincompoopance. It looks more at home on me then Spandex does.
(By the way... this photo is for illustrative purposes, only. It is NOT a photo of my butt.)