The Rantings Of A Gym Rat

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on April 11, 2012 0 Comments

 

The struggle to be healthier is one of perpetual monition for me. There are days I do well, there are days I do better, and there are days I am made entirely of the fail. Such is life. But as long as I do well on more days than I fail then I figure I’m doing better than average. That’s about all I can hope for really, is to be better than I could be if I was just breaking even. I try to hit at least two Yoga classes a week, I do some ab work on my own and I try to do cardio three times a week, not counting letting Lucas using me as a chew toy when we play.


The price of gasoline keeps me from going into town as much as I once did, and now on weekends it is Lucas who is my exercise machine. This means when I do go into town to go to the Y my time has to be spent to its fullest. Time, in this case, really is money because I’m paying to be there and I have to pay to get there. Yoga classes are rarely full, never crowded, and the people there all seem to have a sense of dedication to the idea of becoming more bendy and in better shape than they are. When I take a cardio class it really doesn’t matter how hard anyone else works out because I’m going to push myself to the limit every time. I try to interact with the instructors in cardio classes, to push them so they’ll push back. I never win at this because most of those women are half my age and in twice as good as shape as I am, but that’s the point, really. Isn’t that the point? If a person is there to exercise shouldn’t they exercise while they are there?

There are three women who go to the Y as a group and as far as I can tell they are there to socialize. Since they’re paying to be there too there isn’t anything wrong with that except they always have to be side by side, and it doesn’t matter of they’re on treadmills, weightlifting machine, or infinitely worse, the elliptical machines, they never do very much at all but socialize. There are four elliptical machines and when they get on them there is nothing to be done but try to wait them out. Because they put the machines on the lowest settings and go as slow as humanly possible, it isn’t like they are going to wear themselves out. Now all three of them have cell phones, all three of them have MP3 players, but there is only one smart phone between the three. Because they are all wearing MP3 players they feel the need to speak louder when they’re on the phone. Because there is only one smart phone between the three, they bicker over whose turn it is to use it. Because something that causes one of them to stop still and laugh hysterically over someone on that smart phone, the phone is passed around the molasses workout comes to a halt until one of the cell phones goes off. The MP3 players jammed in one side of their heads causes them all to talk much louder when they are on the phone. One of the funniest things any of the three have told someone on the phone was, “I can’t do that I’m working out right now.”

 

No, in point of fact, you are not.

 

None of them have their headsets plugged into the system that has the television sound on it, and usually while I’m listening to music I can watch enough of the weather or news to tell what is going on. I’m pretty much invested in the Treyvon Martin case, and I hope there is an arrest soon, but I suspect there has been too much time passed for justice to be served at any level. One of the three, not knowing what was being said, or what the news clip might have been about, began an obscenity laced tirade against the television when something was being shown about the Martin case. Maybe she didn’t realize how far her voice carries, and maybe she didn’t care. But very little is served by Martin’s supporters, myself included, by some foul mouthed cretin cursing a television set in public.

Going to the Y and occupying a piece of machinery for half an hour is going to do you as much good as if you went to a library for half an hour and didn’t open a book. All three of these women look like they could use a good workout several times a week, and one of them has monster thighs that are wrapped in some sort of fabric that is stretched to the screaming point. Yesterday I got one a stationary bike and fortunately, I caught them at the end of their stationary session, and was able to get in a damn good workout once they waddled away. And waddled away they did, too. These three woman move as if they have no where at all to go, and all day long to get there. They are oblivious to the other people around them and as far as I can tell, got more of a workout with their mouths than they did with their muscles.

 

I watched a woman get off a treadmill yesterday and after thirty minutes she wasn’t sweating. I noticed her because she looks very much like someone I knew in High School, but I think she was walking at a pace I could match staggering drunk on tequila. Why bother? Why go to a gym and not make an effort. Is there some form of osmosis I am unaware of that allows people to get in better shape by merely being in physical contact with the machinery? Or is it that the current obesity epidemic in this country has as much to do with how and what we eat, as much as it does our unwillingness to make any sort of effort to change our condition?

 

Take Care,

Mike

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