Monday, December 29, 2014

Gym and I

Well I did it. I went to the gym. I honestly can't remember how long it's been since I've been to my local 24-Hour Fitness, although I know I've been paying for it since the late 1980s. I have my monthly statements to prove it, so knew they'd have to let me in, regardless of the gaping lapse in time.

It'd had been so long, however, that they had a hard time finding me in the system. They urged me to reach into the deep, dusty recesses of my brain and come up with the phone number to my landline in the house that I moved out of more than 7 years ago, I may have burst a few thought bubbles trying to reach it, but I did it.

But in truth it was many, many years before then that I last went to the gym. I started practicing yoga almost 12 years ago, so it was prior to then. Suffice it to say. It was a LONG time ago, and it was strange to be back. Strange because it was a big, heaping dose of deja vu; decades had past, but it felt, looked, and smelled almost same. At least upstairs, where you enter. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was much bigger than the last time I visited. The downstairs has probably doubled in size. It was so big, in fact, that I actually got lost. I couldn't find the spin room, Instead, even with instructions from the front-desk staff, I found myself in a giant room filled with all manner of machines and free weights with big muscly people grunting and checking themselves out in the mirror. I had a brief moment of  panic but then remembered that I wasn't required to have a boob job or a minimum bench press of 100 lbs to gain entrance (or to leave, thank god).

I just ditzily smiled and ran-walked the hell out of there, into the smaller, louder hell of the spin room. The teacher seemed really old to me, which gave me some hope, and she was really great about helping me get my bike set up. My friend Shannon, who is actually a gym friend of Jacquie's, met me there to also lend a hand with set up and to provide moral support.

Once the class started it was mostly distracting to have her next to me though, her legs peddling at a frequency much more rapid than mine, and without pause. She seemed to relish the sprints and hills and, well, all of the never-ending wheel rotation. I instead mostly looked at the somewhat overweight couple in the back row, who were still kicking my ass, but only by a little bit.

I discovered that I have a hard time not singing while spinning. I have a hard time with this in the yoga studio too, but the music there is not quite so pumping, and rarely as loud. In fact, I can't remember the last time I heard Michael Jackson's Don't Stop Till You Get Enough during a yoga class. This quirk of mine may have annoyed Shannon, but I had to get her back somehow anyway.

At minute 10, before the hard stuff had even begun, I could not fathom the idea of staying on that bike for another 50 minutes. But I did it. I sang and lip-synced my way through the entire class. A class, that I might add, I found plenty challenging, but which Shannon informed me afterward was sub par, and which she posted about on Facebook:

Not all spin classes are created equal 
— at 24 Hour Fitness - Point Loma, CA.
Thank god for that is all I can say. As the saying goes, one woman's disappointing spin class is another woman's salvation. Someone is definitely looking out for me. (Thank you, Ganesha.)

I'm not sure if I'll spin again or not. Lord knows my ass could use it. I'm holding off judgement until tomorrow to see both how my ass and legs, and, more importantly, my shoulder (the lingering injury being the only reason I'm there in the first place) feel.

If I do go back, I'll remember my athletic shoes next time.  I won't have to drive back home to switch out my flops for Nikes (which are almost as old as the last time I visited the gym). And I'm all set up for the cardless check in too; all I need is my current phone number, which I do actually have committed to memory, and my index finger.

So both a step into the future and a blast from the past for me this morning. Mostly I'm feeling dejected about being back, but, hey, if I can't hang with spin, I could actually take it all the way back, I'm talking back-in-the-day back, because I kid you not, there was an actual, honest-to-god step aerobic class going on as I exited.

Yay for the gym!

Let's get physical


Pat said...

Hang in there Beth. Someday in the long long future you will be 70 and under the delusion if you belong to the Y, you don't actually have to go there.
Love, Mom

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Well, this is excellent! Spin, step aerobics, what-EVS is what I say. Of course, I say that while talking to nobody and staring at the lane line at the bottom of the pool, so don't listen to me.

Love it! Make it burn!!