Friday, March 29, 2013

Foam crowns, free weights, and a flasher: Alliteration at its very best

Man, two entries in two days! I think I should be getting paid overtime for this. I might chip a nail if I'm not careful.

I've decided that it is time for more "Tales from the Gym." I've been storing up all the weirdness for a while, and it is time to share.

  •  There is an older gentleman that is in the gym almost every day. He is in really great shape. But I am really curious about his choice of gym apparel. His workout clothes always consist of a t-shirt (normal), extremely short khaki shorts (something I don't particularly want to see, but still not freakishly abnormal), and dress socks with dress shoes (weird!). I don't understand his fashion choices, but maybe that ensemble is what helps him keep in such good shape. If so, maybe I should invest in short shorts and men's dress shoes as well! Or maybe not.
  • I've recently started doing my abdominal exercises at the gym instead of at home. In the interest of honesty, this is because they often do not get done at home since I can be a slacker sometimes. I mean, no matter what Jillian Michaels says about doing sit-ups and stuff during commercials, sometimes I just want to watch the dang TV with my butt on the couch! Jillian, I'm sorry I let you down. Anyway, there is a little alcove at the gym where you can do your ab stuff without everyone else seeing. This is a very popular option because I don't know of many people (women in particular) who enjoy having a whole gym full of people watch you a) stick your legs up in the air and do crunches, giving everyone a nice view of your butt or b) continually throw your legs up into the air until they actually separate from the rest of your body. So it's always very crowded in the little alcove and there is usually not enough room for everyone. When it a spot becomes available, it gets very cutthroat in an effort to snag the available spot. It kind of feels like The Hunger Games, except you know, without all the kids killing kids and mutant dogs. But you do what you have to do to get what you want.
  • I was changing clothes in the locker room the other day, and I was happy to see that no one else was in there. I feel comfortable enough with my body now that I don't mind so much if other people are in there when I'm changing, but I still do like it better if I'm alone. Anyway, I had just taken my sports bra off when this other woman comes in. I wasn't expecting it, and so I did this weird spastic movement where I ended up with one arm across my chest (for obvious reasons). She decides that this is a good time for a chat. She keeps talking and talking and talking, and I am stuck there with my arm glued to my chest. She never looked away, and I couldn't seem to find a socially acceptable way to either stop her incessant chatter or put on a shirt without flashing her. Oddly, she seemed oblivious to the awkwardness of the situation.
  • Another odd character in my gym is one I shall refer to as "His Royal Highness." He is in the gym pretty often, and is hard not to notice. This is because his outfit of choice includes a fluorescent orange plastic vest and a foam crown glued to a helmet. The orange vest, I could maybe understand. I mean, for all I know he bikes home at night or something and uses the vest for visibility. But the helmet crown remains a mystery to me.  Hey, whatever floats his boat. 
  • I like the machines at the gym. I feel like I at least somewhat look like I know what I'm doing on them. Or that could be wishful thinking. I do not feel that way about free weights. I always feel like an imposter or something with them. I think a big part of the problem is that I don't know where to look when I'm using them. At first, I tried in front of the mirror. You know, to check my flawless form (haha!). But it takes awhile to get through all my exercises and I felt weird staring at myself that long. So I tried facing the cardio machines in the gym. But then I felt weird looking at other people with my intense "these weights make my arms burn so much that they may spontaneously combust any second now" face. They also got treated to the face I made during the time between reps, which was my "I'm so tired that I can't make my facial muscles curve into any kind of expression, so I'll just vacantly stare" face. I finally ended up staring at the wall. Kind of boring, but at least I don't have to scare other people with weird faces or scare myself with my own reflection.
And you all thought the gym was just a place to get in shape. Never a dull moment!

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