It is almost exactly like the dude who goes, “Man, if I got my hands on Kate Winslet, dude, I would totally put her on her hands and knees, and make her [dirty thing, dirty thing] and then I’d [dirty thing, filthy thing] and you know she’d totally be [possibly illegal thing], man, you know? Yeah!” But then, when Kate Winslet appears in the middle of his birthday cake, wearing nothing but frosting, you know this dude is going to burst into tears and go lock himself in the bathroom.

Only with me, instead of Kate Winslet (as much as I wish it were Kate Winslet, and if it were I would, incidentally, very politely ask permission of her before doing dirty things to her perfect body, because I am a lady and so is she), it is the gym. It makes perfect sense, believe me. I have not been to the gym in a long time–over a month–and I do not currently have gym privileges, but all I can daydream about is how totally freakin’ awesome it’s going to be, when I go back. I’m going to rock that gym, and make it say my name. You know, when I go.

At first, there were so many good reasons (excuses) to not go, so many
important responsibilities (excuses for not going) got in the way of
sweating, and then I realized it was ridiculous, and I gave up the
pretense entirely, and I thought, well, I have this new job coming up
and a new schedule and it is so silly to try to fix my schedule now
when I’m just going to have to deal with a whole brand new schedule in
just a couple of weeks, so I’ll just wait and get settled at the new
place where I have this awesome new gym membership which they are
providing at an awesome gym and I will just start, fresh and new and
awesome, and it will be a whole new brand-spanking shiny dawn of the
day of the totally awesome.

It’s been a week and a half, since I’ve been at the new job, and I can
safely say that here I am, all settled. And yet, I am still sleeping
in, every morning, until the last possible second, instead of springing
up and out of bed, diving into my workout wear and plunging, lungs
first, into the world. But it is not my fault. It is not my fault. It
is not lack of desire, or laziness, or my desire to be lazy–it is that
my gym membership has not yet been set up by the powers that be, see?
And what am I supposed to do, I ask you plaintively, but you do not
have to answer with your annoying logic. I know already that I have to
wait. Do not contradict me!

The problem is that I don’t want to wait, anymore. No, really.
Seriously. If I had a membership, I really would be there every
morning. Even on my days off, I bet. I’d be sweating, and gasping, and
panting and heaving and gasping (you like that, Kate? Tell me you like
it. SAY MY NAME!) so happily and with such great and glorious glee. I
want to exercise. I want to be active. My body feels so light and
moving feels so good and effortless, now, it seems criminal to not be
flinging myself forward into motion. I want to be pounding on the
treadmill, kickboxing, cardio salsa-ing, even though cardio salsa
sounds like a nightmare torture developed by evil science in the
dankest bowels of an unlit, foul-smelling hell.

I want to be moving and pushing and doing. I want to go dancing,
swimming, spinning, bike riding, fly fishing, log jamming, snark
hunting, hiking. I walk everywhere instead of taking the train, and I
don’t skirt around hills, and I take the stairs and I totally cannot
wait to get back to the gym. In the meantime, why aren’t I bear
baiting, and skeet shooting and snowshoeing and breakdancing? Ms.
Winslet, I am such a big fan!

In the face of actually doing something, I am paralyzed and retarded.
Retardedly paralyzed. And I am also completely incapable of giving
myself a goddamn break once in awhile. Maybe I’ll get back to being
formally active when I’m good and ready to be formally active. Maybe I
am chrysalising, like a beautiful butterfly in a cocoon, and will burst
from my shell in a dazzling display of pyrotechnic fitness. Maybe I
need this break in order to build my strength and store up reserves of
nuclear energy in my muscles. Maybe I should let it go, and just go
back to the gym when I have a gym membership, and let that be totally
enough. Or maybe I should keep beating myself up, which, I bet, is
totally aerobic.

7 Replies to “gymless”

  1. Haha, I have a gym membership and since returning from my vacation I’ve been neglecting it.

    But you’re right, when you’re good and ready, you’ll go for a morning walk, or do an exercise DVD, or put knitty-socks on your feet and speed skate around on the hardwoods, or whatever, until that gym membership gets processed.

    I’ve always found (and surely I’m not the only one!) that the first step of a workout is indisputably the hardest.

  2. Maybe you just need this time to really settle in. I mean really, really settle in. To the new body, the new physical abilities, the new job (I know you say you’re settled in, but 2 weeks- c’mon!). Everything is so new in your life and you’re just beating yourself- which is a bad old habit :-)

    I had a nice psychologist once tell me that changes made with threats, cajoling or judgement never last for long. But changes made with compassion, flexibility and love do tend to stick.

    Now I will go take my own advice and stop beating myself up for having french fries on my b-day!

  3. You know, a lot of places, like the Jewish Community Center (JCC), have trial memberships or programs where you can go with a member to try out what they have and see if it’s a good fit for you. To my mind, it’s definitely worth it before you invest in a place. I haven’t been to many health clubs in SF, but the JCC on California is absolutely gorgeous after its major overhaul. The changing room is more like a spa! You’ve gotta love a place where Roz Chast does the cover of the monthly bulletin.


  4. I’m also in the throes of “I’m working out in my mind, but just can’t get my butt on the elliptical”. Ugh.

    Oh, and yeah, ditto on the Kate Winslet action. Oh, baby.

  5. I have the best work-outs in my mind while I’m in my car on the way to the gym or sometimes earlier in my own apartment. Of course, when I’m surrounded by skinny students or actually having to WORK OUT, my ideal sorts of changes a bit.

    I haven’t been in 3 days. It’s too hot and a million other excuses. I’m going back and you will too when the time is right.

    BTW, when is beating ourselves up going to become an Olympic sport? Because when it does, I am so going to be on Team U.S.A. for that!

  6. Go, run, outside in the city, off the treadmill, in the air. I love that. I bet you will, too. It’s always there, it’s always open, and it doesn’t cost anything.

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