I’m not proud of this, but I spent about two weeks checking into the gym and then leaving. I straight up would go in, have the front desk clerk scan my card and then peace the fuck out. Why would I do such a thing?
One. Because I was facing a serious case of personal resistance.
Two. As part of my health insurance plan, I needed to make an appearance X amount of times within X amount of days and then I’d receive a full year of membership for free.
Even with a deliciously sweet incentive, I could only half motivate myself.
The best part is I was proud I showed up, met all of the anxiety of what will the front-desk clerk think, faced it, and then left anyway. In my head I was flipping off the man, but really I was fucking myself.
If fucking myself was a stock option, I’d have capital gains like Amber Rose has Kanye clap backs.
Look, I said to myself, you can’t keep doing this. You have got to get it together. I know you’re living the slacker’s dream right now with your roll out of bed, walk two inches and you’re at work by a crisp brunch hour, but there’s gotta be some movement somewhere in your day. Otherwise, you’re gonna be Jabba the Hut with the heart rate of the Crypt Keeper and you just can’t have that.
Faced with continuing to fuck myself and the anxiety of the front-desk clerk’s judgement (which they are not paid for or have even hinted they know I exist) I thought: What is something that happens every day that will trigger me to get up, stop what I’m doing and go?
If “stop whatever you’re doing and go” sounds familiar it’s because that’s what Elmo tells potty-training toddlers. I have no shame in that. Elmo helped me. So fuck you, Liz Gilbert et-al; all I needed was a red monster with a hand shoved up his ass with the voice of a three-year-old to motivate me.
The thing that happens everyday is my kid comes home from school. Monday through Friday, the door bursts open, I elicit the kind of enthusiasm reserved for boy bands by a tween girl and then I resume my troll-like position at the laptop and she shuts her bedroom door until dinner.
I haven’t ticked off five consecutive days yet, but I haven’t swiped and dashed either. In fact, tonight I headed out to the swanky, resort-like gym my kid attends for a mentorship program.
Everyone at the gym is in BEAST mode. I mean these people are on the balls of their feet, arms flailing around, sweat pouring like Niagara with neon, match game vibes. And all I can think is: thin needs better PR.
I pass a dance instructor who’s rivaling Sebastian the crab in red skin. She’s terrifyingly enthusiastic with her hip hop moves lacking irony. I don’t know what the fuck is going on in there, but I know I won’t survive it.
Then I pass a guy walking backwards on the treadmill like that’s apparently a thing that isn’t stupid.
Or how about the toddler that just lapped me and didn’t break a sweat.
After the toddler, there’s the couple who insist on walking side-by-side and lapping me so many times I’ve lost count. I give them a minute in that relationship because the only successful workout routine I know is the one where you agree to an every-man-for-himself pace with your partner. Like me and Slasher. Who is miles behind and IDGAF.
Love is defined at arm’s length, bitches. Arm’s length. Or, a football field. Anything closer is Stockholm syndrome.
I’m not at the gym to create a personal best, I’m there to be average. If Average Joe’s Gym was an actual gym, that would be my gym. Where you roll in whenever, maybe play some dodgeball, lift a five-pound weight every three minutes and then head to the backdoor for a smoke break because you’re exhausted from trying.
That’s where I’m at in my life: completely unwilling to give up small joys for gains I’m not even sure exist. I’d like to look down and not have a double-chin in the way, but I’m not prepared to slice and dice my body to make it happen or turn over tires or run a marathon where I’m the human canvas; fire extinguished with neon at the finish line. In my twenties, I was almost that person. But now I’m comfortably thirty-something and fresh out of fucks. There’s always a bigger size. There’s always a smaller one too.