I went to the gym last night after work. After 60 seconds or so, I remembered what it is I hate about going to the gym.
It’s not the exercise. I don’t mind that. I feel so much better when I’m moving regularly, and I know I have to do it if I’m going to keep my blood pressure down without meds. They have some nice spinning bikes at this gym, and I like the step machine. Also, as cycling is a non-weight bearing exercise and I’m a woman of a certain age, I’m looking forward to some strength training.
It’s not even the inconvenience of having to get my workout clothes together in the morning, remember to put them in the car, go somewhere after work when I’m tired and hungry, change from boots and winter clothes to a tee-shirt, tights and tennies in a bathroom stall, then climb back into a cold car and drive home sweaty an hour later, freezing in said tee-shirt and tights. That’s all a pain, but whatever. I’m good at organization and routine. I’ve got this.
It’s not the music, but…ack! I’m old. I get that it’s what’s the thing now, but…just…ACK! MP3 player and ear buds in the gym bag next time. I recently subscribed to Audible.com, so maybe an audiobook, or maybe just some good 70s rock and roll. We’ll see. I don’t like earbuds, but I think the odds of the 20-something owner ever choosing music I like are so slim it’s not worth thinking about.
It’s a little bit the germs. I have hand sanitizer that I use frequently while I’m there, and the gym provides something in a spray bottle that you spray on the equipment when you’re done and then towel off (with towels that look like they’ve been chewed by hamsters), so I’m doing all I can do minimize the chance that I’m going to get sick from trying to be healthy, but still…ew. Not a deal-breaker, though. I’ve had my flu shot. I’ll be fine.
There are things I like about this particular gym. There’s a dog named Elle, who is just lovely and likes to be petted and talked to, and there aren’t a lot of people at that time, which surprises me cuz when I used to go to the gym 20 years ago 4-6 pm was the most popular time. Also, I knew two of the people who were there working out when I was, and one of them showed me how to turn on one of the machines I wanted to use.
And…wait! That’s what it is: I felt stupid. I don’t remember how to use the weight machines and I can’t figure out even how to turn on the cardio machines.
I used to know about the gym, but that was a long time ago and I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. Thank goodness a friend was there and he offered to help. When I go again on Friday (complicated mid-week, so a couple of turns on the treadmill at work will have to suffice until then) I’ll ask the owner for help. He offered when I first got there, but he’s young and good-looking, so of course I was cool, and said I was all set.
***finger gun at head***
I hate that feeling. I hate feeling new. Dumb, not knowing. Uncool. I have been uncool all my life and now mostly I couldn’t care less what people think of me, but still sometimes that familiar feeling of humiliation trips me up. Sometimes I just want to be suave and cool and hip and fun and pretty and all those other “I-fit-in-with-people-and-they-like-me” words. In a situation like last night, suddenly I’m 8 years old and the cool kids are all doing something I don’t know how to do (or more likely, not allowed to do as my mother was VERY strict), and I feel different and dumb and generally unworthy to draw breath.
I have to step back and remind myself that I’m not 8 years old anymore, and I’m doing fine just the way I am, thank you very much, and not knowing how to do something does not make me unworthy of anything. I just have to ask someone to teach me. I’m not dumb or different from anyone there, really. I may be older, but hey – points for me for dragging my old butt out in the snow after a long day to do something I know I have to do to take care of myself.
In a couple of weeks – maybe sooner – I’ll be comfortable going there, and maybe I’ll have the opportunity to help someone who’s new after the holidays when everyone shows up at the gym to attempt to keep their New Year’s resolutions.
Most importantly, I’ll live a long time. That’s what matters. I’m doing something good for myself and I’m paying for the privilege, so I have to go. Period. I’ll enjoy it, cuz I choose to. I’m not doing this for anyone else, so it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.
The dog likes me, after all. That’s all I need.