I love my gym---really I do. I’ve been going there for years. It’s my happy place. I like all the people who work there, I know where all the equipment is, I know how to operate the remote for the televisions over the treadmills (each treadmill has its own TV). It’s an independent no-bullshit gym, and during baseball season, NESN is on for every Red Sox game.
Then on Monday, I cheated on my gym. Yes, I got a free week at an upstart gym a mile down the road, and I went. Even though the gym turned out to be lameass, I still feel guilty and dirty like I had slept with a weasel even though I was married to a lion. Even though trainers at my favorite gym train at other gyms and many people there go to other gyms and I take a yoga class at a nearby studio, I still felt guilty.
Why was the Lameass Gym so lameass? For starters, there was no stuff there. I go to a gym to use thousands of dollars worth of equipment that I don’t have at home. The Lameass Gym had three empty rooms. Now, okay, granted, they were probably building their business, but would it kill you to get a rack of weights? You can usually find some cheap on craigslist.
Still I was game, and I signed up for an exercise class called Crossfit. I was hoping it would make me fit, but it only made me cross. I should have known something was wrong when the instructor said he was going to become Satan in the class. Now, I’ve seen a lot of trainers do a lot of wacky things, but I’ve never seen a trainer become the Prince of Darkness. Get over yourself, Dude, you’re not that evil.
We did some warm-ups, some pushups, some situps, some squatting. Okay, whatever. I asked if I needed gloves if we were bench pressing. The instructor said he didn’t believe in gloves. Okay, whatever. We were instructed to do the warm-up again. Now, I should tell you, in a gym, I turn parts of my brain off, so I had to ask what exactly the warm-up was again. Yep, no short term memory.
The rest of the class consisted of pushups, pull-ups, and a three-minute rest. We would do that five times. I hate pushups, have vertigo problems with pull-ups, and don’t like long rest (throws off the rhythm). Still, I was game. I was gonna try gosh darn it. I was gonna bang out those five sets, so I put on the gloves (as appropriate action movie soundtrack played in my brain) and got to work. I hadn’t done a pullup in years, but I was able to do 3-5 on a set. For the pushups, I just did girlie pushups because I can do a bunch fast and solid. Naturally I finished before everyone else, and got to sit around and watch the rest of the class. One guy was actually taking three-minute rest breaks. Okay, whatever.
I noticed some of the guys bench pressing with a bar. None of the girls were bench pressing, and that kind of pissed me off. I looked over into a room with some heavy punch bags. Guys in a class were kick boxing. They were paired off and kicking each other in the crotch area---protected by some padding. Yikes, what if the padding wasn’t there? Back in the Crossfit land, the last straggler finally finished with I-pod firmly in ears. By that point, I was totally cooled down and bored. I searched for a word to describe my reaction to the class. Sucks was just too obvious. Lameass seemed to suit the situation much better.
The last part of the class was do a plank for as long as possible. A plank is when you rest on your forearms and toes and the rest of your body is up off the floor but parallel to it. Even though I have no ambition to be a piece of wood in life, I do like the plank. It’s harder than it looks and part of it is the mental. If you’re in the zone, you can stay like that for hours. However, I was not in the zone. I was not even close to the zone.
The instructor said that the All-Blacks, the national rugby team of New Zealand, required all of its players to do the plank. It also requires that all of its players be men, I said back, and that rallied the women in the class. Maybe I was an Amazon warrior in a former life. And I should mention that two women in the class held the plank longer than the guys.
After a quick stop to change tops in a pretty nice lady’s locker room, I left the Lameass Gym. My free week there only lasted a day. I went back to my regular gym, yet something was different. It was as if my gym knew I had cheated on it. Maybe I should have brought it flowers. What do you bring your gym when you’ve cheated on it?
When I confessed to Gustav, my significant other, that I had cheated on my gym, he reassured me that it was okay. After all, it was free.