I woke up at a godforsaken hour this morning to pick up a friend. I had set my alarm to go off at 4:45 a.m., but as usual, I woke up before the alarm went off. I looked at the clock, and it was 4:30 a.m. I got up, got dressed and met my friend and headed out to the gym. Mind you, I'm not a gym person, and I don't belong to any gyms. My friend, who I'll call Jym, was starting at a new gym, and he offered me a buddy pass to check the place out. Now, I was under the influence of alcohol when I agreed to check out the new gym, and in my head, I was thinking of a quick tour. But Jym saw it as an opportunity to show off the new place and get a good workout.
I thought about canceling the whole thing when Jym called to say what time we should head out. When he said a workout at 5:30, that's when I realized I had inadvertently agreed to a workout session instead of a tour. Still, I had said I'd go with him, so I needed to follow up on my word. Besides, I was a little curious to see what this gym had to offer.
Now, I've been to other gyms before in my life, and it's a great option for people who want to work out. It's just that I'm an outdoors type of person. I just don't run to a machine first when I want to work out. I have taken a few classes at a gym, but mostly that was for college credit. Those were fun. But I did take an aerobics class once, and that was because of a challenge. I had joked with a buddy about how ridiculous those aerobics classes were. I mean, what's with the tacky leotards and bad dance moves and of course the Richard Simmons wanna be yelling out, 'and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4! Feel the burn'!?
My buddy didn't think it was so funny, as she took aerobics classes. So she challenged me to go with her to the next class. I thought about the likelihood that I may be the only guy in class if I went, but I was never one to back down from a good challenge. I said I would go with her. Besides, I was so confident that I was going to outlast those ladies without the need for legwarmers and a matching headband!
When we showed up, I was surprised (and a little relieved) to see a few men in the back of the class. We placed ourselves at the back of the class, in the 4th row; I asked my buddy why were we in the back. "Are you ashamed of me?"
She replied, "No."
"Are you afraid I might embarrass you?", I asked.
"Yes," she answered.
And I smiled and said, "Well, you should be. I'm about to blow y'all out of the water."
She replied, "Darling, you shouldn't start bragging yet. We'll see who blows who after class!"
"Sugar, now that's an offer I can't refuse," I chuckled and started singing, "Let's get physical, physical, I wanna get physical..."
"Shut up and start warming up, Olivia!," she replied.
That's when I saw the instructor walk in and greet the class. She was a beautiful, tiny Asian woman with big hair and a bigger voice! Even better, the shiny blue spandex shorts and bra she was wearing looked like a second skin, and I swear I didn't see any panty lines. Definitely not Richard Simmons! But that woman worked the hell out of us to remixes of pop, hip hop, and dance music!
We started with some stretching, some warms ups, then spent the next 45 minutes jumping and turning and twisting and reaching. I worked up a sweat, and my buddy kept giving me this smug smile. Still, I kept up. Then we went for these steps and started on step aerobics! At first, it was step on the box, step off the box. Simple. Then it was step turn step and I kept up. Then it got crazy with step twist turn twist step and I was starting to really feel a workout. My buddy kept giggling, but I showed her! I kept up with the routines for the whole half hour we were on those damned steps! And boy, was I relieved to hear the instructor say put up the steps. And I was thinking, hah, is that the best you can do? Because I'm still here!
Unfortunately, the instructor said, "Grab the mats", and I was like huh? You mean there's more? And my buddy caught the stupefied look on my face and laughed. But I refused to give up! We started with the half pushups--which was no problem. Then we did some crunches and sit ups. No problem. Then the fire hydrants; a little problem. Then came the flutter kicks; medium problem. Then the reverse crunch; big problem as I've never done this before, and my legs were hurting! I was starting to slow down, and I really wanted to stop, but I looked over at my buddy and she just kept on kicking and crunching. And I thought, oh hell no! I'm not going to stop now! I'll never hear the end of it! If I die now, at least I'll die with some pride!
But the worst and meanest exercise had to be the pelvic thrusts! And it wasn't because it was such a terrible exercise, but it was such a filthy, dirty, in your face kind of exercise. The instructor got on her back and then spread her legs apart and thrust her pelvis towards the sky! I was thinking, good Lord, I can see her camel toe! Up and down she thrusted while moaning and keeping count! I thought, hot damn if I was in the 3rd row ahead, I'd've probably seen the pearl in her oyster! And I felt a different kind of muscle starting to pump up! Luckily, I was wearing board shorts, but I was starting to strain under the mesh netting. I hoped that no one would notice. But as I looked around, I realized that I wasn't the only one who was captivated by the instructor's moves. Apparently, all the other men were staring as well. That's why they stayed in the back row! Far enough to get enjoy the view without being labeled a perv! Still, I think that instructor did it on purpose.
After that session, I bragged to my buddy that I survived. The next day, I was sore in all sorts of places on my body! I confessed to my buddy that aerobics kicked my ass! And I sure as hell wasn't going to make fun of aerobics anymore. Well, I was still going to make fun of the outfits.
Return to the present
So now I'm looking around the new gym and I admit, it seemed quite spacious. After Jym and I got towels and put our stuff in lockers, we headed out to try some of the machines. Thankfully, this gym had sanitary wipes to clean off the equipment. I've always thought it was gross how some people just sweat and drip all over the machines, and then they think a quick wipe was going to clean off all their germs. Hell, I don't think wiping a towel on a machine was going to kill any germs from other people who used it before me. All that was happening was cross contamination, the germ infested towel would spread microbes from equipment to equipment. See why I don't like working out on machines?
So after sanitizing the machines and warming up, we started to work out. Some pull ups and upper arm exercise; then some abs and upper chest exercises. After half an hour we split up. I headed for the treadmills while Jym headed for the other machines to work on his legs. There were treadmills on the second floor loft and it overlooked the floor. While jogging, I got to see all the action unfold below me. I could see some people all ready in front of the mirror walls. I always crack up when I see people work out in front of the mirror. There are always a few guys who work on a machine, do a few reps, then go and pose in front of a mirror. It's hilarious how fascinated they are with their reflections! Narcissus, it that you? What's funny is that they spend more time posing in front of the mirror than actually working out.
Then there's the group of fellas who come to the gym to socialize. To them, it's a great place to ogle the women (and men) and try to get close to them. A different kind of poser all together! It's funny seeing people try to hook up in the gym like it was a club. Sure there's music and movement, but there's no alcohol and most people come to work out, not hook up (at least in most gyms). And some people don't look attractive when they're gasping for air and sweating (and smelly) and grunting on the machines. Dudes, save the membership fee! Spend it on drinks and a good time instead! It's a whole lot less expensive but more fun way of meeting people!
Now, they had other treadmills with t.v.s in front of them, but I don't like those treadmills. I'd rather let my mind wander while I jog. Eventually, on a good run, you lose yourself in your thoughts and at some point, you reach a state of peace and blissful oblivion. I lost track of how many others came and left using the various treadmills around me, but I tuned them out. Eventually, Jym snapped me out of my reverie and said we ought to check out the sauna for a bit. We got some new towels, showered and then headed into the sauna. There were two other men there, and we just sat in our towels and let the heat work us over for about 15 minutes.
Now, I'm a little leery of saunas, and it's not just because of rude people trying to grope you when you're just trying to relax. Really, it's because people sweat in there, and who knows what other bodily fluids have been spilled in there!?! God knows what kind of organisms are evolving and blossoming in that moist heat environment! And some people don't even shower before going in there; even worse are the people who don't shower afterwards but go on to work or bars! But for a few minutes, I'm able to put aside all those thoughts and relish the heat working to ease my tensions.
After the sauna, we got more towels and showered, then headed out for breakfast. I was kind of glad that I decided to go with Jym today. Would I go back to the gym? Probably not, and Jym knew this. But he had other friends who were his regular work out buds. And I have to admit that I'm feeling a little sore in my shoulders; but that just means I had a good workout. Still, it was good way to hang out with a friend and try something different. Workouts are like life; you've got to have variety to get the most out of it.