Ok, so you all know that I hit the gym pretty regularly. My family and I were lucky enough to get a scholarship slot at our local YMCA and I was pretty stoked because it has a state-of-the-art fitness center within it. Now when I was younger I remember going to the YMCA with my mother, and from what I recall it only had a racquetball court and what was pretty much the equivalent of a hotel fitness room, meaning there were a few spin bikes, a treadmill, some free weights, and that was about it.
The Y that is just a few minutes from my house is more like a stand alone gym that smashed into a community center. On one half they hold a preschool, have a teen center, daycare, family water park, small coffee bar, etc., and on the other half there is a weight room, cardio room, track, basketball courts, dance studios, lap pool, sauna, etc.
Why am I telling you this? Because I'm setting the stage to show you how strange the atmosphere can be sometimes. You have these huge muscly men and their protein shakes walking in with their wrists all taped up and what appears to be some obvious steroid use in effect, and they are walking past the moms sitting at the coffee bar waiting for their kids to get out of preschool, who are watching the senior citizens pop in for a sauna, and sometimes it's just strange.
Strange like the time I signed up for a deep water fitness class. "60 minutes in the deep end of the pool. Strengthen and tone while using the resistance of the water. Must be able to tread water for extended periods of time." I'm envisioning an aerobics class where we tread water the entire time and from how that looks in my head, I'm thinking that sounds great, because workout + no sweating = AWESOME!!
I realized how very wrong I was when I showed up for the first class and was greeted by 20 senior citizens. I was at least 30 years younger than any other person there. Not only that, but we were all required to wear floaty belts. So there I was, me and 20 fake hips, wearing a Styrofoam belt, and doing scissor kicks in the water.
Reality was totally not how I envisioned that class in my head.
Still...it was surprisingly fun and I showed up for that class every Tuesday and Thursday for an entire year. By the end I had the best range of motion!
At least in that class I was able to pull off "graceful," which was exactly the opposite of what happened when the cardio room got overhauled. So the Y redid their entire cardio room and when it reopened I swear I walked in and heard "dun dun" play dramatically overhead as I looked around.
There were at least 20 ellipticals, 20 treadmills, bikes in three different kinds, stair steppers, stair climbers, rowing machines, ARC trainers, and the list just goes on and on. Now I consider myself to be fairly athletic, but what I am not is tech savvy. So there I am, big stupid grin on my face, "dun dun" playing in the background, and as I'm trying to decide where to start this fun and exciting new experience, I realize that everything now looks very... technical.
There are like way more buttons on every machine than there used to be.
I figured a safe place to start would probably be a treadmill and so I hopped on, except that this treadmill was apparently no longer just a treadmill, it was now a full sensory entertainment experience with the added bonus of fitness.
"Do you want to watch the attached TV? Plug in your IPOD? Do you want the surround sound on? Would you like to browse the Internet? Watch a movie? Do you want to feel like you are running on gravel or grass? Do you want to climb a mountain or run through New York city? What season do you want it to be? Would you like a trainer to walk you through a fitness routine? Do you want to have your heart rate and temperature monitored? How much do you weigh? How tall are you? How much gravity would you like to experience? Please simply answer these 85 questions and we can get started."
Or I could just push the "quick start" button and start running... right?
I pushed the button and it started going really, really, slow. I pushed the up arrow a few times and didn't go any faster. "Hum...maybe that's the wrong up arrow" I thought as I pushed the other up arrow. Still nothing. The grandma on the treadmill next to me had now lapped me three times and burned 78 more calories than me. I mean come on now, why is this thing not going any faster? I started pushing buttons left and right and suddenly everything is going up. The volume on the TV is at full blast, the treadmill has raised to an incline so steep that I might as well have been walking up a wall, and not only is everything going up, but it's now going faster.
Suddenly the treadmill flashes that I am running at 14 miles an hour and I think that I might actually die.
Who the fuck can run 14 miles an hour? WHY WOULD THAT EVEN BE AN OPTION?
I'm now frantically pushing buttons and through my panic can no longer process what I am even trying to do. The most logical button, the big red "stop" button simply turned off the TV after I jabbed the hell out of it with my finger. At this point I am running so fast that I am pretty sure my shoes are melting and there is no denying that everyone in the entire gym is now looking at me, what with the screaming TV, the flailing limbs, and the fact that the treadmill is practically smoking.
Finally in a last ditch effort to not break my face, I do what I'm pretty sure anyone in my situation would have done.
I bail completely.
Yup, I just jumped right off.
Jumped off, got on the one next to it, leaned over to the machine that was still running on a setting that I can only describe as "explode," grabbed the safety magnet, attached it, and then yanked it off to signal that user was about to die.
I then turned around, took a bow to everyone watching me, and promptly exited the building.
Yea, that wasn't one of my most graceful moments.
After that I became a bit more hesitant in trying on the new machines. My friend is a personal trainer and one day I asked her what she recommends to tighten up your ass. She told me to do the stair climber, which is a machine that resembles a tiny escalator going in reverse. I wasn't overly thrilled with her suggestion but in the interest of a better butt, I was willing to put myself out there.
I got on the machine, set it for it's lowest setting, prepared for sudden death, stepped for two minutes, and broke my knees.
You guys I have no idea what happened except for the fact that I broke both my knees. It hurt so bad that I almost could not even walk to my car. Ironically I had a chiropractic appointment scheduled for immediately after that and the secretary at that office just so happens to be the personal trainer that had recommended the stair climber.
I pulled into the chiropractor's parking lot and I literally almost could not get out of my car.
Now I'm someone that no matter how much pain I'm in, I'm not going to let you know. Chalk it up to my years of hiding abuse, but pain is one thing I hide very well.
That day, not so much.
I walked into the office (no one was in the waiting room), I saw my friend, and she was laughing at me because she had seen me hobble down the sidewalk and into the office.
"You bitch!" was the only thing that came out of my mouth.
"Me!? What did I do!?" she exclaimed.
At this point I was attempting (and failing) to sit down in a chair.
Now I work at this office every Monday and have for the last couple of years. I know the staff well and they know me, and they were all looking at me like I had lost my damn mind.
"You told me to do that stupid stair climber! I think I broke me knees!"
Now not only did she start laughing at me even harder, the other secretary and the chiropractor joined in with her.
Eventually I manage to collapse into a chair and when they told me that I could go back for my adjustment, I couldn't get up.
I absolutely could not get up.
The chiropractor came out and started massaging right above my knees while talking about lactic acid and I'm all "no, they are not sore, they are broken! I HAVE CLEARLY BROKEN BOTH OF MY KNEES."
They manage to get me into a standing position and we repeated the process as I climbed onto the table for my adjustment and then tried to get back up. I am not even kidding you when I say that a grown man had to practically lift me back up to the vertical position.
It was not pretty.
I'm fairly certain that the office staff seemed to think the whole situation was pretty awesome though, judging by the fact that I could see their laughing faces pressed against the window as they watched me try to get back into my car.
Word of advice? Avoid the stair stepper machine at all costs. Who the hell is going to notice your ass if it's sitting in wheelchair?
(P.S, If you are looking to get a rock-hard ass and you want to save your knees, I highly recommend the ARC trainer.)
My Platonic Husband and I.
(I'm the blue blurbs)
(I'm the blue blurbs)
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
I will say though, I'm not the only one that has had an epic gym fail. I was once running on the track and the woman in front of me just bit the dust. I mean she really did. She tripped and landed right on her face. I felt so awful for her!!
But today, today took the cake in gym fails.
I was in the weight room and was suddenly struck by the fact that out of the 30 people in there, all were dudes except for me. And not just dudes, every single one of those men looked like they were prepping for a body building competition. I'm standing in front of the mirror and have suddenly become self-consciously aware of the fact that I look like the kid who will surely be picked last for dodge ball because I'm a skinny nerd holding the smallest weight available.
The guy to my left is doing bicep curls using free weight's that are stamped with a 50lb mark on it. Who on earth curls 50 lbs!?
The guy to my right is bench pressing 300lbs. THREE HUNDRED POUNDS. Over in the corner one guy is using a weight machine with the pin stuck in the 250lb slot and behind me a guy is doing pull-ups with 25lbs on each ankle.
Scattered amongst them are men that outweigh me by at least double who are exercising with weights that would crush the life out of me.
But don't mind me, I'm doing over head presses with 20lbs and trying really hard not to grimace in the mirror, because maybe they won't notice me.
Which was a fair bet to place because of what happened next.
Oh my gosh you guys, what happened next.
I noticed this guy, he had to be about college age, and he was laying down on a bench and was about to press free weights. I noticed him because I heard his friend say rather loudly, "wait, what do you want me to do?" Bench press guy didn't even answer his friend before he hauled two free weights that were bigger than my head into the air and held the position for a mere millisecond before he shrieked "spot me," and his friend once again said "what do you want me to do?"
"GRAB WEIGHT" the bench press guy gasped out. His friend grabbed one of the weights and bench press guy dropped the other one onto his own face.
ONTO HIS FACE.
You guys, this kid dropped a weight that was bigger than my head, onto his face.
He screamed. Not yelped, but screamed.
He then swore and went running from the building.
From what I saw I bet he at least broke his cheekbone if not his eye socket.
I literally cannot even imagine and am actually recoiling in horror as I type this.
I was so utterly shocked that I just stood there, repeatedly lifting weights while my brain tried to absorb what had just happened, until I realized that I had been doing that for 20 minutes or so.
I left the gym, drove home and attempted to get ready for bed, but my arms were so fatigued and noodle-like that when I tried to brush my teeth I accidentally brushed toothpaste through my eyebrow.
Well that's just great.
I dunno though, at least I still have an eye socket to support that eyebrow...
You certainly aren't going to hear any complaints from me tonight.
On his face you guys, ON HIS FACE.
Angry Little Girl
Yelling Little Girl