Friday, August 25, 2006

Gym Etiquette?

Yeah, yeah, we can all agree: the only thing weirder than Jamie and the word 'etiquette' is Jamie and the word 'gym'.

But if you will, grant me the benefit of your doubt for just one moment.

The shocking truth is that I have in fact been pumping some steel lately.

(even though he's currently in a different city, I can hear Jason groaning Iron, Jamie, we're pumping iron)

(parenthetically, he's still wrong...I have not been pumping any metal, nor even an alloy, metalloid or compound...not even an nonferrous metal...the most I've pumped is my hand lotion dispenser, and I'm pretty sure that's a polymer)

But I have been going to the gym.

Oof, I know, I know, it's so not me.

But I've recently been expelled from physical therapy. Which is good because I was starting to feel like one of those 6th graders with know...held back. But now that I've been released, I realize that maybe the 6th grade wasn't so bad. It was kind of fun being the big fish, all the other kids were envious of my peach fuzz.

And it's kind of scary being out on my own, nobody telling me to touch my own toes just one more time, come on you big pussy, just one more time, dammit, you can do it.

Plus, the post-operative Jamie is not the same as pre-op Jamie. I haven't had occasion (or ability) to use certain muscles in a very long time. So now that I've got the big OK, I realize that what used to be muscle now resembles something more likely to be found in a can of chicken noodle soup. Not good.

So I joined Jason's gym. In my defense, I was mostly pressured into joining. Jason's trainer is this big mountain of a man who used to play for the Raptors, apparently (is that basketball? I don't even know)...the point being, the man is huge, and his bigness is very persuasive (by which I mean intimidating...which is an excellent sales tactic, incidentally). So I was coerced (not at gunpoint, mind you, but with the explicit though unspoken understanding that he could crush me like a grape that's been run over by a heard of elephants on amphetamine) into signing my name on the dotted line, promising them that they will be able to take heaping amounts out of my chequing account from now until the day I go cold in my grave.

It's a big commitment, so naturally I showed my serious intent by stopping by a mega sports store to drop some serious cash on some cute new shoes and some gym-worthy clothes. Now, at first I worried that sports stores were like church in that if I was within 100 feet of one, I might spontaneously combust. Not so. In fact, if you have a major credit card, they are happy to see you.

So now when I go to the gym, if I don't quite look like I belong, at least I look like a walking billboard for Nike. I still feel like a damn fraud on the inside though.

It probably doesn't help that on my first day there, I had to read the instructions 3 times before I could figure out how to properly mount the bike. I mean, why do they make these things so complicated anyway? If they made these machines half as easy to use as couches are, I bet a lot more people would join a gym. Instead, I'm fairly sure I look like a complete arse all red-faced, knees knocking, feet pedaling like mad, beads of sweat leaping off me at all angles, me grappling for water, gasping for breath, asking for the love of god...meanwhile thinking, gee, I sure am glad I've paid $50 for this privilege when I could be, say, enjoying a nice, leisurely, stroll around the neighbourhood instead....for free.

But don't worry. It got better from there because, you guessed it, I got a very long, very graphic look at old man penis. Because obviously if you do your stretching right in front of me when I am trapped on this bicycle-of-death, wearing itty bitty shorts that I'm pretty sure aren't even legally sold anywhere so you probably sewed them yourself with like, 2 stitches because that's literally how little material there was...fuck. Of course your old withered junk is going to fall out. It's not like you were wearing underwear. I mean, good for you, old man. I see that though you've gone gray, ahem, down there, it's still thick and luxurious. One might even say...alarmingly abundant. It almost dwarfs your, um, old man appendage, which looks like it's been cured, or pickled, or left out in the sun too long.

Of course I looked away in a hurry.
Of course it's permanently burned onto my retina anyway.
Of course I've had a series of nightmares ever since.

So as if I didn't already look retarded trying not to fall off a bike that's not moving, I now have to do it with my eyes closed. And I just know that all these hard bodies are looking at my soft body and judging me, eating their powersauce bars, flexing their twitchy muscles in the mirror and thinking she doesn't belong.

Of course I don't belong! I'm an artist! I'm a thinker! I'd rather be drinking wine and making jewelry! God, I'd rather be giving pedicures to state prisoners than putting my anti-persperent to the test at the gym!

You think I don't know that I don't belong?

Oh for fuck's sake.

And there's Jason, looking perfect and golden, not even breaking a sweat heading into his 5th mile on the treadmill, and there's Jamie just trying not to meet her maker while jogging for 26 consecutive seconds. Way to show me up, dude.

And I haven't even gotten to the part about the UNSPEAKABLE thing that I saw in the sauna...but that will have to wait until next time. Until then, pray for me. Pray damn hard.

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