Things I found out when I joined a gym

I joined a gym.

(Waits for applause. There is none.)

Right, so. I wanted to get in shape, lose weight, and not feel bad about eating the occasional greasy cheeseburger.

greasy cheeseburgers being the best cheeseburgers.

So I joined a local 24-hour fitness center, and discovered a few things.

1. They cost money.

Kind of a no-duh situation, but if you don’t want to clutter your house or garage with Bowflexes and treadmills and et cetera, then joining a gym is a necessity. (Well, not a necessity. I suppose one could walk or bike the neighborhood, providing you don’t live on a busy highway or in an especially rape-y part of town; one could also do push-ups or sit-ups in the bedroom, right near that pile of dirty laundry one has meant to wash for the past 3 weeks.) But damn, they cost money. For 6 months at my gym, I was charged $325. And that was with a discount for paying 6 months in advance. Granted, that also included a one-time fee of $39 for the high-tech electronic key that unlocks the Members Only Entrance Motherfuckers! It is the size and shape of a guitar pick. And the gym is 24-365, 366 in a leap year. I could go work out at 2 in the morning. Once, I went at 8 at night, which brings me to the next thing I learned.

2. Guys are noisy.

I am a woman. We sweat when we work out. That’s about it. No woman grunts, unless she is a tennis player and wants to piss off the officials. We make the occasional exertion face, but that’s about it.

You guys, though. I went at 8 at night, and found the gym inhabited by men in Under Armour tees and Nike sneakers, all of them shouting and grunting and slamming weights. No pair of testicles was able to walk across the gym floor without going “Guuu-NAAAHHHH!” and making the sort of face I associate with a heart attack or a massive dump. If I were to close my eyes, this would be my impression of the gym:

GUUUUU-NAAAAHHHH! HERRRGGG-EEEEGGGGGHHH!–Shinedown song briefly heard playing from speakers mounted high up on the gym walls–BBBBBAAARRRRRGGGGG-UUUUUHHHHHH!GGGGUUUUUNNNNNNHHHHHH! CLANG CLANG CLANG go the 150-pound dumbbells as they hit the rubberized floor.

3. If I don’t go, I feel bad.

This is a combination of feeling that I’m wasting money by not going, and because, after only 3 weeks at it, I am addicted to it. I like the sweating and the rubbery feeling of my muscles after I push as hard as I can. I like that my pulse is racing and my breathing is fast and hard. I like taking a shower afterward and feeling the hot water kneading the sore muscles.

4. I now have a license to chill.

I can spend the rest of the day on the couch streaming Netflix through my PS3 and not feel lazy. Hell, I worked out today, I earned some rest.


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