I went to the gym yesterday for the first time in weeks. I don’t know why I don’t go more. It’s one of the few things I love doing that is actually good for me.
And I do love the gym. I plug my little iPod thing into my head and just sort of zone out to pop music (a very carefully chosen mix of songs with a loud and fast beat.) I find cardio dead boring, so I’ll only do it for 20-30 minutes. I keep myself entertained by trying to work at exactly the same beat as the music.
I also keep myself entertained by watching everyone else at the gym. I think there’s some kind of unwritten rule that you aren’t really supposed to do this. I know people always say, “Oh, don’t feel self-conscious at the gym. Everyone’s focused on what they’re doing, not what you’re doing.” Well guess what? Cardio does not take up that much of your brain. (Unless you’re trying to find your pulse. I suck at that. I am now convinced that I am a magical creature with no pulse.) You can focus on cardio and still watch other people. It’s not hard. So I do.
When I get bored of that, I move on to weights. Weights are awesome for two reasons. For one thing, I can have a pretty short attention span, so doing something where you count to ten and then move on works well for me. For another thing, they make me feel tough. And pretty much nothing else in the world makes me feel tough because the reality is that I am not tough.
I think it’d be a lot of fun though. I’ve mentioned my ninja fantasies before. Ninjas are cool and ninjas are tough, therefore it stands to reason that it’s cool to be tough.
But here’s why weights make me feel tough: because most girls don’t do them. Not girls at my gym, anyway. Or if they do, they use those little pink enamel things that weigh two pounds or something. I’m not sure why. I know for a fact that most girls’ purses weigh five times that, easily.
I’ve done the pink weights before. You have to do about a billion reps to feel anything at all. So one day I decided to just try increasingly heavy weights to see what I could actually lift. I moved out of the enamel weights and into the black and silver ones pretty fast. It turned out I could multiply the weight of what I was doing by ten or more on just about everything. It’s great because instead of doing 45-60 reps of something (boring), I can do 15-20. I get out of there in half the time it used to take me and I seem to be making faster progress too.
When you take time off though, oh how it hurts to go back. Not while you’re there. Yesterday I felt fantastic. Today though, I am very, very sore. Ah well, it’s a good kind of sore. Because maybe eventually, it’ll make me tough.