BACK TO THE GRIND
October 08, 1998
Leslie and I joined a gym this summer and I've been having quite a time. My toes have healed nicely and I don't feel as if I've been treated to a Swedish message by a man with a bag of bricks, so I headed back.
Did I mention they have a great free weight room? I love working with free-weights. The feeling of control and responsibility really makes me concentrate and forget about everything else. I think it's what meditation is supposed to do. The few times I've tried to meditate, I fell asleep. Anyway, I'm also strong as an ox and nothing feels better than straining and lifting more than I did yesterday.
I realize that the free-weight room is the bastion of men but what the hell, it's the 90's, right ladies? I went in, dressed for a good work out, in loose sweat pants a sports bra that made my tits like a sausage strapped to my chest and a t-shirt. I use gloves because I'm prone to blisters. It was a Saturday afternoon and I was practically alone in there. Me and three guys.
Lifting isn't usually a social activity. Sometimes the guys will talk about cars or women but usually everyone is there to strain something. I started working on my legs. I put about 200 pounds on a squat rack and did a few reps. I felt good. I got off and stretched a little and then added another 100 pounds. Did some more reps and got up to walk around a little. When I got back to the squat bar, two of the guys were next to it, doing something to make their chests big.
I smiled and reached for more weight to put on another 100 pounds. One of the guys noticed.
"Hey, you want some help getting those off?" He smiled.
"No, thanks, I got it." Always polite.
"Man, I hate that. People are supposed to re-rack the weights when they're done." He ignored me and started to take a 50 pound weight off the bar, instead of putting an additional one on.
"Uhm, actually, I'm adding." He looked at me, at my side of the bar and put the weight back on. He looked at me again and walked away.
"She works heavy." He said to his buddy. I really don't know what he meant by that but I'm pretty sure he was making a crack.
I decided that was enough weight lifting for a while.
Leslie likes the machines, like the bikes and Stair Masters. Anything with a control that needs to be plugged in, she's enamored with. The next time we were at the gym we decided to ride the bikes for a while. I couldn't even get the screen to light up so as I sat there and cussed at it she reached across and started pushing buttons.
"Start peddling." She instructed.
It was an odd sensation. I was peddling and there were all the lights blinking just like the bridge of the Enterprise. She chose a random cycling program and the lights kept telling me to slow down and to speed up. As soon and I got the little green button that said I was doing fine the cycle would change it's mind and one of the red buttons would yell at me for going too slow or too fast. It was incredibly stressful.
I decided that was enough of the bike for a while. Also, I decided that Leslie had better keep her hands off my buttons!
Next, we tried the ski machine. It looked deceptively easy and smooth. I watched as some tall, skinny guy glide for about eight miles with an easy, relaxed gate. His arms and legs moved in rhythm and he looked like he was out for a little jaunt around the polar ice cap.
I realize I don't have the greatest coordination - I fear that one day the cops will pull me over for drunk driving and it will turn out to be a simple case of bad driving - but he made it look so easy. I approached from the side, like I would a skittish horse, assessed the machine and decided to hop on.
There are some straps with ends that look like jump rope handles and something that looks like a boob rest and two foot pads with straps on a pulley system. I got on, put my feet in the straps and held onto the jump rope handles and tried to put my breasts on the shelf. As soon as I made the slightest move, the thing went started to slide around and threw me off. Luckily, most people that go to gyms are completely self absorbed, so no one saw my display of dexterity. I tried again. Right foot, left foot, right hand, left hand, boobs - AHHH. This time I landed on my ass.
I decided that was enough of the ski machine for a while.
All in all, I've enjoyed my tour through the gym but as the end of summer is well past us, I think I'll go back to being a couch potato.
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Copyright 1998 by Laura Jiménez.