I hate to exercise. There, I said it. And I really hate fitness snobs in their cute little outfits who act so superior about their workout regimens. Actually, the soreness that comes after a workout doesn’t usually bother me so much – in fact, it kind of makes me feel proud of myself. I think it’s the sweating that comes with working out that I really hate. And, I’m never really sure where to fit a workout into my day. Before work is out of the question. I’m just not that dedicated and am quite sure I don’t want to be around other people who are at that hour. But, I don’t want to do it after I’ve showered for the day, either. My husband (one of those fitness types) will take several showers during the course of a day. But, as I spoke of in a previous blog, the whole shower/shampoo thing is a major hassle to have to do more than once.
So, I usually meet my friend, Marge, a couple of days a week in the late afternoon at a nearby fitness center. Our exercise days are always Tuesdays and Thursdays, unless we absolutely cannot get together. For instance, if she’s stuck at work or I have a family commitment or she has a hair appointment or it’s too cold outside or we got there and didn’t see the other’s car so we left or we’re just not in the mood. And, no, we cannot work out alone. No. But, in our defense, we’ve actually come a long way since our first days of trying to get fit.
We started out several years ago (we really should be in much better shape by now) when we decided to meet at a local hotel resort where we both had memberships. I only used our membership for the pool. I didn’t even know they had a fitness center. I mean, I guess I remember seeing signs pointing the way to the fitness center near the hotel bar, but, you know, I thought that was for other people, or something. Then one day we decided we should take full advantage of the facility.
So, we met in the lobby in our snappy gym shorts and old t-shirts to start our new adventure. We worked up a pretty good sweat, too. As we were leaving, we passed the bar and thought we deserved a little treat for our hard work. One lite beer later, we headed home and agreed to meet again in two days. That became our routine and we especially liked Thursdays because the bar put out a free appetizer buffet. We did feel a little guilty about it, but figured, hey we’re still exercising so…you know…that had to count for something. Even though we limited ourselves to one beer each (did I mention they were lite beers?), we decided that it was getting kind of expensive. So, we agreed to take turns bringing our own beer and 100 calorie snacks for our after-workout-treat, tucked securely in our gym bags. In warm weather, we’d sit at the pool and during cold months, we had a couple favorite sitting areas we’d settle into.
When I would be getting ready to leave the house, lacing up my sneakers and dressed in sweats, my oldest son, Mike, would say, “Oh, I see you’re going out boozing with Marge, huh?” Wise guy. Once, I ate dinner before meeting her – a major n0-no according to my husband. But he wasn’t home, so I swore secrecy to my kids. Then Mike said, “Well, I don’t know Mom. It’s true you probably shouldn’t eat before you exercise, but you probably should before you drink, so you should be okay.”
After a couple of years of that regimen and basically no results, we thought maybe we should change locations. We very hesitantly joined a real fitness center. Real, because there was not a bar on the premises. But, not one of those intimidating kind of gyms, with hard-bodies all over the place. There were definitely people serious about their fitness and health, but there were also normal people, like us. Of course, we weren’t completely ready to give up our “cooling down” habit, but the real dilemma was, where? The first night, we brought our own and sat outside on a bench, enjoying the fall evening, then discreetly tossed the cans into a gabage receptical. When I confided in Mike about our parking lot cool down, he responded, “Mom, I think that’s illegal.” The next plan was to go across the parking lot to a popular burger place and have a beer and popcorn there, but, again, that got costly. And our guilty pleasure was beginning to make us feel guilty. We had to get serious.
These days, we work out religously on Tuesdays and Thursdays, unless any of those other reasons mentioned earlier come into play. The center just recently opened a beautiful spa and the last time we were there, they were offering free five minute head and neck massages. The owner, following us around, was harrassing us to try the massage. It’s hard to keep saying “no” to a free massage, but the truth is, I don’t like the idea of a massage. I don’t really like being touched by strangers. For you Catholics out there, I usually spend the first half of mass anxiously strategizing the whole “Handshake of Peace” part. (Or as one boy I overheard in church whisper to his dad, “The seventh inning stretch.”)
But, we finally gave in and I have to say, it wasn’t that bad. Not satisfied though, the owner was again after us to have our eyebrows waxed for the discounted price of $7, this week only. Both of us were feeling especially self-conscious about our eyebrows at this point. Marge caved and agreed to do it, while I announced that I had to split. I felt kind of bad leaving her all by herself and the owner, sensing our discomfort at the idea of separating, said I could go in and keep her company. A nice offer, but I just said, “Nope. Really gotta’ go.” I told her I’d do it next time we go (which is supposed to be today), but now I see that I have no cash on me and a grand total of $7.72 in my checking account to last me until payday next week. I know he’ll say “Don’t worry, we have your credit card on file, so we’ll just charge it.” And that would probably that would be fine for normal people, but I know I don’t have enough credit on that card for the $7 charge. So, I’ll just have to live with my eyebrows as is. I think I need a drink.