This past Friday started my short-lived, life-long obsession of joining a gym.
Yesterday, ended it.
As most of you here know by now, I recently became a currently non-smoking smoker. As more of you may know, I’ve also learned that it doesn’t matter if you replace food with cigarettes or not, because you’re going to gain weight whether you do everything you can do to avoid it, or not.
I’ve started the 5:2 diet and while Mr.P continues to shed the pounds, I have not budged in the scale department. I train with my fencing a minimum of two times a week, and this burns 700 calories per session, not to mention it is a hell of a workout.
The one thing that’s changed, besides currently not smoking, is my lack of Nordic Walking.
Winter has passed over Stockholm this year. We’ve had a grand accumulation since the start of winter of 4 inches, tops. What’s worse, is that the once welcomed white droplets, have now been replaced with rain.
I hate walking in the rain.
I HATE IT.
It’s bad enough when it’s warm, but when it’s cold, forget it.
I also hate sweating.
I DESPISE IT.
I’m kind of the opposite of most normal people, which could attribute to my extreme weirdness and I’m comfortable with that.
I only work out when it’s cold. And when I work out, it’s usually in the snow, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to live in Sweden. Sure, I sweat during an intense outdoor workout in the snow, but it’s not that “gross, my face is on fire and everything is burning and my head is melting off” kind of sweating.
I just hate sweating.
Ugh, saunas are like torture for me.
If I were ever to be captured and someone wanted me to reveal military secrets, the quickest way to get it out of me would be 2 minutes in a sauna.
To me, there is no higher form of torture than being trapped in this box where the sole purpose is to sweat.
Anyway, the weather has been just awful here and I’m fairly certain that some of my extra winter weight is attributed to this.
Last Thursday after 3 intense rapier training days in a row, I started thinking about what I could do for that extra metabolism push without getting wet (from rain or sweat). I currently hated all of my workout DVD’s and as explained here, Zumba is not an option for me.
My mind wandered to the people I saw on the treadmill at the gym I pass by every day. It’s only a 3 minute walk and it’s open 24/7 which is perfect for my ridiculous hours.
I should join a gym.
“But you hate gyms”, the unicorn told me, just back from the bar..
Well, I’ve never actually set foot in a gym. Maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is. Maybe the paralyzing, intense fear and pure panic of feeling like everyone would be looking at me and judging me is all in my head, not unlike the unicorn.
I thought about it well into Friday. I even thought about getting off the couch and taking that three-minute walk over to the gym and asking them some questions.
But it was raining out.
And my couch is incredibly comfortable.
For real, you guys! Anyone will attest to that who has sat on it.
I actually got up and took a shower hoping that would motivate me to take that, again, three minute walk.
When I got out of the shower, I sat back on the couch again.
Rest assured though, I thought about going there right up until the reception desk closed at 7pm.
I continued to obsess over the gym on the weekend. Getting really pumped up and motivated about it.
“I’ll go over there on Monday and start on Monday,” I promised myself.
I’m the type of person that needs to start new routines on a Monday. In my brain, that gives me time to do all the fun stuff before the not fun stuff starts…which is always on a Monday. Let’s be honest. It’s never actually fun if these are the terms I need to start on.
I’m also not one of these people who enjoys working out. I do it because I know I could easily be quite large if I don’t, but I do not enjoy it at all. I don’t feel like my head is clearer afterwards and I am usually counting down the milliseconds until it is over.
Fencing is different.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough. I need more if I want to stay fit. Stupid metabolism.
Monday came and went. I didn’t go to the gym. It’s not my fault though. You may remember from yesterday’s post that I was super hung over because of Steel Panther, so obviously there was no chance I could go to the gym. I did go to fencing though and I’m pretty sure if I drank the sweat from my fencing jacket, I could have rounded up to a nice pint and been drunk again.
See? See how gross sweating is? I told you!
All day yesterday, between blogging and emailing, I thought about going to the gym.
Then I remembered I needed dishwashing soap and the gym is right next to the food store.
“I will definitely go today”, I promised myself, “But I will go before people get off of work so that I can talk to the people at the reception in a quiet environment and not feel intimidated.”
The plan seemed solid, but the couch was so soft.
So, I went over there at 6:15 pm, when everyone and everyone they knew were there.
There was a guy behind the counter that looked as if he was one neck vein away from his eyes popping out. He had tribal tattoos on both biceps and was very tan.
Yup…he was that guy.
I went up to the counter and before I realized it, we were in the midst of a staring contest. He mumbled something but I couldn’t hear him because there was a guy a couple of feet away on a rowing machine moaning and grunting so loud, that I had to take 3 double takes to make sure this wasn’t a medieval rack device.
I said, “I’d like to see about joining this gym,” but all he did was mumble again.
The dude did NOT BLINK. I was beyond creeped out.
“I’m sorry, what?” I asked. He motioned for me to come closer and in a proper Mike Tyson voice said, “The girl will come.”
What the fu*k was going on here. Where was I?
He kept staring at me, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator when half of his face is burned off and you can see his cyborg red eye, or like the aliens in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks.
To say I was uncomfortable was an understatement.
Then, “The girl” came over and just as I was about to ask if she was “the girl” I spoke to about joining, a guy who had been waiting behind me very literally, pushed me aside and jumped in front of me and started yelling.
Cyborg tribal guy just stood there, but crossed his arms now.
More yelling ensued as I took in my surroundings.
I live in Sweden where people are incredibly gorgeous even when they’re ugly. This was like a meeting of the gods and goddesses. I mean..who works out in a thong? And that was just the guys!
My uncomfortable levels began to grow even more.
The girl took yelling guy to another room. He put on surgical shoe covers before he went back there.
This isn’t as weird as it sounds. Scandinavian culture is to take off your shoes before entering the house and since it’s wet and gross outside all the time these days, people don’t want wet shoes tracked through the gym.
But somehow, it made me uneasy in this particular setting.
The guy in the surgical shoe covers didn’t come back, but the girl did.
And now, our stare off began.
Awkward doesn’t cover it as she just stared at me, rather than asking, “Can I help you,” or perhaps cyborg tribal guy telling her, “This. Girl, ” in some sort of caveman manner.
Nope. We just stared at each other.
Tribal tattoo guy kept staring at me and finally leaned over to that girl and mumbled something and they were both staring at me even more intensely now.
I carefully walked over to the counter as not to make any sudden movements and scare the savages.
“I’d like to ask about joining the gym,” but I already knew it was too late. No matter what she said at this point, this place and the whole experience had already broken all previous high anxiety situation records.
Not to mention that the membership deal was pretty lame.
As she explained, I looked around and saw no less than 12 people behind me clearly frustrated that I had the audacity to ask questions while they had important yelling and pushing to do.
I told her I’d think about it and walked out.
Then I went to the food store and forgot to buy dishwashing soap.
Yesterday ended my short-lived, life-long dream of joining a gym.
I then proceeded to eat chocolate while interviewing potential workout DVD’s on youtube. I think Jillian Michaels is going to get the job. I also think the chocolate helped me reach this decision.