So … I joined a gym. Finally. I promised myself I would do this once the kids were both in school full time and my days opened up more. They first gave me a fitness assessment (which really intimidated me because I thought they were going to make me, like, run or something) but all I had to do was put my arm in some nifty device and it told them all kinds of information about me, like body fat and … well, body fat mostly, I think. Then I had to bear some 20-something waif tell me that, basically, I’m not overweight, but I’m REALLY out of shape. Astounding! Tell me something I don’t know….
My 5 and 7 year olds can now outrun me. This is bad. But I already knew that.
It’s not that I’m lazy. Far from it. I’m always doing something. Something always needs doing. You know how it is with a young family. Unfortunately, very few of the things on my priority list require aerobic activity.
Does folding laundry count? I know this is like wishing that ketchup could officially be declared a ‘vegetable’ but….
I guess I could throw on a little Prince and rock out while I’m folding laundry: Tooo nite I’m gonna fold it like it’s nineteen ninety-nine!!! Ba-baaa-baaa-ba. Dooga-doo-ga doo (drum fill). I digress. I can’t even remember what I was doing in 1999, but I’m pretty sure it was a lot funner than folding laundry.
Oh yeah, I was singing jazz and drinking cocktails with all my artsy-fartsy elitist friends….
Good heavens. I LOVE my new gym! Turns out there are perks to living in a sleepy seaside retirement community. Employees aside, I am one of the youngest people there!
The downside is that I get to see tattoos that are way past their prime and looking, well, displaced. The other downside is that the music is unbearable. I would hang myself from the elliptical if I didn’t have an iPod. Seriously. Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” is a staple as well as Billy Ocean’s “Caribbean Queen.” And lots of Bryan Adams. Am I missing something?
The upside is that I can watch all the bad daytime TV I want and not feel guilty. All the cardio machines are equipped with mini TV screens now, and turning the pages of a book is just way too awkward. Not being a daytime TV person, I had no idea that reality TV had spun completely out of control. It’s so strangely compelling and addictive. I’m right into What Not To Wear and Hoarders, I’m ashamed to say.
Then finally, it happened.
Prince’s “1999” made its way onto the gym’s sound system, and like a tidal wave in the South Pacific, nostalgia hit me big time and I almost had to stop running. Teleported back to the ’80s momentarily, I wondered where all those friends were now. Where had all those fun years gone? Those were magical and crazy, wonderful and tragic times. I wondered why I had escaped getting a tattoo at 18 that would look saggy and blurry and cougar-ish now (I chickened out). I wondered why I’d broken up with my sweet high school boyfriend for that creepy guy, and why I’d ever allowed myself to be talked into wearing red spandex shorts. Why I’d ever worn spandex in the first place.
Nostalgia only works if you can edit out the stupid parts.
Vanity is a bizarre thing. It drives us to spend way too much money on beauty products, gym memberships and – yikes – even surgery. Haven’t gone down the surgery road but I DO own a pair of Spanx. (If you are Spanx-illiterate, oh geez, just google them!) Yet, here we are, sweating our butts off while World Vision commercials featuring starving, emaciated third world children are flashing across our personal cardio screens. The world is a messed up place really, and we are messed up people.
Big, sloppy, crumbling, twisted, disastrous messes. Yup, that’s me.
But hey, at least I’m trying to get in shape.
“Yet, when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”