Previous gym visits involved working out, to be sure, but rarely beyond my comfort zone. The very act of being in the gym was enough, whatever I did while there was pure gravy. Mmmmm gravy.
But I now realize that just putting on a sports bra and gym shoes and watching Kelly & What's-His-Name chat over coffee while I pretend to sweat on the elliptical isn't going to cut it. I actually have to experience burning and pain and, well, working out is hard, y'all.
It's just that I finally got sick of the shock I experience every now and again when I catch sight of the dumpy figure in the sliding glass doors at Walmart and realize Oh hey. That's me. Tired of squinching flabby ass cheeks and tucking muffin tops into jeans that fit a scant two years ago.
There is a tipping point in the lives of most women who gain some weight during pregnancy. It comes when trying to get back in shape after having a kid. You either handle your business or you let the months turn into years and suddenly the "I just had a baby" excuse doesn't really apply when you're registering the aforementioned baby for pre-school.
Lollygagging on the elliptical may keep the fat pockets at bay in your twenties but hoo doggies, that shit don't work so good when you're French kissing 36-years-old. So you've gotta make the active decision to take your sagging ass to the gym and run it through some serious paces or let your fitness fall by the wayside, which is super easy to do. I'm not that bad, you tell yourself. Yet slowly you stop fitting into any jeans in your denim repertoire, swaddling yourself mainly in those "yoga pants" you purchased with high hopes that have yet to experience a downward dog.
I've always been a naturally thin person which mistakenly led me to believe I was a physically fit person when in reality I've never been a truly strong person. And now that I'm no longer naturally thin I have nothing to hide behind. No pretend physical fitness to delude myself with.
I want to be strong. The desire for strength has inspired working out as I never really have before. Because my prior motivation for going to the gym was vanity-based and because I was thin I never worked out with an intensity that leaves you high on endorphins. But now, with the desire to be strong (Yeah, vanity is still laced throughout that desire) I am going for it on the elliptical until the sweat pours from my body, lifting weights until my muscles burn and I can't fathom one more time and then I do it one more time and goddamn that feels good.
Wanna know what feels even better than burning muscles? An hour away from Henry. God love the little maniac but he is terrible two-ing his adorable little ass off. At the gym I can still see him there in the Child Watch area but he is somebody else's problem. In fact, Henry being somebody else's problem for a solid hour is a huge part of the gym allure. Well, that and an ass that currently looks like a sack of raw chicken.
The first couple weeks of intense gym activity were awkward and uncomfortable. Now, they're just uncomfortable. But in a good way. Sore arms, sore legs, burning muscles. I really hope I can keep this up. I think I can. I mean, never before in my life has a free hour of Child Watch/solid hour of Monica Time been so valuable to me. Which translates into never before has the gym seemed so alluring. If Henry is driving me insane I can solve that problem by hitting the gym. I can solve that problem AND the problem of my raw chicken ass. Two birds with one stone and all that.
So I'm totally fascinated by everyone's fitness routines now. What kind of cardio, how long? Weight-lifting? How many sets and reps? Do you alternate leg and arm days? When do you do abs? What exercises? Do you take classes? What classes? How do you breathe while running? Through your nose or mouth? Or a combo? What exercise makes your ass hurt? I want a big ol' firm butt. I want you to come bounce quarters off it and stuff. Does the stair climber thing really work? It never feels like it's doing anything? Also, I cannot do Zumba type things as I can't bear to watch myself bounce around like the uncoordinated doofus that I am. What is your fitness routine? Lifting beers while watching TV totally counts so don't be ashamed!