The Pit of Despair. Also known as The Gym.
The condo complex we live in has a fitness center. This is one of the benefits of living in an apartment or condo complex. I used to pay for a gym membership and it wasn’t cheap, especially considering the fact that I hardly ever actually USED said membership unless the cardio cinema was showing something really good that day. And usually that meant paying for a movie (Tommy Boy, Ferris Bueller) that I could just as easily watch at home while sitting on the sofa instead of trying desperately to keep my flailing body on an elliptical.
Now that there’s a free gym within walking distance, I find I go a lot more. And I’ve discovered why I don’t like going to the gym. I mean, aside from the normal reasons for not liking the gym, which are: I don’t like to sweat, I’d rather be spending some quality time with TiVo or a book, and running is haaaaaaard, you guys. I think the main reason I don’t like going to the gym is this: I’m crap at exercise. And what I mean by that is, I don’t know how to use a lot of the gym equipment.
Have you seen some of these machines? On first glance, they resemble medieval torture devices and on second glance…they resemble medieval torture devices. AND THEN when you actually use them, you discover that they are, in fact, medieval torture devices. It makes sense, if you think about it. Those devices had to go somewhere and since they can’t be used for torture anymore, why not tell people that they’re “exercise equipment” that will make your muscles bigger and your butt smaller?
The first time I got on an elliptical, gripping the arms of it in my sweaty palms, I got going so fast that I thought my arms were about to be ripped off and go flying across the gym. “This must be what being drawn and quartered feels like,” I thought, but I persevered and when I finished, I’d burned something like A BILLION calories but I was just proud that I hadn’t seriously injured myself.
Every time I go to the gym, I stare in wonder at the weight machines. I can figure some of them out, of course, the ones that are fairly self-explanatory. I don’t know the proper names for these machines, but I can use the leg-squatty thing and the bench-pressy thing and the arm-huggy thing. But the rest? NO IDEA. I’m afraid to try them in front of other people in case they wonder why I’m getting on the machine backwards or upside-down and I’m afraid to try them by myself because OMG what if I get stuck on one of them? Hardly anyone uses that gym! If I get stuck on a machine, I could die! Do you see how dangerous exercise is?
The only piece of gym equipment I feel really comfortable using is the treadmill. I’ve only fallen off of it once and I didn’t break anything, so I like my chances. Fingers crossed.