The Gym

gym phoyo

January 1st, a time when people are making half hearted resolutions to better themselves…again.  Gym memberships are often the virtue of choice. A word of advice, don’t sign up for a year membership.
Everyone – “If I sign up for a year then that’ll force myself to go.”
No, it doesn’t work that way, laziness wins every time.
I pay the gym money for a service I don’t like to get results I don’t see and it’s physically exhausting. Also I’m hungry and tired all the time, I feel like that’s related. Do people actually enjoy this? Or is this just a means to an end?

When I couldn’t bring in all the groceries in one trip I knew I needed to make an adjustment. My gym goals could be accomplished by simply doing some push ups and sit ups at home, but I never do. And I never will.

My gym goals have always been the same, get my arms big enough so I’m able to pull up my sleeves without them falling down every few minutes. Maybe I just need to roll up my sleeves better, but my toothpick arms aren’t helping. I’d love to have the option to wear sleeveless shirts without looking like I have the arms of a ten year old boy, I wouldn’t wear sleeveless shirts in public, but I’d like to diversify my wardrobe.

AaaaaarnoldI’m not trying to look like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, heck I’m not even trying to get strong, I’m going for that neutral look. As long as my body isn’t a negative I think my charming personality can do the rest. It hasn’t been too successful my entire life, but that just means I’m overdue, right?

I tried stretching out a free 1-day trial membership over a week. It only worked for 2 days. Here’s a tip, when the weakest female employee can kick your ass, don’t sneak into that place. Unless you like getting your ass kicked of course.

Several years ago during one of my rare visits to the gym, a girl asked if she could use my weights after I was done with them. When a girl a foot smaller than you asks for the weights you’re using, well, it destroys any morsel of self-esteem you might have had. Is there like a weenie hut gym I can start off in? That’s what I need.
Me – “Yeah, no problem.”
I lied. It was a problem.
She walked away and after a safe distance I dropped the weights and left all gyms forever. Forever meaning about 3 years, but I considered forever.

I signed up at a gym this past month and one of their slogans is “no contracts,” a blatant lie. I had to sign a year contract if I wanted the advertised deal, so I didn’t because I take this gym’s slogans more seriously than they do. There was also a hefty processing fee…for a gym. What could they possibly be processing that costs so much money? I know my paperwork will go straight into a dirty filing cabinet and never be looked at again, a sort of lamer ending to Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Now I haven’t been to a gym for a long time, so I don’t remember how to do use any of the equipment. I mean I guess I can lift things up and put them down, but that’s only the moderately heavy weights. I just don’t want to get in the way.

There were a bunch of random rooms and I had no idea what people did in them. One room had a big Y on it and people doing yoga inside, oh okay, that must be the yoga room. I pass another room with a big F on it, oh okay, that must be the fitness room. The last room had a big M on it, was this the muscle room? The music room? Mail room? Apparently the M room was the male locker room… I don’t think the big F room was the fitness room anymore. Imagine if I actually went in there.
Female – “Why is this guy doing push ups in the female locker room?”
Me – “Yeah getting fitness done in the fitness room!”

There are mirrors everywhere in the gym because that’s what I want to see, my weird facial expressions. Half the reason I go to the gym was because I didn’t like seeing myself in the mirror, thanks for the reminder gym! There are some things we aren’t supposed to know about ourselves and seeing my tomato red face while I struggle to lift weights is one of them. I should apologize to everyone that sees me in the gym. I wouldn’t want to see my face when I’m on the toilet either, but thanks to the gym I know what it would look like.

funhouse-mirrorGyms missed a wonderful opportunity by not using funhouse mirrors, probably because that might have actually made the gym fun. My friend told me that mirrors are there to help people do proper technique. I think I can figure that out for myself, pretty much every exercise is lift up and put down. Good thing there are dozens of mirrors to help me do this.

I think I’ve only ever seen personal trainers in skintight dark tank tops. Is that a job requirement? We get it, you’re ripped.

Someone – “Hey is anyone using this?”
Me – “…no…”
I’ve been asked multiple times if equipment next to me is being used and that’s about the time I panic. I’m trying to avoid eye contact with everyone in the gym, I have no idea who or what’s next to me. I thought I was supposed to be looking at myself the whole time? Am I doing something wrong? When did this become my responsibility?

Another slogan at the gym I go to is “no judgments,” another lie. I judge people all the time. Here’s a small sample.
1. People that only use ellipticals
2. People who do the leg press wrong
3. People who listen to music without headphones
4. People that grunt when they work out
5. People that slam the weights on the ground and yell
6. Naked men in the locker room
7. People that wear fingerless gloves
8. People that are really strong
9. Personal trainers
10. People that judge me, only I’m allowed to judge others

Gym clothes are the comfortable clothes you own that you’re okay with getting dirty. It’s amazing how many of my clothes I can wear to the gym without a problem. This is Taylor Swift on Seth Meyer’s Show discussing how she leaves the gym looking like she’s ready to for a fashion show. Skip to 2:38.

I’m not sure if she even works out in the gym. I guess I’d be more conscious of my looks if I were a female celebrity too, but I look like awful going to and leaving the gym. I’m not trying to impress anyone in the gym, I’m trying to impress people outside the gym.

Sometimes I end up using squeaky gym equipment, and instead of doing it properly I just try to do it as slow as possible. I don’t want to bring attention to myself. My goal in the gym is to be as loud as a female tennis player, with the volume turned off. I don’t like exerting myself because I look ridiculous, and I know that because that’s literally the only thing I look at.

There’s one change I’ve noticed in my body since I’ve started going to the gym, a sharp clicking pain in my left shoulder when I lift something heavy above my head. I’m right handed anyway, so I’m sure this won’t be a problem for the rest of my life. Thanks gym!

Sometimes people offer me advice when I’m working out, another time I panic. I have no idea if they’re more knowledgable than me, but I usually judge by how strong they are. If they’re stronger than me they probably know more, so most people know more than me. That’s why I don’t give out any advice.

There are guys doing ridiculous exercises I’ve never seen before and I don’t know if they’re experts or idiots. Maybe both. I’ve noticed the more experienced the gym goer the less clothes they wear. There was a very strong dude without a shirt on, incase we didn’t know he worked out.
11. People that don’t wear shirts. This applies outside the gym as well.

I always liked the “tired of being fat and ugly? Just be ugly!” gym advertisements, but I still hate going to the gym.  I think it’s easier to go with a friend that knows what they’re doing, but it can be tough finding someone willing to do that.  I think wanting to improve myself instead of wanting to improve for others helped motivate me more than before. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how people can enjoy going to the gym, but it feels great leaving the gym. The good thing about my gym habits is that it never feels like I’m starting over because I never really gained anything in my previous attempts, but I feel like this time will be different.

gym 2


2 thoughts on “The Gym

  1. I’ve been doing gym when I was young but was always annoyed by the passing, sweating, grunting and the obvious mentally-handicapped people there. I had a fight with a guy who was under the shower and his CD-Player with attached speakers was blaring full noise over the lockers room. I shut it off and he came out, red with anger, naked and wet with nothing but a towel and yelled at me “Hey pal, you’re not alone here!” …I was baffled becasue I wanted to say the same and after some words were exchanged the brawling started. He was angrier and stronger but I did Martial Arts lessions since I was 10 years old. They cancelled my membership for “inappropriate behavior”. Well, I soon found out that when you really want to train – may it be to stay in shape, loose some weight or getting Barry Allen’s abs then do it not in a gym.
    It’s not fun in a gym, it’s not exciting or rewarding and the people you met there are generally people you avoid in real life. I train at home with music I like to hear or even watching a movie while workout. I never trained so peacefully.

    • If you want to get Barry Allen abs just get struck by lightning! It seems you got pretty unlucky with your gym experience, but I also couldn’t be one of those guys that works out from home. I just don’t have the motivation. Glad things worked out for you in the end.

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