Monday, March 9, 2009

Waistbands, Workouts, and the Reason Dinosaurs Are Extinct

I went to the gym today.


This is not one of the signs of the Apocalypse. That would be having my entire house completely clean from top to bottom. The day that happens, dump your diet Coke and start repenting like crazy.

My son has this wacky notion that someone who spends 12 hours a day at the computer really should move around a little from time to time, if for no other reason than they otherwise begin to take on chair-like characteristics. Only yesterday I asked my husband to check my wheels for rust, as I couldn't seem to move across the tile without picking up my feet. Imagine my surprise to discover I don't, technically, have wheels. Nor am I equipped with vinyl armrests. I know, I was as shocked as you.

So anyway, my fitness fanatic of a firstborn dragged me out the door to his temple-away-from-the-temple, the YMCA. It was tough getting me to the car; I kept trying to roll.

Now, I'm not saying it's been a while since I worked out, but the last time I was at the gym, the hot style in workout attire was primarily a saber-toothed tiger shift with mastodon leg warmers. Realizing I needed something to wear made after the Bronze age, we made a quick stop at Target, whose guts I now hate.

I hate Target's guts because they have no respect for the XLs of the world. I picked up a couple of pairs of men's basketball shorts (in Large, because it turns out Target's abuse does not extend to men), and then moved on to the women's fitness department, which apparently caters to broomsticks in running shoes. I picked up a nice little zip-up hoodie, size XL, and tried it on.

I'm no fashionista, but I don't think your clothes are supposed to shriek in terror just because you're trying to introduce one side of the zipper to the other. This wussie hoodie, however, had not received the memo. So I peeled it off before someone alerted security, and tried on the XXL. This one merely whined about life being too short to waste it wrapped around the likes of my curvy self, so I just smacked it and told it what I did to sassy mouthed gym clothes and bought the damn thing.

(WalMart, for all its faults, does XL right. You could keep a Vokswagen warm in their XL hoodies. Circuses save a fortune on canvas just by sticking a tent pole in WalMart's XXL Comfort T's.)

After a quick dash into the loo to change from Frump to, well, Frump in New Basketball Shorts, David and I headed across the street to the Y. (MCA. Not B_U. That's a little further away. Like 400 miles...)

After some discussion with the very sweet girl at the counter over whether or not I had been issued the convenient key ring membership card (I reminded her that the last time I was there Wilma Flintstone dropped me off so, no, probably don't have that newfangled jobbie) my son and I made our way to the workout room.

Goodness! How far we've come in torture chamber technology! I'm telling you, there was stuff in that place that would make a grown Inquisitor weep into his iron maiden. I'm pretty sure this was what John was referring to in those little-known verses in Revelation:

"And, lo, there were great silver beasts, with wings of steel and this kind of rubbery grip stuff, and arms of chain and rope, and legs of stone, and these little pictures everywhere that I couldn't quite make out.

"And the beasts didst both attract and torment the souls therein. Yea, their tortured cries and grunts and rather dramatic exhalations didst fill the whole earth, and didst, frankly, start to get on my nerves forthwith. I meanest, we gettist it already. We havest eyes. We canst see that thou art buff.

"So savest thou thy huffing and puffing."

Gravitating as I do toward anything that lets me sit while I pretend to do something healthy, I headed for the recumbent bicycles. After depositing my novel, my water bottle, my towel, my new workout bag - which my son called a "hard core exercise purse" because that's the kind of lippy kids I'm raising - my phone, my wallet, my keys, my son's phone, his wallet - dang! I thought I cinched this blasted thing closed - on or near the bike, I settled in for 30 minutes of entertaining reading. Oh, and I think my legs did something or other while I was there. I don't know for sure. Perhaps I should have followed those instructions more closely and selected a fitness level higher than "deceased".

At any rate, it was the most comfortable workout I've had since the night I spent on the internet catching up on all the "30 Rock" episodes I'd missed and eating peanut butter M&Ms.

Of course, the fun wasn't over. My son had plans for my biceps. AND my triceps. After clarifying that these were not, in fact, types of dinosaur, but were actually standard issue on most humans, he led me to the weight lifting department.

David insisted I stretch first, and rather impatiently informed me that the strain I had put on my new hoodie didn't count. So, stretch, stretch, limber, limber, topple, topple as the personal trainer from the netherworld - my own child, no less - handed me two 7,000 pound weights and ordered me to do, I can't remember exactly, something like 15 wraps in sips of trees. Sets of threes? Reps? It doesn't matter, I was unconscious for most of that part. The effort of not grunting like the neanderthals over on John's Apocalyptic Beasts had blocked all oxygen flow to my brain.

However, something must have happened in that part of the room, because I am now paralyzed from the triceratops down. That kid is so grounded.

Finally, DeNae's Field Trip Into the Seventh Circle of Hell wrapped itself up. I dutifully located the paper towels and disinfectant spray and went to work de-grossifying the weight bench. You never heard such squawking! I suppose I should have checked to see if someone else had started using it. But honestly, who lays down in someone else's sweat? 'S what you get, far as I'm concerned.

So after a stop to refuel - read "pick up a gallon of Diet Coke", I am now safely home and back in my natural habitat. And for all my whining, I do feel a lot better for having worked out. I've loosened up in some places and tightened up in others, and am generally feeling much healthier and more fit already.

In fact, you can hardly hear my wheels squeak at all!


Melinda said...

Ooohey I'm first! Ouch, I haven't excercised in a long long time, we did a YM/YW activity that was a dance and my legs were so sore the next day--sad. When we got our Wii for Christmas, my arms burned from pretend bowling! :)

Hel said...

Uh hello! The Wii made me dance on Sunday and now my shoulder is so sore I can't lift a darn thing!

There is no WAY I am going to do anything more strenuous than that, now.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

You're a gym natural, DeNae, I can tell. Keep it up! :)

aunt dyanne said...

i'm so glad our lives are somehow connected.... peanut butter m&m's -diet coke (with the occasional diet dr. pepper)...and lack of gym attendence.

(i once paid for a whole year and went twice - nice donation to the local gym... we'll just call it charity for those poor regulars)

Thanks for helping me feel not quite so "wierd" for not participating with the social robots.

R Max said...

Commiserations! I despise gyms. They make me feel fat. I think getting up and down from the couch all day is exercise enough.

(P.S. I have not yet read the Discworld novel I bought because I am trying to find a copy of the 1st book - no fun reading them out of order!)

Devon said...

LOL DeNae...sigh...I've said it before--you're too funny. And believe you me, I need the laugh in my life. I know it sounds silly and maybe a little trite, but I am sincere when I say thank you for providing me those laughs. You are doing a good work here, woman!

Jen said...

Ohhhhh, I’m still trying to see through my tears of laughter!!! Shane likes the bike too….he seems to think he has bad legs, shoulders, back and so on…oh ya, he kind of does:) Be careful, you might find yourself addicted to the gym. I’m not even the one with the addicting personality (Shane has that one covered) but the gym has become one thing I would hate to not have. Keep the blogs coming…LOVE THEM!

Melanie J said...

Wow, that's some workout, lady. Seriously, I think that means you're done until the next Ice Age, which is or isn't happening depending on whether you get your news from Fox or MSNBC. Good work, you!

Lara said...

I haven't been to the gym since I almost died right there on the floor of a spinning class about eight years ago.

Don't tell your son.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hiiiii, I'm Crash. Nice to meet ya. Melanie J. sent me over thinking I might like. And I like. You are a hoot. I hate gyms too.

We just got a target in Hawaii last weekend. I don't think the size discrimination will go over well here, so I'm going to check and see if they are making exceptions.

MS Anita said...

DeNae, I can always count on you to take me away and have a good laugh!! I have a great arm exercise for you. Try to lead the music in stake conference and get someone to follow you. IT will really work those triceps and even your biceps, all while cooling off your face with the breeze.

SO said...

I must say I agree with you about the workout machines being what John was talking about in Revelations. So very, very true.

Walmart is the only store that knows how to do XL right.

I came here through Sher's blog.

AS Amber said...

What the H? You were in Provo and you didn't tell me??? That's the only "Y" I know of!
I always feel like I need to get in shape on order to go to the gym so I don't look so stupid. Therefore, I haven't had a gym membership for more than ten years.
I'm glad to hear Dave's well enough to work out again, though!

Casey said...

Today was my first trip to the Y to workout too! I brought headphones and enjoyed being able to watch daytime TV (we can't keep the tv on when the kids are awake or they turn into zombies). I think it's my new little secret; exercise = TV. Unfortunately, my daughter wasn't fond of the daycare so it'll take some getting used to.

Great job with the workout! If you're sore, then it definitely worked...

Lisa Loo said...

Gym's???!!! They have gym's???!! Dang!! Nobody ever tells me anything....

My favorite part was when you disinfected the weightlifting guy---still laughing

Arliss said...

Kudos to David. Don't let those triceratops get you!

Jen said...

One of my favorites! At least one of your children did not comment on a "very large man" in his loud 3 year old voice at the DMV...he was soooo astonished that he could even "move" because of his size, that he of course had to make it known to EVERYONE waiting how amazing it was. Ya, gotta love it :)