Category: exercise

The Gym

In early June I went back to the gym.

Yes. The gym.

I took my first weightlifting class as my PE requirement for college. It was glorious. Lifting heavy things felt so good. Since then I have lifted weights on and off. For about 17 years or so. I joined World Gym in 1998 after I graduated and got a real job. It turned into Gold’s and they started spamming locations all over town. Once I moved, I began to hate the going. There was nothing wrong with the gym. They had all kinds of amenities: a pool (used twice), basketball court (used never), exercise classes (used a lot. I miss Body Pump and Body Flow), cardio theater (used a lot), and machines as far as the eye could see. What more could you want?

To not have to cross I-35 on Parmer after work.

“Go before work!” Fuck you, I like sleep. I tried it. Hated it.

So I quit. After not going for a long time. Felt good. Bought a rowing machine. “I like the rowing machine! I could row all day!” Yes, I actually said this. I rowed a few times a week for a few months. Then I stopped. Because I was bored. “But couldn’t you watch TV?” Nope. Too low to see the tv. So I could only hear it. And it made my ass hurt. Then I saw a show called BollyFit on Veria.  Hey, I’ll try that. Did that for a couple of months. I didn’t hate it. But I was still bored. So I gave that up. Took 3 Zumba classes. Neat, but too far away. Took exactly ONE free Crossfit class. Oh my hell, no. So I sat and thought. What do I like to do? Run? Oh hell no. Jump around, looking like an idiot? No. Yoga? Not by itself. Weightlifting. Well…yeah. I like to lift heavy things over and over until I can lift heavier things. So why don’t I find a place where I can do that? I could do it at Gold’s (screw them) or I could buy my own (no room). Or…I can go to a place right in the middle between work and home. Take my clothes with me. Yeah, let’s see how that works out.

It works out beautifully.

I go to a tiny gym that’s in a strip mall. The equipment is well (ab)used. There is a power lifting room, a leg room and a boxing room as well as the main floor. There is not real layout (that I can tell). Machines are put where ever they fit (or don’t). There’s exactly 6 cardio machines: 2 each of treadmill, elliptical, and bike. There’s rarely anyone on them, but the power room is more popular than 6th street during SXSW. I pay more for one year than I would if I joined Lifetime Fitness for 3. But I actually go to this gym and would never go to Lifetime. I know I wouldn’t. Even though they probably have nice AC.

Oh, did I mention that my gym has no AC? Yeah… There’s nothing like going in on a 107 degree day and gripping metal for an hour or two. When everything you touch is room temp and room temp is 100. When the multitudes of fans blowing on you feels like a hot hair dryer and you jump on a cardio machine to sweat as fast as you can so it feels cooler. But hey, at least you’re always warmed up, yeah?

Now, I don’t know if this is because of my diet or because of the buckets of sweat I’m exuding but I realized something about myself now that I’m back in the gym.

I stink.

This is not basic b.o. mustyness. This is not the smell of unwashed ass. This is not the scent of unwashed con attendee on day 3. This…this smell is something else. It’s sharp. It’s tangy. It’s perhaps the smell of Satan’s own sweaty ballsack. This smell is so bad, so strong, that when I wash my workout clothes THEY STILL SMELL. “Soak them in the washer with vinegar!” Nope. They smelled like a Satan’s sweaty ballsack salad. Can’t use fabric softener because it can interfere with the moisture wicking properties (Under Armour is FUCKING AWESOME). I think I figured that out, though. I was hanging my clothes to dry (stupid $60 bra). This last time I said “fuck it” and put them in the dryer on low. So much better. But lord, where does the smell come from?? I have sweated before and never have my clothes smelled like this. Maybe I’m picking up the smell of the gym itself, I don’t know.

I also discovered that I sweat like crazy from the back of my head. It’s not just a little damp, this is full on someone-dumped-a-glass-of-water-at-the-back-of-my-head sweat. This is a new phenomenon to me. And it grosses me right out. I can’t tell you why. I don’t care about the sweat dripping off my brow or running down my face. But feeling it drip and roll around the back of my head in my hair? YUCK.

I don’t have an ending to this post.

Deepest apologies to Dr. Seuss

I am Sam

I am Sam
Sam I am

That Sam-I-am
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like that Sam-I-am

Do you like squats for your hams?

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like squats for my hams.

Would you like them with a bar or thin air?

I would not like them with a bar or thin air.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like squats for my hams.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am

Would you like them in a cage?
Would you like them with help from a web page?

I do not like them in a cage.
I do not like them from a web page.
I do not like them with a bar or thin air.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like squats for my hams.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Would you do them with a box?
Would you do them with a padded fox?

Not with a box.
Not with a padded fox.
Not in a cage.
Nor with help from a web page.
I would not do them with a bar or thin air.
I would not do them anywhere.
I would not do these goddamn squats for my hams.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Would you? Could you?
in a car?
Do them! Ass to grass!
Here they are!

I would not, could not, in a car!

You may like them.
You will see.
You may like them
in a tree?

I would not, could not in a tree.
Not in a car! You let me be!

I do not like them with a box.
I do not like them with a padded fox.
I do not like them in a cage.
I do mot like them with help from a web page.
I do not like them with a bar or thin air.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like goddamn squats for my hams!
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

A train! A train!
A train! A train!
Could you, would you
on a train?

Not on a train! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! Sam! Let me be!
I would not, could not, with a box.
I could not, would not, with a padded fox.
I will not do them in a cage.
I will not do them with help from a web page.
I will not do them with a bar or thin air.
I will not do them anywhere.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

In the dark?
Here in the dark!
Would you, could you, in the dark?

I would not, could not, in the dark.

Would you, could you, in the rain?

I would not, could not, in the rain.
Not in the dark. Not on a train,
Not in a car, Not in a tree.
I do not like them, Sam, you see.
Not in a cage. Not with a box.
Not with help from a web page. Not with a padded fox.
I will not do them with a bar or thin air.
I do not like them anywhere!

You do not like squats for your hams?

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Could you, would you, with a goat?

I would not, could not with a goat!

Would you, could you, on a boat?

I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not do them in the rain.
I will not do them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them with a box.
I do not like them with a padded fox.
I will not do them in a cage.
I do not like them with help from a web page.
I do not like them with a bar or thin air.
I do not like them ANYWHERE!

I do not like goddamn squats for my hams!

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

You do not like them.
SO you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may I say.

If you will let me be,
I will try them again.
You will see.

I’ve blown out my knees!
I did, I did you see!

Fuck you and your boat.
Fuck you and your goat.
Fuck you and your rain.
Fuck you and your train.
And your car. And your tree.
They have completely blown my knees, you see!

So up your ass with your box.
And up your ass with your padded fox.
And sideways up your ass in a cage.
And doubly so with help from a web page.
And I will whimper here and there.
I will whimper EVERYWHERE!

I do so hate
goddamn squats for my hams
Die in a fire, Sam-I-Am.


I like food. I like good food. If I take the time to sit and eat (as opposed to grabbing something while I’m working/gaming) I want it to be good. And in my brain, good == high calorie tasty tasty. I decided to start keeping track of what I eat everyday.  And I learned something.

I eat like shit! Holy balls! A small Oreo malt from Potbelly’s? 900 calories?!?!?? Goodbye Oreo malt. You will be missed.

I started bring in my breakfast from home instead of Jack in the Box (Oh God, grilled breakfast sandwich so full of salty, buttery, greasy goodness) or McDonald’s (Why do you put crack in your McGriddles? Egg McMuffin, I don’t know how to quit you). Central Market Whole Grain and Flax Seed waffles. These are surprisingly tasty! One of these with a smear of peanut butter (or without!). Mmmmm, good. My breakfasts were averaging maybe 150 calories. By lunch, I wasn’t starving but I could easily eat a baby.

Today, however, I left a little too late and the store was out of my waffles. I gave up and went to Sonic. 2 Jr. Breakfast Burritos. Breakfast: 527 calories. Dear lord, that’s a lot! But I have not felt this full of energy in about a month. Why? PROTEIN! I had given up my precious precious morning protein without even realizing it! I love you, protein. I love you in your many animal forms: eggs, pig, cow, lamb, chicken…mmmmm. I love me some animal based protein.

Protein. Good for productive mornings.

The price we pay…

In May, a classmate said “hey, you wanna play kickball?” I said “Sure! Sounds like fun!” Oh fuck me running. It was a nightmare of heat and pain that first month. I am woefully fat and out of shape. 200 something pounds of person should not go from couch to running laps and hopping over little cones (I totally have a 2-inch vertical). This team (part of the AWKA), was what is known as a “good team”. Meaning, they know how to play (real rules, not playground big bouncy ball rules), they are moderately fit (seriously, the girl who got me involved looks like a fucking gazelle when she runs), and are in it to win. I…was a boat anchor. Oh I tried my hardest in those sweltering 105 degree days. I eventually got faster, I could make it a whole lap and a half around the playing field (or a full down and back across the grassy, dog shit mined grassy field) without having to break into a walk. I was not afraid of the ball, I could kick a little better (bunting. bunting rocks), and sprinting from home to first made them wonder where I had been hiding all of that hustle. But when it really came down to it, I was not at their level. No worries, though. The coach helped me find a team at the more beginner level.

This team had a couple of somewhat experienced players, some former soccer players, some former/current softball players. This was more my speed. I was still catching balls, still hustling, still bunting. We lost our first 3 games. The first two should have had the mercy rule invoked. 17-1, 18-5. On hot, still, nasty days. But we quickly learned. Because the 3rd game came along. We still lost but it was 4-1. We’d figured out how to hold ’em. Then, one day it all clicked. We all started kicking better, hustling muuuuch more, and catching pop flys. 4th game? We won. A shut out. 6-0. Then this past week, against a team we’d already played (who beat us), we won again: 8-4. The transformation is amazing.

Now that I’ve said all that, and beat my own chest about, let me get to the real reason for this post: injuries. If you go to an adult (not li’l miss) kickball game, you will see a common theme: braces. Not for your teeth, but for the knees. Knee braces, ankle wraps, fingers taped, full compression arm wraps. Yeah. We’re older and broken. My house smelled of BenGay for the first couple of months. After every practice it was shower, apply ice, then BenGay or Icy Hot before bed. I jammed my middle finger of my left hand so many times now (as recently as last night, actually!) that I have just come to accept that I will never be able to wear my ring ever again. My ankles (never at the same time) decide to just become “loose” and give no support. My knee will just tweak itself. I don’t even have to turn odd. Just “creak” and I’m in a brace that night. I’ve been smacked in the tits so many times now, that I almost don’t even notice. If I don’t kick properly I hit my shins repeatedly (shin guards!) leading to bruises. If I don’t stretch my shins (don’t ask) they burn. All during practice/the game, that night, that next day or just until it decides to stop. It. Fucking. Hurts. I pulled my quad. Well, pull isn’t quite right. I took off for first base and felt a “snap”. Then came the pain. You will learn to stretch properly (I obviously haven’t). I’ve also been hit by base runners (arm bruised) and smacked in the face by the ball (sore spot on my nose for a couple of weeks).

I’m a bundle full of pain and hurty, but it’s the best exercise I’ve had in a long while.

I Hurt

I found a thread on the forums I frequent about chicks who lift. Not competitively, more like “You need to lift weights. Girls need to lift weights. Really. Your vagina will not stop you from lifting for fucks sake.” I liked weightlifting. I took it as my PE in college and loved it ever since. Aerobics? Suck. Step? Not that coordinated (really. I can play DDR but I can’t do more advanced step than what’s in WiiFit. And it sucks). Running? I’m not being chased. Lifting heavy things over and over? Weeeee got a winner. I dragged Tico back to the gym Sunday afternoon (blissfully uncrowded) and we sweated and almost passed out. If you haven’t been to the gym in almost a year, DO NOT TRY TO PICK UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF. Invigorated, we went back Monday. This time I was armed with a plan. I found a “Get In, Get Out, Go Home” workout. Which was perfect. Because we remembered why we stopped going. It’s fucking CROWDED after work. I hate that. So, after a quick warm up and we hit the weight floor, still hurting from Sunday. Success. In and out in about 45 minutes (including wait time for equipment).

Tuesday was declared cardio and stretch day. We walked to Fry’s. Yes, I know, it doesn’t appear far, but when you finish turning down various streets, into the parking lot, and heading all the way to the back of the lot, it’s about 1.5 miles one way. So we walked about three miles. Up inclines, over shitty landscaping rocks.

Wednesday was fuck off day.

Thursday…I got up at 6:30, left the house at 6:45 and got to the gym a little before 7. Yes. I was at the fucking gym at 7am. Again, get in, get out, go home. I was walking back to my car by 7:30. I was home, showered, and dressed by 7:50. We’ll see how this works out.