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.

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