Here's my experience at a gym before a couple months ago. NONE. I've signed up for a gym membership to do spinning with my trainer and friend, she is a MONSTER. A Jillian Michaels impersonator of the highest form.
|House of Pain - She even looks and sounds like her.|
Meaning she is inspiring and a little crazy and really good at training and teaching spinning. I wish I had her get-up-and-go and fire for exercise. But I do not. I am not excited and I do not "wooo". I don't. I can't imagine that I will someday, never say never, but I can't imagine that happening. However, I appreciate the hype on her part to get me and the class excited about exercise, otherwise I'd still be cramming ice cream in my gob and not wearing my skinny jeans I'm wearing right now as I write this.
I now have a membership not at a Curves or a Women's Workout World, the mom places that I, in my big fat monster image of myself should go to, but nope - I go to the Chicago Athletic Clubs (and because I will do what House of Pain tells me to do most of the time and she teaches there, and I trust her to go to her classes). That's right. Let that seep into your pores. Soak in the hipster, young, fit, false atmosphere that creates and then think about how that contradicts with the pessimistic, negative, and judgemental atmosphere that I create just to ultimately mask how self loathing I am.
|This is my experience. Everyone has distorted images of their bodies, some people actually look bad and look in the mirror and see a hot body looking back - I understand this mostly happens with men. I've had this image of myself my entire life. I don't know, whatever, it's not important. That hot blonde up there? That's what I look like and yet I still walk around with shame and false, I'm not good enough because I am a fat girl "I don't want to bother you" attitude. It's bullshit. |
In a true and real connection at the gym, which I am the first to admit, I didn't believe was possible, my trainer introduced me to Will and Grace (real names changed to protect them from whatever this is). Just as cute and funny as their as-seen-on-tv counterparts, I can honestly say I have a couple friends at the gym. I look forward to seeing them, which is comforting.
When I say I've never belonged to a gym, I mean, I have never belonged to a gym. I don't have any idea what the "rules" or the rules are.
You get to the gym and the overly enthusiastic staff scans your key card in. You go past the 814 people really fucking excited to do Zumba, which really makes me think I shouldn't ever do Zumba, and go downstairs to the LEFT; the left is the WOMEN's locker room. I have gone right twice now and my eyes are not happy about it. My eyes are still not used to the assault that is women's room either. I am not a nudity person, I am not one of those, “oh it's fine I won't look”, I TOTALLY LOOK.
And I will totally slide my padded cycling shorts yes on under my dress before taking my dress off.
|These totally remind me of the padded diaper things we wore when figure skating for the 8 million times we fell on our asses. Why is it I am always wearing something around my ass that is padded?|
I slap on my sports bra and tank top and make sure my nicotine patch is proudly showing (which draws curious looks that I PROUDLY challenge with my own, what the fuck are you looking at? looks). I will inevitably lock my locker with the wrong combination by mistake and have to go up and ask the nice lady to unlock it for me. I will fill up my water and get my towels -one small and one large - to arrange them on the handlebars just like my teacher told me to at my first spinning class.
I will check and re-check the sign up sheet for the spinning class to make sure I know what number bike I have. I will check and re-check the bike number when I get into the room because I am convinced I am on the wrong bike and someone will come in and yell at me for taking the wrong bike.
The spinning class is intense and loud and after 6 classes I can do the whole thing and not slow down or stop and actually really enjoy it. Part of that is my accomplishment and part of it is the teacher and part of it is that I'm actually getting more comfortable at the gym. I don't feel like I don’t belong there anymore. I haven’t gone the wrong way in a couple weeks. I actually can walk with my head up and if someone looks at me the wrong way, I can look at them with a look of “what are you looking at, I am totally going the right way”, as I exit the Men’s locker room.