I love the gym. No, I'm serious. I really do. It gives me a much needed sanctuary from, well, life in general. Cable TV, cold water fountain, a bathroom that is always magically clean without me having to do it myself or threaten anyone else within an inch of their life if they don't start picking their %*#%@# towels off the *&#%*% floor. Also, there is always toilet paper. Always. And not just sitting on the floor or counter. It's actually ON THE ROLL. Every. Time. And even though the carpet at the gym is sometimes dirty, I can just look at it and shrug and be all like, "Whatever dude. Not my job." Oh the freedom. I am a little sad about the fact that the only offerings available in the Coke machine are water, Powerade, and Diet Crap, and there's no candy bar machine at all, but eh, what can you do? At least if I DO decide to buy some gross Diet Something or Other, there's no one around to backwash in it and I can drink the no calorie nastiness in relative peace & quiet.
I have found, though, that there are a few things about the gym that are not my favorite. Granted, none of those things are deal breakers. I mean, you heard how there is ALWAYS toilet paper in the bathroom, right?? But they are not my favorite. And I do so like to make lists. (In fact, if you were wondering, I am totally that person that makes lists of things that I already did just so I can feel good about crossing them off. But that's a blog post for another time.)
So here it is. The list of my Top 5 Things I Don't Love About the Gym. (Not to be confused with the Jim. Cavaziel that is. I love everything about him.)
I mean, really?? I avoid my reflection as often as possible. And that's on a normal day. When I'm showered and have my hair did and all. At the gym? First thing in the morning? With crusty sleep stuff still in my eyes and no make-up?? Um. Ew. Don't nobody wanna see that. Least of all me. Least of all in an entire wall covered top to bottom in reflections of me. So. Gross. But there's no escaping them. They're everywhere. I suppose the purpose of them is so that you can check your form or some such nonsense. I don't want to check my form. I mean, have you ever tried to do a dumbbell shrug without making a dreadful face? Go ahead, try. I dare you. It can't be done. I prefer living in the blissful ignorance of believing that I look just like something fresh off the pages of Shape magazine. (Not the cover, mind you. Even my imagination has limits.) But, no, no blissful ignorance for me. Just real life, sweaty face, greasy hair Cyndie staring back at me from 7 million mirrors. I hate her. She's the worst.
#2. People Who Are Stronger Than Me.
So, yes, pretty much everyone. That includes 12 year old boys and 70 year old women. Despite my goal of adding more weight lifting to my workout routine, I seem to have still failed to build any sort of strength. Any. Sort. It's actually quite depressing. And yes, I'll admit it, when I use the weight machines I totally move the pins up to a higher weight when I'm done. So it looks like I'm stronger than I am. Because the pathetic amount of weight I can actually lift is really quite embarrassing. And nobody seems to like to re-rack their free weights when they're done with them. So sometimes I have to skip a machine altogether. Cuz it's totally not worth lifting and carrying 90 lbs of weight just so I can do 25 calf raises. My calves look just fine. Stupid muscular people. The good news is that I never have to fight anyone for the 8 lb. dumbbells. Ever. Which brings me to my next item:
Cyndie doesn't like to share. It's a sad, but completely true fact. Don't get me wrong, I don't really like being completely alone at the gym. I've watched far too many horror movies for that to be any fun. But I also don't like it when people are using the equipment that I had totally planned to use that day. For example, there is only 1 bike at my gym that I actually like to use. 1 out of probably 4 or 5 bikes that they have. I don't use it often and 98.8% of the time no one at all is using it. But the day that I decide that I want to use that bike, well, guess what? Yup. Someone is totally using it. And they're usually not even working out very hard. They're just sitting there, barely pedaling, flipping through the TV channels, snacking on beef jerky, not even breaking a sweat. What a waste. And don't even get me started on the muscle bound guys who casually throw 250 lbs. onto the Smith machine like it's no big deal when I already had it all set up and ready to go for squats with my 45 lbs. It's just mean. Don't they know that Thursday is my leg day?? Geez.
#4. Swim Trunks.
I know what you're thinking. Swim trunks? What do swim trunks have to do with the gym? Nothing, you would think. But you would be wrong. It's just another one of those pesky gender inequalities that guys can throw on anything. And I do mean anything and head out to the gym. They don't care if it matches. They don't care if there are holes in their shirts. They're guys. They can totally work out in swim trunks and black knee socks. What? What's wrong with that? Let me tell you what's wrong with that. It's simply not fair. Do you have any idea how much workout clothes for women cost? Um, like a million dollars. You want some Nike running pants? $50. You want a shirt that matches? That'll be another $50. Oh, you also need a coordinating sports bra? Be prepared to shell out another $35. At least. Those of you women who own workout clothing already know this sad fact. The rest of you. Yeah. It's totally true. I about had a heart attack when I first walked into a Sports Authority and saw the price tags on those babies. I mean I want to look decent at the gym, but not that badly. Danskin, you will do just fine. But you know what's even cheaper than Danskin? Yup. That's right. Swim trunks and black knee socks.
#5. Being Old.
Admittedly, not the gym's fault. That doesn't make it any less annoying. There's nothing like a buxom blonde co-ed running on the treadmill next to me at 8 mph with not even a drop of perspiration marring her lovely little face to make me question why I even bother. It's obviously not a race. Because if it was she would have passed my panting, sweating, 3-5 mph behind long ago. But no, instead there she is. Next to me the entire time. Rubbing in her fitness and youth without so much as a bead of sweat on her brow. I get it. You are young and beautiful and the world is at your feet. I'm fairly certain she doesn't actually need to work out at all. And even though she could get away with eating cheeseburgers and fries for every meal without putting on an ounce, I get the feeling that she subsists solely on flax seed and Special K bars. In fact, I am fairly certain that the only reason she comes to the gym at all is so she can relish in her health and energy and secretly mock the crazy old lady who can't even lift a decent amount of weight let alone run more than 2 miles without looking like she is going to die. Well played, buxom blonde, well played.
So there it is. My top 5 gym grievances. It truly is a small price to pay for one whole hour of solitary peace each day. And nary a towel on the bathroom floor. It's the closest thing to heaven that I have in my life. A sweaty and sometimes a grunt-filled heaven. But a heaven nonetheless.