The New Mexico gym scene is basically an SNL skit filled with people either over or under committed to working out. Guaranteed, you will always see at least one of each of the following: an older man wearing a black t-shirt with a 4-inch cross necklace, a woman trying out all the weight machines with her street clothes and purse, a woman wearing a gym corset, and a man with a neck the size of corset girl’s waist. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m intimidated, but hanging on “the gym floor” zones me out in the same way the mall does-I forget to eat, don’t remember what I’ve been doing, and have to come down from it all by eating a pound of mini Swedish fish. Plus, I’ve basically arrived at the stage of fitness where I can’t be bothered to think even a little bit about what I have to do once I make it to the gym. Gym membership fees should actually cover things like helping you decide how many minutes you should do on this machine, how to appear tough but not overdo it, how to look as if you are not eavesdropping, etc. They don’t. You should definitely talk to your gym about this. But they do have group fitness classes. And this is basically the only reason to go to the gym. The secret is that the instructors pretty much do the work for you, ANY level of participation is acceptable, and if you choose the right one, you can get a sweet endorphin rush, and only pee yourself a little.
I know people who have been fit their whole life think the only thing chubbers need to do is just get to the gym. By the way, been working out hard for a year and have actually gained weight, so I suspect this theory definitely has some flaws. However, I am considerably stronger and can absolutely CRUSH someone in a pantomime fight, if it includes good music. The key (to working out regularly), actually, is a killer instructor and … also becoming unreasonably dedicated to them. My sister took me to her class (insiders just call it “the” class) and to get me pumped she told me the instructor “could be a cult leader.” Yes please! Admit it, pretty much anyone who has made a difference in your life is mostly a cult leader. The only difference is they have a more acceptable end goal for you (which of course you think is your idea) than poisoned Jello.
I’m in pretty deep. I’ve been with my cult leader for a year now. She doesn’t know it, but I celebrated our meet-a-versary yesterday. It is easy to tell I’m in the fold because I actually get a lump in my throat sometimes when the opening song comes on. I refer to her as MY GIRL ____ as if we were, seriously, eighth grade besties. My husband knows her first name, though he has never been to the gym. When she talks to me, I get flushed and I stutter. I frequently ask questions I know the answer to, just so I can check in with her. I regularly respond voluntarily when she does call and respond. Seriously, I don’t even know the person I become in this class. I would be creeped by myself, but -1. Going to work out is healthy, no matter what your reasons and 2. Everyone seems to be on the same page about her. If you even mention her name with a reg you basically end up holding hands and being like A- MAZE RIGHT? She told me there was an athlete inside me who wants to come out and punch the air really really hard as if someone is there. Right? Totally sold. Sometimes I see the athlete, sometimes I mistake her for the girl next to me who is around my weight loss goal and wears the same color shirt. But. But… I went out of town for 3 weeks, and when I came back there was an empty space waiting for me where I usually stand. And it was exactly the right size. And someone, pretty sure you know who, seemed a little bit more enthusiastic than usual. Coincidence that she was also wearing her “FRIYAY” shirt? I think not, folks, I think not.