Let me get one thing straight: I don’t like exercise. I know there are people who love it. They live for it. They get off on it. I am not one those people; never have been, never will be. It’s not that I hate exercise; it’s just not my favorite thing. But, like many people in today’s world, I sit on my butt at a computer for most of my day, which means that other than my fingers on a keyboard, or my hand carrying a glass of wine to my mouth, I don’t get much exercise. In fact, during my busiest times of year, the closest I get to exercise is wearing yoga pants while I edit. It is for this reason that I try to drag myself to an exercise class regularly.
Except lately, it’s hasn’t been regularly, as my favorite local exercise place closed and I have been left desperately seeking out something I would enjoy just as much. So far, I’ve been disappointed. I know it’s out there….waiting for me…but I have yet to find it.
What I did find was a brand new fitness “club” that recently opened. It’s heralded as the newest thing in fitness and to be sure, they are busting-at-the-seams busy. So, gathering up a healthy dose of optimism, I arrived yesterday afternoon for a tour and my free trial class.
This particular fitness club pairs cardio (treadmills and rowing machines) and strength training (weights) into a circuit type routine. The instructor for my class was a very nice guy named Colton, whose voice sounds like he could be narrating American Ninja Warrior. Colton showed myself and the other “new girl,” the facility and how the machines work. I couldn’t even get my shoes in and out of the straps on the rowing machine. It was at this point I felt Colton start to pity me.
THIS WAS NOT, I REPEAT NOT WHAT I LOOKED LIKE ON THIS MACHINE
Once the tour ended, we were instructed to strap on a heart monitor so that we could track our heart rate and keep it in the optimum zone. Your monitor is paired with your name and splashed on a big screen in the fitness room so you can watch your progress. Or in my case, lack thereof. And to make certain the monitor works correctly, it must be placed below your sternum, which is exactly where every sports bra hits, ergo, it must fit under the sports bra. Yes, as if a sports bra isn’t already uncomfortable enough, let’s add a heart monitor to it.
The workout started on the treadmill. I loathe treadmills because there is no way to make a treadmill fun. It’s simply not possible. You’re moving, but you’re not going anywhere. You’re like a mouse on a wheel. And unlike my other gym, these treadmills didn’t even have little monitors attached to them that allowed you to watch tv. I mean, even a treadmill is bearable if Andy Cohen is in front of you. But not these; they were just treadmills in front of a mirror so that every time you looked forward you saw your reflection. And your reflection said, “OMG. I hate treadmills.”
To say the workout was a little hard is like saying Kanye West is a little bit narcissistic. It was beyond a hard workout. It was what I imagine a prison sentence consisting of “hard labor” feels like. One gal had to go to the lobby with an ice pack on her neck to cool down and the woman next to me shared that her friend who came with her threw up during class.
NO NO, IT’S FINE. I’M BUILDING MUSCLE.
It was insanely hard. About a half hour in, I was wondering when death would come. At the 40 minute mark, I left to go to the bathroom just so I could lay on the cold bathroom floor. And don’t give me the “Ewww. You laid on a bathroom floor?” Yes, yes I did. The tile floor was cold and the room was cool and it was totally worth any bathroom germs that clung to me. And I’d do it again.
I WANT IT TO END. DEAR GOD, PLEASE LET IT END.
Except, I’m not going to do it again, because in spite of it being the hip, trendy, awesome place to be, I didn’t like it.
I wanted to like it. Heck, I wanted to LOVE it. Much like sushi, Boba Tea and M Night Shyamalan’s, “The Happening,” I wanted to adore it so much that I couldn’t wait to go back for more. I wanted to love it so much that I wanted to marry it. And have babies with it. But, alas, it’s not going to happen. I will never like raw fish, I can’t take little bits of tapioca balls in my beverage and as for “The Happening,” well, I can only assume M Night got really sick during production and let someone else finish it.
The class ended and I wobbled out on shaky legs, hoisted myself up into my Jeep, and sat there for awhile pondering two things:
- Why didn’t I like it?
- Was I somehow wrong for not liking it when clearly so many other people seemed to adore it.
And as I sat there pondering these questions, I realized anew that I’m not one for organizations that are the adult equivalent of a college sorority. I’m not a “join the club” kind of girl, unless the club is Costco. Or Total Wine. It seems those “join us” organizations usually end up feeling a bit too contrived, too branded, too forced, and too much like a high school clique.
And then I realized how often we make ourselves “like” something because it seems everyone else does. We want to like it; we see others liking it; we think there is something wrong with US if we don’t like it, and so in an effort to fit in, we say we like it.
We want to be considered “cool,” and “relevant,” and so we compromise our beliefs.
And the result is we end up supporting things, and people, we don’t really like.
And that, my friends, is nuts.
Go with your heart, not with the crowd.
(Unless, of course, the crowd is going out for cocktails, in which case, hurry up so you don’t keep them waiting.)