Wednesday, April 20, 2011

slip sliding away

I was unintentionally humiliated at the gym on Monday night and only now, after hours of reflection and meditation, have I decided to go public with this little personal narrative.

So, remember when I told you about the awesome that is beating the shit out of something that doesn't beat back and/or isn't comprised of any reprecussions for such behavior? Well, I'm still doing that. And I'm actually becoming quite the little heavy-bag renegade thankyouverymuch.

So, I typically attend this class twice a week and, truly look forward to going because I work my ass off for an hour and it's not running, which at this point has resulted in agonizing shin splints. These shin splints could have been prevented by any number of "proper training" techniques, but let's just be honest, I don't go by the book because I'm lazy and poor. So I'll probably need to buy new shoes that actually support my stupid delicate arches or some shit pretty soon, but for now I'm giving myself a couple days off from running a week to go beat the piss out of some punching bags, everyone wins. Especially my shins.

Monday night I stroll into the gym, biz as usual, and I go about the ass-kicking exersizes that occur during the first 80% of class, and I'm a hot mess, also per usual. Now, after we get done punching shit and shed our now sweat-soaked gloves, we move on to that calistenics portion of the class. This portion is very mean. Prior to doing three sets of continuous exersizes, the trainer always intructs us what the order will be/which exersizes we'll be suffering to until the end of class.

I don't particularly like this part of class, but I'm still getting a workout, and it's still not running, so I force myself to go all-out every time.

At the end of class I usually look like I just jumped in a pool.

Seriously, what the fuck? I've discovered that as I've aged/grown/evolved/whatthefuckever, I've gotten EVEN LESS ATTRACTIVE during/post work-out. Which, I normally just shrug off continue on my merry way. However, I'd like to just point out that a few short years ago, after running a rigorous seven mile workout and potentially puking from effort/exertion, I'd get back to the locker room and throw on a t-shirt and still actually resemble a human being. My pony tail would be cute from bouncing and settling, my make-up would finally have the perfect worn-in feel, and I'd maybe have a small sweat patch on my sports bra's elastic band. THOSE DAYS ARE (apparently) LONG FUCKING GONE.

These days, when I finish a work-out of any length, I resemble a melting wax statue. It's literally as if I've become a sweat-generating machine. My clothing, including undergarments AND every other layer I have on is effectively soaked. With my sweat. Even my pony tail, which is not becoming. Derrrr. My face is generally so sweaty that I actually have mascara and other debris running down my cheeks and no longer on my lashes, if I should forget to remove it before I begin physical exersize. Let's just say I don't look like I belong in a Nike ad; I avoid mirrors.

Now, you get the gist that it's not pretty at all. Normally, this doesn't so much as register to me, as working out aka sweating my tits off is actually why I came to the gym/decided to get some physical activity in. But, do you know what the ABSOLUTE last thing I want to do is at that point in my day? NO? Ok, I'll just tell you, it's:

Partake in physical contact of any kind with a virtual stranger.

Which is what happened on Monday night. For some mystical and mean-spirited reason unbeknownst to myself and the other patrons, it was decided by the powers that be that we would, immediately following the heavy-bag portion of the evening, be partaking in PARTNER CALISTENICS.





I'm not friends with anyone at the gym more than a brief "Yo, what's up?" prior to class. I don't know or want to know your kids' names, your volunteer activities, or even what you had for dinner. I want to pump this sweat-soaked hour out and move the fuck on with my life. So naturally, as I'm watching the trainer demonstrate how we're basically going to be grinding our sweaty-ass bodies all up on a stranger for the next 20 minutes, I'm not thrilled. In fact, I'm filled with dread and horror, because I'm soaking wet and most of the other women in class half-ass the entire thing so they can talk shit to their co-workers in the morning about how they "go to the gym," without actually bothering to work up a sweat.

So as I'm mentally thanking the Universe that I managed to shave my legs relatively recently, since apparently someone other than Manfriend is going to be feeling all up over me, the bell dings for us to start. I luck out and end up across from a lady who actually tries and our first task is to do push-ups, cross-over clapping each others' hands between each one. I put my knees down midway through because I'm a pussy, and they are so sweaty that I'm slipping around.

Sorry for the TMI today, by the way.

Next up is the wheelbarrow. How old are we? How fucking old are we?! How long has it been since you did the wheelbarrow? Can't remember? Oh, I can. It was Monday night. I'm really trying to not make this weird and awkward, so I grab her legs first and she quickly completes the loop measured out for us and it's my turn. Ah, that fateful moment. I kick my legs up and she grabs them and I can feel how sweaty they are now that she's touching them. I'm mortified. I'm honest-to-god moving my arms as fast as they will carry me to get this shit over with. Only, my arm warp-speed added a degree of difficulty in holding onto my sweaty-ass legs.

Midway through, my sonofabitch sweaty legs slip right out of her hands and I flop onto the ground. An actual flop. My soaking-wet body slaps against the floor and all of the sudden there is a flurry of activity around me and I'm just lying, there, trying to process what just happened. I felt like a goldfish that jumps out of its bowl probably feels, all wet and slimey, slapping around, gasping for air. Pathetic.

"Sorry, they're just so wet that they slipped right out of my hands!"

This is where I mention that we're all bare-foot and I'm face-down on a shared mat-surface. It's too much. I am at a loss, I really don't want to touch or be touched in this environment, or really, ever again. So I do the only thing I really could do. I toughed it out and carried the fuck on.  It wasn't pretty. After picking myself up we had to do back-to-back squats and some weird pull-up on each others' arms thing. And it was very slippery. And I'm still having flash-backs to the moment my legs slid out of her grasp. I hope to all things holy that homegirl hopped in the shower as soon as she got home, because most of the sweat on her body wasn't even hers. On the upside, word will probably get around and I'll never have to worry about someone voluntarily being my partner ever again.

Don't get my wrong, I really, really like the place. I like the people and the vibe, but believe you me, the next time I hear the word "partner" there I'm making a beeline for the goddamn door, I'd rather tough out shin splints then let another pratical stranger into my wide world of sweat.

Keepin' it honest since '86, you're welcome.

Xo Sara


  1. Do you drink more water than you used to? Maybe that's why you've evolved into such a sweatster.

    As soon as I read the word wheelbarrow I knew what was coming and seriously, your instructor can go to hell for that one. That same thing woudl happen to me, except that my legs would be so hairy that my partner would have something to grip on to. And get razor burn on her palms.

  2. It's funny you should ask that, I DO in fact drink more water. Compulsively. I'm terrified that I will have a bad work out if I'm not properly hydrated. OCD marries exercise.

    I'm glad someone else thought that was some bullshit! Perhaps next time I should volunteer to be his partner so he can feel the sheer terror and disgust that comes with the dreaded wheelbarrow.