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So, recently, I thought I would be cute and start working out (again). You know, I am approaching 40 and all and I thought it might be in Kenny’s best interest if I was still able to walk by the time I hit that magical age. Oh, and I thought it would (in addition to the obvious health benefits) give me a reason to get up from my desk and out of my house everyday. (That’s one bad thing about working from home – you have to make a conscious effort – and choice! – to get dressed and leave your house everyday. Historically, this has not been my forte.) Plus, it seems that tight black athletic pants are a fashion staple here in Portland. I am currently missing out on that phenomenon and I’d like to participate. Haha!

This is kind of a big deal for me.


Well, let me set my working out scene. Before kids and before we moved, I tried the gym off and on. I also started doing couch to 5K a few months before we moved to Portland. I loved it…until an old knee injury flared up and my knee started locking up on me to the point where I almost fell over twice simply from walking hours after a work out – yes, Kenny’s face was just as priceless as you’d imagine.

What’s that?

How did I injure my knee? Basketball? Hahaha. Oh, no, no no. Don’t be silly. Sports are how normal folks injure themselves. I am a klutz – see here, here and here for the most recent examples (and a good laugh at my expense). See, pre-kids, I fell down almost an entire flight of steps at our old house and my left leg got caught – backwards – knee somewhere between my hip and the wall and my left foot still at least two steps above the rest of my body. I had to call poor Kenny in to help untangle me from this position and get me down to safety. Poor guy. He’s really been through a lot – haha. Subsequently, I was on crutches for two weeks with a slightly torn meniscus. Weeeeee! Awesome. It was fine most of the time until I started running.  So I stopped. And did nothing (healthy, right?).

Which brings us to now.  Kenny got a family membership at the gym at his work. This is nice – the kids can take swim lessons at a discounted rate, we have use of the indoor pool whenever it’s open, and Kenny can squeeze in his workouts while on campus at work. As for me? I was just part of the packaged ‘family deal’. I am quite sure there was never any assumption that I would actually use my little key tag and hit the gym. But I like to surprise people (namely Kenny), so while he was away, I started going to the gym.

I hate gyms. Always have. I find them to be crazily intimidating – especially for a life-long benchwarmer like myself. I am self-conscious and don’t like being in the spotlight, and for some reason, the moment I walk into the gym my perception is there’s a giant glaring spotlight on me as I elliptical machine myself around Talladega in front of the max capacity crowd of 175K. Add to that gym stuff like talking on mobile phones while stair climbing / spinning / elliptical-ing and wearing bright pink lipstick and lipgloss and NOT sweating while you are hoofing it on the treadmill and, well, it’s not my favorite scene. (Mostly because I don’t wear lipstick to the gym and I definitely do not stay cool throughout my workout. Ok, ok. Maybe I am a tad jealous of the running ladies who can hold multiple phone conversations while remaining perfectly coifed, primped and un-sweaty. That will never be me.)

In reality, I know no one really cares that I’m there and that they are all there doing their own thing, too. Still, I asked the gal working the desk when the least crowded times are and have been planning my visits accordingly. I’ve been there six times now and am entering my third consecutive week of going. Probably a new record for me. Haha.

So far, It’s been good.  I was nervous at first. Especially after the first time when I got off the elliptical machine and couldn’t feel my feet because they were numb from doing the…elliptical machine. Google tells me this can be a common thing amongst elliptical machine users. Good to know. Would have been better to know before I went – lol!  When I combined my numb feet with my rubber-band-y sea legs, I was overcome with horror that I’d actually have to take the elevator down to the exit instead of descending two flights of steps. I had to mentally talk myself down the stairs – like repeating “You got this – do not fall.” in my head until I reached the bottom. I refrained from doing a victory dance. I really wanted to, but I thought that might be over the top. Plus my post-workout purple face was already attracting attention, so I just looked at the floor and shuffled out.

So far, I’ve learned a few things about me + working out:

  1. It will be important for me to keep my eyes forward and not look around. I have little tolerance for gym shenanigans like talking on the phone, and since I don’t really have a poker face, I don’t want to inadvertently use my eyes / scowl-y eyebrows to convey that the phone user should hang up. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what could be so important that you have to talk on the phone / distract your gym-mates at the very moment you are hoofing it on the stair climber!
  2. I am definitely a mom. Besides the two kids that are usually in tow, this is further proven by the fact that during a recent 30 minute stint on the elliptical machine, Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast came on, and I didn’t even flinch / realize that I was kidless in the gym until about 20 seconds were left in the song. (Following this workout, I immediately came home and created a ‘workout’ playlist so I could return to being “gyms are my thing gal”  instead of “mom who sometimes gyms”.)
  3. I have amazed my kids. They keep asking me why I am going to the gym. I tell them that I am trying to get stronger. I like that they took notice – perhaps this will be a good example for me to set for them?! I guess this also means I can’t quit since they now know this is something I do. Perhaps I should have been sneakier…or not. My post-workout purple face would have given it away anyway. LOL.
  4. I actually like using the elliptical machine. How about that!? And, so far, it’s not hurting my knees!
  5. Even though I am only in my third week of doing this, I miss working out on the days that I don’t. How about that?! I am surprised myself!

I am sure there will be funny gym adventures along the way…so I’ll keep you posted. Ok, off to the gym!