Friday, November 9, 2012

Jillian Michaels Can Kiss My Fat Ass

Growing up, I was always a pretty active kid.  That may be in large part due to the fact that riding your bike and climbing trees and shit was pretty much all that was going down vis-a-vis entertainment at that time as I was born in the 70's and concepts such as cell phones, expanded cable, and the internet were as futuristic as anything I saw on 'Buck Rogers' each Friday night.*

*I still "heart" you, Gil Gerard.

By the time I got to junior high and high school everyone was getting into the whole team sport/athletic/circle jerk thing and while I was nothing if not a whore for attention athletically-minded, I did not see how slogging through the mud on some shitty soccer field or pounding down a basketball court sweating like David Duke at a Black Panthers rally in pursuit of fitness was worth the price of frizzy hair and unflattering uniforms.  I know, I know, team sports build character and forge friendships and, blah, blah, blah. . .  but even at a tender age I was about as socially active as an agoraphobe at a Hands Across America rally and the only esprit d'corps I was interested in was sold at the Valley River mall.

I actually owned this dress.  Judge not, lest ye be judged.

But while I would have been content to spend my days in my room listening to Rick Springfield and imagining him holding me "in his arms late, late at night" while I drank Tab and snacked on Smurfberry Crunch, my parents were delusional concerned enough to believe that social interaction and physical activity might be a more productive choice.  So, I was forced to choose a sport of some ilk.  As I was a princess from my larval stage, I of course chose the "pretty" sports of gymnastics and dance which segued swimmingly into a rather lengthy career as a cheerleader.  

Our mascot was the Axemen.  As in large, shifty-eyed men with axes.  I feel this speaks well to my latent homocidal tendencies

I think my father was a bit dismayed to not have a child he could cheer on from the bleachers but in truth I know my mother was actually quite relieved as she enjoys being outside about as much as Howie Mandel enjoys a full-body massage.*

*My mother can't even watch "Survivor" without throwing up in her mouth a little.  If I'd forced her to crouch down in a duck blind with the rain pissing all over her while watching me go all Tonya Harding on some chick with a lacrosse stick she would have killed me in my sleep.

Although I know my mom would have supported me whole-heartedly regardless of my choices regarding athleticism, I also know that if given the option she would choose watching her daughter perform a flawless side aerial in a flippy skirt and sparkly Bonne Belle lip gloss over scraping mud and dog shit off of sweaty shin guards any day.  I feel like I did her a solid.

Now that I am technically an adult, I continue to find myself struggling to find my niche in the world of fitness.  While I would love to prance before throngs of people with my glossy ponytail bouncing in tempo with my gravity-defying straddle jumps, sadly there is very little call for 42-year-old cheerleaders whose joints pop like an M-18 in a North Portland parking lot every time they bend over.  And as I apparently still have the social skills of Boo Radley on NyQuil, team sports are out; so rather than exercise any restraint over the myriad lifestyle choices that have me careening headlong into a lifetime of Type 2 Diabetes, I am forced to exercise at the gym.

Usually when I work out, I confine myself to the cardio area where I can plug in my earbuds and treadmill/elliptical/stairclimb in relative solitude.*

*Of course, 90% of the time I'm not actually listening to musicI just wear earbuds so people won't speak to me.   I'm an asshole. 

But lately, my usual cardio routine hasn't been enough.   Don't get me wrong, for the first time in my life I'm not trying to lose weight; I've grown to love the fact that I'm more of a Scarlett Johansson than a Cameron Diaz and I have every intention of keeping the curves that God (and Dr. Timothy Connall)* gave me.

*A.k.a. the man who delivered my second set of "twins".  The man is an artist.  Me love you long time, Dr. C.

That being said,  I am sadly at the age where I no longer put on lean muscle overnight and have begun to notice that my upper arms continue to wave goodbye long after I have ceased to do so.  My friend Kelly is my go-to gal for all things fitness related but I was loathe to ask her advice as I knew exactly what she was going to tell me.  You see, I am of a firm belief that all unfortunate realities will simply disappear if you ignore them long enough, and this situation was no different.  But eventually the day came when I caught sight of my ass in the dressing room at H&M and noticed it was going down faster than a Kardashian at the Essence Awards and I knew I could avoid it no longer.  It was time to start. . .((shudder)). . . weight training.

For me, weight training involves everything in life I despise:  physical exertion, lingering pain, and touching things that have come in contact with more DNA than an episode of CSI: Miami.  But I put those angsty feelings aside and allowed Kelly to run me through a circuit of resistance exercises at her local health club.*

*One would think that I would learn from prior athletic endeavors with Kelly (see here and here).  One would be sadly mistaken.  Apparently I'm not that bright.

When I walked into the weight room it was obvious that I stood out worse than Heidi Klum in downtown Bejing.  Within seconds I found myself surrounded by freakishly muscular men wearing skin-tight sleeveless tees, thick leather weight belts, and enough Axe body spray to choke a Ukrainian whore.  There was no possible way this was going to end well.

After determining that I had the upper-body strength of a toddler with M.S., Kelly decided to start me out on some light free weights.  We made our way toward the weight rack and were instantly confronted with a wall of grunting man flesh blocking access like a chunk of fecal matter in the gym's sigmoid colon.  I get it, you're interval training and you need to keep that ol' heart rate up but for the love of Jillian Michaels you probably won't drop out of your target heart rate of you drag your sweaty ass about three feet to the left so someone else can get in a rep or two.  After waiting the better part of an hour behind some troglodyte while he pondered the contents of the weight rack like he was Meryl Streep deciding which kid to send up the river in "Sophie's Choice" we admitted defeat and headed over to the stationary equipment.

First of all let me simply state that the myriad sanitizing stations places strategically around the room were apparently a mere suggestion as the last time I witnessed so many bodily fluids on display there was a money shot involved.  Rather than risk contracting the syph from the leg extension machine, I rubbed it down like a ten-dollar whore and got down to business.  Not five reps went by before a rather large man bearing more than a passing resemblance to Fabio asked if he could "work in".*

*Basically, if he could power out a few reps before I continued.  As I am both a giver and a lazy son of a bitch, I willingly accommodated him.

Now, asking to "work in" is akin to asking if you can cut in front of the lady with enough in her cart for a Duggar Family Christmas at the grocery store when all you have is a can of Fresca and some Monistat.  If you're just willing to power out a few reps then by all means, I shall gladly share my Cybex leg press with you, kind sir.  But if you get in there, whip out your little spiral notebook, and proceed to do the thirty minute routine you found in Men's Health and Fitness then I reserve the right to go upside James Westfall and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater with a kettlebell.  Consider yourself warned.  After standing there watching him huff and howl like he was being castrated by a rabid wolverine, Kelly and I wandered off to find some unoccupied equipment.

Unfortunately, unoccupied equipment was not to be found.  Every last machine was taken by at least two men; one actively lifting and the other one hunched over him, grabbing at sundry body parts and grunting encouragement.  It was like watching a German "alle Schwanze" snuff film; both repugnant, and yet oddly compelling.  After about twenty minutes of this I gave up and returned to the solitude of my treadmill.  I may never have arms like Courteney Cox, but if I can't wrestle a zombie to the ground during the Apocolypse, at least I can outrun him.

Feel the burn.




Leauxra said...

Silly girl. You know better then to let a man cut in front of you. You're lying! You didn't want to use the machine anyway!

I would suggest: push ups (the girl kind or the wall kind). Burpees. Squats. Lunges. Planking. Sit ups... all that stuff you don't need equipment for,
so that you don't accidentally put your hand where some other sweaty palm was minutes before, go postal, and brain someone with a three pound free weight.

Anonymous said...

You know, I feel ya. Why are the assholes at the gym such.. assholes?
But I would note, what time of day was it? Because the Fabio wanna-be aholes that have nothing else to do are usually all there at certain times of day, and vanish at others. I realize that the lack of open equipment is a great excuse (I am lifting with a trainer in about 30 minutes, and I can barely walk due to our Wednesday routine, so I'm filled with dread...), but ask at the desk, or ask one of the gym's trainers when their 'slow' time is. I really hate working out when all the other assholes are there, so I go when it's quiet and no one will laugh at my feeble struggle to lift 20 lbs. Just starting.

Jen said...

LEAUXRA - I can do pushups. That doesn't involve talking to anyone, right?

ANONYMOUS - We went right after work which is Ground Zero for the gym douches. Never again. Never. Agin.

Stacey said...

You need to Join an LA Fitness where they have Women's only rooms - I'm just sayin...

Kelly said...

Ah, the weight area. Where if you close your eyes, you could be in the middle of a porn with all the ridiculous noises going on.

I'd rather be in the running for the next main event at Sea World than workout with the super surrious career worker outers. Mostly because I'm intimidated, and secondly, when the veins in their foreheads burst? Let's just say I missed that day in first aid class.

Fyre said...

For me it's a toss-up. I can't decide if I despise the over-muscled, sweaty guys or the women who are at the gym to supposedly "work out" in full make-up with every hair in place and accessorized with wayyyy too much jewelry. Gyms and my out-spoken tendencies do not get along...

Jen said...

STACEY - I'm too cheap to join a gym. I prefer to get my exercise by running away from people.

KELLY - Gyms in general fill me with equal parts shame and ennui.

FYRE - Ah, the 'gym bunnies'. Yup, pretty much want to light their hair on fire.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to a gym in YEARS. I know that looking at me, you are SHOCKED at that revelation. What I do, however, is cardio stuff. There are some weights involved as well. I'm surpised the hip hop class doesn't do more for your muscles. I would imagine that would work everything as you are dancing around, yes? But yes, I do believe as we get older, weights are a necessary evil. Sorry girl.

Jen said...

MISTY - Boo. :(

Anonymous said...

This might sound ironic but Jillian Michaels Yoga dvd helped get the weakness out of my arms. I do alot of really simple pilates stuff every day because working in a restaurant I have to keep my abs and lower back strong, lest I not throw a disc picking up a stack of plates at an awkward angle.
Anyhoo, I found that lately i love running. I used to run, but it was more out of pure masochism. These days I appreciate the solitude and the fact that I can actually, literally, run from my problems :)

Laura said...

Jen... really... c'mon.

This has nothing to do with the size of your ass.

Nor does it have anything to do with your bat wings

It has everything to do with DM in NC in Dec.

Feel the burn... the good kind, not the urinary tract infection kind. LOL

Enjoy the weekend!

Jen said...

WINO - That's what I love most about running. No computer, no telephone, no boss, no kids. . .just. . .solitude.

LAURA - Dylan is going to have to do some cardio of his own because I am going to wear that boy out when I finally get my hands on him again.

Fyre said...

Bwahahahahaha...ok, this is off the workout topic, but I had to share. I'm obviously following your blog to closely. While messaging with a friend a few minutes ago, I responded to one of her comments with, "oh, boo, whore". Totally threw her and totally cracked me up when I realized what I had responded with. Well done, Jen...

Johi Kokjohn-Wagner said...

Just come here and we can restack the hay and shovel shit. I loathe the gym. Specifically, I loathe being indoors where people sweat. You are basically breathing BO and recycled lung crud.

In other news, I probably always smell like horse shit. Or dog shit. Or Thing 2's shit. So... there's that.

Valerie said...

Oh hell no... What you need to do next time is find the biggest guy in the place, walk straight up to him and knock the ever loving crap out of him. This will set the tone for the balance of your workout....

Oh... Wait...

That may be prison rules... But I think it would work just as well.



CLR said...

I can not read your posts and sip wine...snorts and spews aren't lovely. 'Clean up, aisle 3'. Geez. This is so relatable.

I recall a gym experience where a dude strutted in front of the wall-to-wall mirror in between sets in such an obvious manner that it became uncomfortable. Should we give him some 'alone' time? Dude. We can all see you. Again. Again. Again in the mirrors surrounding the room.

Writers could fill a book just sitting in a gym for a day.

Von said...

I will not exercise in front of anyone. Aside from walking, my routine involves closed curtains and loud music while I dance my ass off for 20-30 minutes. Both of those are free, easy for my clumsy self to master, and require no spandex. And the only one who can laugh at me is my dog. I do add in push-ups for wobbly arm syndrome. Those muscles are the most stubborn bastards in the world.

Jen said...

FYRE- "Boo, Whore" is the proper response to damned near ANY situation! Embrace it!

JOHI - Mom got downright giggly remembering you tonight when I passed on your birthday greetings. She sees an innate "awesomeness" in you.

QOE said...

I, too, despise the gym and tend to do what little exercise I do engage in in the comfort of my own living room. Unfortunately, I'm married to Mr. Fitness who feels it's his duty to correct my form...which pisses me off. Soon I'm telling him that he's my husband, not my trainer and if he wanted a Miss Hardbody then he should have married his ex. I usually throw in a reminder that my lumps and stretch marks are courtesy of his two children who I dutifully nutured and pushed out into this world thus ensuring a lifetime of saggy boobs and stretched out abs. So, yeah, exercise and I will never be BFFs. In fact, the continuation of my marriage depends on the 2 of us never meeting.

injaynesworld said...

This morning I was just thinking about all those gyms I've joined over the years and contemplating joining the local "Y", but the idea of paying money to go places to do things I don't want to do as mortality is beginning to rear its ugly head in the not too distant future no longer is outweighing any benefits of such a sacrifice. Luckily, I have a big horse who gives me a nice workout. That along with the chores of lifting 50-pound bags of feed and mucking out manure-filled stalls are the extent of my physical efforts. As usually, a funny, funny piece.

Johi Kokjohn-Wagner said...

Your mom is not only stunning, but clearly very wise. :) I hope she had a great birthday!

Laura said...

As it should be Jen... as it should be.

I can nearly hear Dylan thinking... yeah... right... let's see you carry a 1/2 dead body down 6 flights to the rescue and see who has to do the cardio.

Nonetheless... it will be fun to see who will "win"


Laura said...

to Fyre...

I too have started using Boo Whore.

Often the 20 somethings look at me like oh no you didunt.

I laugh a little harder. Yeah been there (cheap slut looking for a man) done that.

Guess who laughs the hardest.

My gay guy friend. LOL

Hats off to the Boo Whore!

Poodles McGee said...

Sounds like Kelly goes to a shitty man-gym. Fuck that, do some body weight stuff in your living room. No fees, no fluids, no ...third bad gym-related thing starting with 'f'.

"Jamie" said...

Am I the only one loving the James Westfall and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater reference? FTW.