Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gym Clowns

Preface: Longest day ever...feeling effects of (see below) and literally just electrocuted myself trying to unplug my laptop. I'm on a roll... Anyway, I told you I'd be back to write you some ridiculousness... So here goes:

Yesterday I woke up, went to Starbucks and was planning my morning run when a friend called and asked if I wanted to go with her and her friend to the Grand Opening of a new gym. "There will be snacks and free shit"...she says.

Please note: I already belong to an overpriced, very popular "luxury..." gym in the city with access to multiple cross country locations. Also please note: I'm an asshole because I literally pay for this membership so I can run on a treadmill (and I own a treadmill....).  I think I've been to two classes in 3 years... one spinning class which I loved but couldn't walk right for a week afterward, and then one hip hop dance class (shutup) which I was dragged to by a friend because she thought the trainer was hot. (He wasn't and neither was the class). Anyway back to yesterday...

I thought, well...the weather is mediocre and it would probably be better to work out with friends so why not. When we arrived, the gym was one of these suburban behemoth type places filled with balloons but...that wasn't what bothered me (okay it did a little) but more so.... was the fact that it only took 2.5 seconds before I spotted a clown. (I didn't spot the pirate until we were leaving). If you see a clown in a gym, you should just leave. Immediately. But we were there, and we were being swarmed by sales reps and personal trainers wanting to sell and assess... I was hassled less than my friend but that's probably because I had this, "I can't believe I'm looking at a f-ing clown right now" look on my face... in what is supposed to be some premier gym and there are kids running around touching everything and coughing and drooling and all I want to do is get on a treadmill and run for 3 miles tops. So after about 20 minutes of walking around and getting our bearings, I finally hopped on a treadmill and did what I always do.... plugged in ear buds to my iPhone, picked a song, put it on repeat and then hit "Quick Start."

I was doing good...started slow, and every mile kicked it up a notch... but at mile 2 a woman got onto the treadmill next to me. I hate when this happens. I hate when this happens even more when there are 10 other treadmills not being used. I like to zone out when running so I gave her the once over and kept it moving... (by the way.... I have to in good conscience just put this out there... please don't wear animal print to the gym. Ever. It's wrong. And it's more wrong when you can't fit the print. It's almost sadder than the clown...)

So I'm running, and I'm not a fast runner so I'm gliding along at a leisurely pace and checking my email and I can feel her looking at me, and at my machine. And I'm running, and I'm thinking "if you don't stop looking at my screen..." but she keeps doing it. I don't care okay? I was running a 13 minute mile at that point and yes I know that's slow as hell, but what do I care? I'm not sitting on the couch so whatever. But it's annoying to have someone constantly turning to look at you and your stats while you run.

This lady by the way looked like she should be in a water aerobics class. Seriously. Plus I hear animal print is acceptable there. Anyway, I thought fine... you want to stare? And with that I upped my speed considerably. I'm not even going to tell you what I set it to but it was ridiculous and I had no business running that fast (especially since I am coming back from a workout layover). So I'm running fast,  and feeling good I don't even notice the woman has left... and I'm not feeling terrible. I didn't even feel...tired so I decided I would make it to 5 miles and call it quits, and at that point I felt I could have run 10 because all I had all day was coffee and tea... so I was highly caffeinated (I know...I'm replacing substances...already got the "junkie talk" multiple times from gym friend)...

So I had a quarter mile left to go and all of a sudden my speed drops, and it throws me off and I'm like "What just happened?" And the machine is cutting me's saying "COOL DOWN." And I'm like "No F-ing Way are you shutting me down when I have a quarter mile left..." so I'm pushing the speed up and it's forcing its way back down and I do this about four times while other club members are looking at me like I'm crazy...and then suddenly the machine just stops and says, "GOOD WORKOUT" So I am standing there fuming...pissed as all get out...and my friend says, "Are you done now?" and being the stubborn monster I am say, "like hell" and I hop over to the next treadmill...and start over. By the time I left the gym my slate gray t-shirt was charcoal. I felt good though..energized and I got a free crabcake! I know...eating at the gym..weird but it was there...and at least I wasn't the guy on the stationary recliner bike eating a chocolate Odwalla bar... I had to force myself NOT To take his picture...

As we're walking out towards the main lobby, my friend and I pass the clown and,...

Friend: There's nothing sadder than a clown."
Me: Yeah but haven't you heard...clown college is harder to get into than Harvard...that's saying something right?
Friend: Not really. I mean... think about it. If you (pointing at me) mess up at's okay. People will live. But if that clown fails at his/her job... then basically that means they fail at making people happy!
Me: Well... yeah... I guess... wow. When you put it like that... that's f-d up though... don't say that. you're really messing up my endorphine high... I just had a great workout and you're making me feel bad about clowns...
Friend: Seriously... think about it. That clown doesn't even LOOK funny....that's why I just get sad when I see clowns.
Me: Well what about pirates?
Friend: Pirates?
Me: (Pointing to pirate with the biggest head I've ever seen...)
Friend: Let's get out of here.
Me: Yeah....

So today, I went to breakfast, had 2 bloody mary's and some of the best crabcakes ever and then went shopping, and tried to ignore the serious pain in my hips... damn that pirate clown gym. I also have to state again that it's day 28, and I think the newness of quitting has worn out (especially with friends and family) but I promise you,... I still think about it. I listened to Fast Car (Tracy Chapman) on the way home so you know...that's really bad... and I'm moody and not even running five miles helps. But I'm going to hang in there...and I believe that by the end of this... (if there ever is an end)... somehow I'll make it out okay.... maybe even better than before...

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