Before I got married, my last name was a certain word synonymous with perspiration (which is why, despite my feminist tendencies, I wasn’t so keen on keeping it). I’ve been living up to that name this week in more ways than one.
Last night, at 9 pm, the heat index was still in the HIGH 90s. Just walking outside from the car into a building is enough to work up a good sweat. My poor air conditioner has been chugging away non-stop all week in a valiant effort to keep the interior of our house a frosty 80 degrees. It probably doesn’t help that we have furniture covering almost all the vents, to which I ask, why, God, why, are all our vents also in the most logical places to put furniture? Our couch has now been pulled 6 inches out from the wall to expose the vent. It looks kind of silly, but damn if it isn’t cooler in here.
In addition to this heat wave, this week my husband signed me up for a membership at the gym at his work and has invited me to come work out with him. Something to know about me: I’m basically allergic to physical activity. As a kid, I spent one season on a softball team and spent the entirety of it making daisy chains in the outfield. My parents signed me up for tennis lessons, where it was discovered that I had a knack for hitting myself in the head when I tossed the ball to serve. I routinely flunked the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, but even this socialist would like to know why it’s any of the president’s business how many sit-ups I can do, anyway. Pretty much the only exercise I’ve ever loved was yoga, but classes haven’t started up at our gym yet.
And still, I know I need to get some exercise. I don’t need to lose weight, but I do need to get some cardiovascular activity in for the sake of my heart. I’m skinny but I’m not in shape. And the gym is chock full of the one and only exercise machine I’m willing to touch: the elliptical. I’m not sure what it is about the elliptical that makes it the least repellent form of exercise to me, but I don’t abjectly hate it, which is a big deal. It feels like walking on the moon. I can moonwalk for 30 minutes 3 times a week, right?
Well, huffing and puffing, I moonwalked for 30 minutes on Monday. I’d like to attribute some of that huffing and puffing to the fact that I made the mistake of hopping on a machine in front of a TV playing Fox News. Yesterday, my legs felt like jelly, so I didn’t go to the gym. Today, my sports-loving man messaged me that he was off work early, and did I want to meet him in the gym?
Something else to know about me: I’m great at guilt tripping myself. I think maybe my mother just did such a good job of it that now I just do it on autopilot. I know Jon isn’t thinking this, but I project my own guilt onto him: “What a lazyass, home in your pjs at noon on a weekday! You never work out! You should go to the gym!” I put on my workout clothes and hopped into the car and headed to the gym. Jon had already done 20 minutes of weights when we met up at the cardio machines, him on a bike and me on the elliptical. About 15 minutes in, huffing and puffing harder than before, I told him I wasn’t sure I’d make it 30 minutes.
Something to know about Jon: he’s the most encouraging person ever, and he knows how I operate. Occasionally he tries to teach me tennis, and he’s learned that I just do not respond to negative feedback. I need a LOT of cheerleading. As he pedaled away on his bike set to some insane incline, he assured me that I could definitely survive 20 minutes on that machine. Then my stubbornness kicked in, and I became determined to keep moving until the time ticked down.
Now, an hour later, I think I might have finally stopped sweating. For a minute there I thought I might puke. Yep, 20 minutes on an elliptical machine and I’m sweating like a pig and thinking I might puke. THIS is why I need to work out.
Now I just have to decide if it’s even worth it to bother showering when it’s a million degrees outside and I’ll just be sweaty again in 10 minutes.
Are you a gym nut? Do you love to work out? Or are you like me, and frankly hate it? How do you make yourself exercise? What’s your favorite machine?