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Stuck at the Gym

I was tricked. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled.

It was the old bait and switch and I fell for it like the naive softy that I am.

One of my besties needed support and backup and accountability because she had decided that now was the time she was finally ready to go to war, mano y mano, with her weight loss goals. She was about to enter the arena and she needed me.

Of course I had her back.

So I joined her gym.

Because she said it was the only place she could do it.

And another girlfriend who worked there got me a discount so I wouldn’t have guilt over spending the diaper money on it.

I would never have considered becoming a gym rat.

I had five kids and still felt reasonably fit. I could chase them down, wrestle them into pajamas and sit on them till they fell asleep. I was burning thousands of calories per hour just nursing the baby. I was bench pressing 35 pound toddlers and doing high hurdles over baby gates.

I didn’t have any weight loss goals.

Which frustrated the muscle-bound personal trainer who signed me up for the membership.

A lot.

“What would you like to accomplish here?” he asked, pen poised to write down my future progress. “How many pounds or inches do you want to lose? How many miles do you want to be able to run?”

“Look Mr Incredible,” I replied, “I’m here for my friend. She needs a workout buddy. When I get bored, I’ll leave.”

I thought maybe his pained look had more to do with his stretchy pants than any personal concern over me. I handed him a towel for his sweating brow.

“Research shows that people are more likely to keep coming when they have a goal to meet,” he insisted.

“Well then,” said I, “so long as you keep us entertained, we’ll keep coming.”

This was about 13 years ago.

My bestie met up with me twice.

But I kept getting sidetracked into trying new classes and machines and TV channels.

I’m stuck.

I would call myself “accidentally fit”.

And it’s all her fault.

And as I’ve gone around this block for a while, I would like to give a shout out to the excited newbies who show up en masse to the gym every January.

Thank you for entertaining me.

The pair of ladies sauntering on treadmills, discussing private business in loud voices should please just go around the corner for coffee. We can all hear you right through our earbuds. And yeah, we reckon Tony should marry her, too.

The cute little thing who showed up in full makeup and nice hair had better not look like that when she leaves. She had better look like she was hit with a tsunami during a heat wave. This is not a singles bar.

And the guy with the tight shorts and the three-day stubble who keeps dropping his 500 pound barbells on the floor like thunder and then standing there waiting for applause…no. You’ve obviously reached your weight loss goal. You can go home now.

The people who get my applause are the ones keeping it real.

The new moms, the elderly, the overweight and the physically recovering. You guys are the gym gladiators. You’ve decided to own the body you’re in and make it stronger.

You showed up.

Keep it coming. You can do it.

You have my respect.

And I’m rooting for you.

Published inLiving Larger


  1. pamela schlottman

    was able to leave a comment this time. Love your article. I could really identify with it. Great writing. thanks

  2. Rebekah

    Good on ya! you would be proud of me…doing yoga with Skyler who is skipping school for fun! unfortunately she ditched me to do crafts…so it’s just me, her Sound of Music cd (ever tried planking to the “the Lonely Goatherd” with ladio-ladios cackling in the background?). My brain loves to let go and let my physical self take over for a bit…

  3. Sarah

    I have never been a gym person myself but if going there can make me look like you….where do I sign

  4. Kiki

    I’ve just started on my treadmill. Long term goal in mind. Thankfully mine is at home. Not sure I could force myself to head to a gym and be consist. I’m afraid I would be a dropout. Thanks for keeping it real. 🙂

  5. Ruthie

    You made me smile this morning. My hubby of 47 years and I will be shuffling off to the rec center this morning to do our thing – move these old bodies to relieve some of the aches and pains. He will hope his foot doesn’t hurt; I will revel in temporary diminishing of the effects of gravity on my old joints as I frolic in the pool. Thanks to you I will look for the January newbies – and smile…

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