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Rant #334
(published June 14, 2007)
Feel the Burn
by Sylvia J. Adams
I stood in line today behind a woman with a huge tattoo of a griffin that appeared to be defiling a long stemmed rose on her upper arm. Seriously, this thing took up the better part of her tricep. She had more tattoos but I could only stare at the one. It will never cease to amaze me how some people just do not seem to grasp the concept of "forever" the minute they set foot in a tattoo shop.

I joined a gym. It seems crazy. The last time I joined a gym I was 24. My sister and I joined together because we figured we would support each other in going. I remember this very large man, whose arms were so large they did not hang by his sides in any sort of easy manner, signed us up. He said "We open at 5 am. We close at 11 pm. If you can't find time to work out you just don't want to." I wanted to work out. I wanted to be toned. I worked out a schedule that was not too grueling but at the same time would show that I was serious. Turns out that I "just didn't want to" and I spent the next year having money I could have been spending on shoes debited out of my account for a membership I used exactly four times.

I'm not sure when my metabolism changed but it would seem that spending three weeks cutting out soda and fried food is not enough to make me lose weight anymore. I know for a fact if I spent the next three weeks all gacked up on coke I would lose a decent amount of weight but my job frowns on that sort of thing and since I've grown accustomed to stuff like living indoors, that's out. Obviously I was going to have to do something drastic. Like join a gym.

Understand that my whole reason for going is based on nothing but aesthetics. I could give a shit about health benefits. If I was even remotely concerned with my health I would not live like I do. I have a family tree absolutely riddled with cancer so I am all but convinced that's what's going to take me out prematurely. Why not enjoy myself while I am here? When I went and talked to the lady at the gym I mostly tuned her out when she listed health benefits. Then I heard her say something about sleep. I asked her to repeat it. She said that people who exercise tend to sleep better. I am so excited at the prospect of sleeping more than five hours a night without the aid of liquor and pills I am beside myself.

I'm not a gym person. Gym people tend to be either bubbly or focused. Generally I think bubbly people are mildly retarded and focused people scare the crap out of me. I think the trainer people are starting to get that about me. Yesterday one of them tells me "And you'll see how much energy you have! Like you're not going to want to go home and just plop down on the couch" I looked at her and said "Lady you don't know me at all. The very idea of plopping down on the couch is just about the only thing keeping me going." She stood there smiling at me and I found myself looking a little closer for a lobotomy scar. I know she was just trying to help but I am more looking for motivation like "Just think of all the cowboys in Vegas that are going to want to have sex with you." To each his own.

I have had to bribe myself to go. Every day I promise myself that if I go to the gym I can go buy a pack of cigarettes afterwards. Cigarettes may be a lot of things but the one thing they are not is fattening. I never do it though. The cigarettes are just the carrot on the stick. I have begun to think of the first part of my week as the Mormon days. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I exercise. Thankfully I am Catholic the rest of the week. We drink and smoke and do bad things. Then we say we're sorry on Sunday and get to start all over again. It's a trade off for all the guilt we feel.

Mostly I am surprised at how badly I hurt. My arms are not accustomed to lifting anything heavier than an 8 oz beverage. I woke up yesterday morning and all I could think was "Why? Why would someone break in and pummel me as I slept?"

My sister says I will really grow to enjoy it. I seriously doubt that. Of course both my sisters get very excited when I do anything that in any way mimics their extracurricular activities. They think it is an indicator that finally, after all these years, I've come around and the next thing you know I will be in a long term committed relationship and spending my free time checking out the school systems in my area while wearing a smart sweater set I picked up at Anne Taylor. The sad part of that is that, unlike the gym lady, they do actually know me and they know that my only reason behind joining a gym would be so I looked better on top of some Vegas cowboy during a reverse cowgirl. They just prefer not to admit to it . It's okay though. I have fantasies that one of these days they will just accept me for who I am. Either that or my mom will finally break down and admit that I am adopted.

At this particular moment I am wondering how I am going to lift something as heavy as my toothbrush, never mind a full drink. Thank god my bar has really long straws.

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