Select Page

Dear #PrisonMuscles,

FatChairHey Boo! I thought that maybe I was getting over my little crush on you but then I saw you help that little old lady who fell off the treadmill. That was very nice of you to rush to her aid. Seeing you play the hero kind of did something to me.

I don’t even know how she fell, honestly. She was only walking 1.5 mile per hour. Sure, she was dressed for some sort of mega workout– pigtails, headband and neon-colored leotard– but she never broke a sweat.

In fact, I’ve noticed a lot of the members at our gym dress like they’re embarking on a sweaty, strenuous workout but then all I see them doing is chewing gum while they pump out five easy reps on the chest press before they read the Times while taking a casual, meandering stroll on the treadmill.

Flashdance-flashdance-4581773-550-363 To each their own, I suppose, but I’m not happy unless I leave the gym drenched with sweat. I’m a little embarrassed, though, that you happened to walk by the group fitness studio while I was taking an especially grueling ultimate conditioning class. Sweat was literally dripping from my face and the neck of my soaked deep v-neck shirt kept sliding down over my shoulder, like I was in Flashdance or some shit. I kept trying to readjust my shirt while I was planking but to no avail.

Speaking of planks, up until I joined the gym, the only planks I ever knew about was the ones pirates used and those delicious fish planks from Long John Silvers. I miss fast food but I’m pretty happy with my new diet: lots of fruits, salads, and lean meats. It’s not always easy– whenever Matthew, my trainer, mentions hamstrings, I want to devour a Honey Baked Ham–but the diet, combined with the daily workouts, is already producing results. The waists on my pants are less snug and there are little speed bumps forming on my arms. Apparently, according to Matthew, these are called biceps.

photo 1I’m trying familiarize myself with the names of various muscle but it’s taking some time. This week I learned that ‘traps’ isn’t abbrevies for trapezoid and it’s not just a style of music especially popular in the South. And did you know my glutes have nothing to do with gluten? I’m also trying to remember the names of the nautilus machines but it’s easier for me to just give them nicknames like “The Tornado,” “The Heavy Twirly Thingy,” and “The One Hurts Like a Motherfucker.”

As I get older, the more I like routine and familiarity. Change makes me hesitate. Trying new things makes me uncomfortable. The gym is a new world to me and admittedly, I didn’t think I would like it. I thought I’d peter out after a couple weeks. But yet, here I am, going every day, proud of my progress and actually looking forward to sweating and pushing through a strenuous workout. And it helps knowing that if it’s all too much for me, and if I fall off the tread mill, you might be there to catch me in those big ole arms of yours.