I am perilously close to falling off the gym bandwagon. A few months ago, I wrote about my malaise at the gym. It didn’t pass like I imagined it would.
Going to the gym has never been one of my favorite activities. Basically I only attend the gym to keep from turning into a rounder, squishier version of myself. My goals are modest. Lately when I am at the gym, though, all I think is, “I am so fucking bored.”
Being bored at the gym just magnifies how much I dislike the activity. Walking through the doors, I am hit with the gym smell – which I hate.
It’s not even that my gym has a bad smell exactly. I mean, nobody would mistake it for a Victorian rose garden, but the place isn’t skanky. Still, I hate the smell of the cleaning products and the sweaty people inside.
Maybe that’s the issue. Maybe it’s the other people who drive me nuts. Can’t they join the rest of the United States and just give up on their health? I mean, we have our global reputation to consider. We aren’t going to stay the fattest nation in the world if people keep coming into my gym in order to sweat their ass off – literally. Doing that is downright unpatriotic. If we, as a nation, aren’t morbidly obese, clearly the terrorists have won.
Come on, Boston, look at the example being set by Houston. Now there is a patriotic city! Heck, all of Harris County is eating deep-fried cheesecake just to counteract Boston’s fanatical devotion to exercise and “sensible” living.
Of course, despite slimming down, most of the Boston gym folks still find a way to take up as much possible space in the locker room as they can. The men’s locker room in my gym has five (5) benches for a room that allegedly holds sixty people at a time. Yet, every time I go in there, some schmuck has managed to spread out all of his crap across one of the benches. He has his towel, his bag, his ipod, his sippy cup, his steroids, and an autographed picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger (with suspicious lip prints) strewn out so that nobody else can make use of it. Okay, maybe that’s not the actual contents of his bag – He uses a regular cup.
I know that I am just projecting my boredom at the gym on innocent bystanders (even if they are really annoying bystanders as well). Still, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for the gym.
To distract from the boredom, I have tried many different things. To occupy my mind, I focus on deciding important issues that aren’t related to the gym. For instance, today’s treadmill jaunt had me contemplating whether I could get away with incorporating catchphrases from either Wonder Woman (“Great Hera!”) or Samantha Stevens (“Oh My Stars!”) into my daily conversation. Even exploring such weighty issues hasn’t eased the tedium.
My ipod playlist has been reorganized and updated innumerable times. I have altered my cardio and even given into trying the elliptical machines. This didn’t bring the new thrills that I hoped.
Nothing is really helping. Not even pretending to have bionic legs and reenacting the intro to the Six Million Dollar Man keeps my attention on the treadmill.
Over the past few days, I have also been sorting through all the other reasons that people give for going to the gym. What about the endorphins? If you depend on endorphins to feel good, you need a better pharmacist.
How about adding years to your life? Screw that. How much time do I really need to spend on this planet? I mean, it’s not without its charm, but I am not certain that I am looking to take on extra shifts either. Isn’t there some deal where the children are our future? Aren’t they supposed to keep things running so that we can die early?
Part of the boredom probably results from the fact that I know that I have basically hit my plateau at the gym. Sure, I could push my body further, but that would require either a) changing my diet and/or b) increasing the amount of work that I actually do at the gym. Let me tell you now, neither of those things is going to happen. If it’s a choice between red wine and washboard abs, hand me the corkscrew. Conveniently, I can use it to open the wine and drill new holes into my belt as well.
It all seems so futile. I believe that it was the great philosopher Marilyn Monroe who noted, "We all lose our charms in the end." No matter how much one goes to the gym, we all age. Sure, we can keep the body in tune, but nothing changes the face. We've all see the guys with the fantastic bodies but an old head. I suppose, though, you don't look at the mantle when you are poking the fire.
Great Hera! About the only thing that barely keeps me going to the gym is the fear of being labeled “un-dateable.” Maybe I could just work on improving my personality instead.