Are You Using This?

lift-weightsI’ve discussed before how I’m not the most social at the gym. But there are some questions that don’t bother me that much.

“Are you using this?” is typically not one of them. It’s a reasonable, polite question that can avoid some serious confrontations.

It’s just, when I get asked by the same people several times if I’m using some weights that I’m clearly using, I start to lose my patience.

And that’s what happened the other day. I didn’t technically lose my patience, but I sure came close.

A small group of dudes who were clearly total bros who loved to come to the weight room and pretend their working out when really they’re holding weights in strange positions and gossiping like Sex and the City ladies.

Yet because of their proximity to me, they seemed to think if I wasn’t actually touching a weight at that moment that it was easier just to ask me if I was using it than to go look for and find a similar (or, dare I say, heavier?) weight themselves.

The first time it happened, whatever. The second time, I was confused. But the third? I thought they must have been messing with me. But they weren’t They were just too lazy to walk to the weight rack themselves and too self-absorbed to realize they were asking the same person.

Doofuses. Doofusi? Doofi? Doofi.

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(PYT) Member Appreciation Day

bikiniDisclaimer: I don’t know this chick. I just googled “PYT” and she had abs so I figured good enough.

The other day, my gym had “Member Appreciation Day.” I had seen the signs up for it but didn’t think much of it. I like to be left alone at the gym. And when I’m running errands. And when I’m at coffee shops. I’m mostly a hermit who can sometimes trick people into believing she’s social.

I only noticed because a trainer came up to me after I did a set. He asked me if I liked the exercise I was doing, because he had a variation for the same muscle group that was even more challenging. He called my exercise “skull crushers” (which made me feel pretty badass) and showed me another tricep exercise using my bodyweight and gravity. I was my usual quiet gym self, barely mumbling a thank you as I reluctantly did what he showed me. I shyly looked off and said thank you so he would go away. He smiled and found another gym member who was working on squats. He then worked with her for quite some time on different exercises. I even saw him helping her stretch a while later. Before I left, he was working with yet another gym member and showing her some exercises.

I thought it was odd someone was wandering around giving tips and pointers, but then saw a sign for “Member Appreciation Day” and put two and two together. Then, I realized that the man was only hovering and helping young, female members of the gym. He had a very specific way of showing his “appreciation.”

I can’t prove that he was biased. But I do know that the other two women he was working with seemed a lot friendlier than I was, and he was with them for a whole lot longer than he was with me. And that there were a ton of men everywhere… who seemed to need no help at all.

I appreciate the appreciation… but I’m onto you, buddy. I’m onto your little games.

And also if I had known you were hitting on me, I would have been so much friendlier! Next time just make it more obvious!

Back to Running… Reasonably

homerI’ve talked a lot about running and lifting on this blog. If you don’t feel like getting totally caught up, here’s the story in a nutshell: I used to run a lot. Then I hurt myself. Now I lift a lot.

There. You’re basically caught up on two year’s worth of posts.

There is a part of me that misses running regularly. It won’t ever become my go-to exercise since I think I’m much more suited for the lifting lifestyle (and a much bigger fan of the results). But I find running to be extremely honest. If you run regularly, you will get better at it. If you haven’t run in a long time, you cannot fake being good at it. It will hurt. And you have to push yourself through the pain (but not too hard… otherwise you’ll end up with problems like me) over and over again until you get back in shape. And it’s humbling. And I like to be humbled.

But this year, I’m prepared. I’m of course going to continue my regularly scheduled gym routine (because I find it the most efficient and effective for me), but I’m also going to add back in little bits of running. Even if it’s just a mile here, a set of interval sprints there, ten minutes on the treadmill…whatever. And I’m prepared because I got a specialty running sock that supposedly helps when you’ve got a messed up club foot like I do.

It’s not a traditional club foot. I call it a club foot because it hurts like I’ve been standing in heels in da club for hours after ten minutes of running.

Anyhoo, I’m excited about it. And because I’m all about being reasonable this year, I think it’s a reasonable compromise between my present lifting self and my past runner.

New Years Prep

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black backgroundIt’s coming. Just a few short weeks away. It’s coming.

And if you’re anything like me, you not only plan your New Year’s Resolutions weeks in advance, but you constantly recommit to goals throughout the year. The holidays are alright but New Years is when the type A planners like myself who love goals and productivity really feel like giddy little kids.

As excited as I am, I’m already anxious. I’m anxious at the number of people who will be at the gym again. I’m anxious about how many people will be setting themselves up for unachievable goals without action plans associated with them and how I will have to see them slowly get frustrated as the months wear on. I’m anxious I’m going to overshoot my own goals and be thrown off when life has obvious other plans for me.

But I know that the anxiety means I need to be realistic about what I want to accomplish and how to achieve it. And it means I need to make sure I keep up my meditation so I can keep my wandering mind in check. So if you haven’t yet thought about New Years, start thinking about it. Because it’s never too early to plan and it’s never to late to start!

I just made that up. Just now. I kinda like it. I’ll probably hate it by the time I actually publish this post because I ‘ll realize how silly it sounds, but whatever. I like it for now so I’m keepin’ it.

What a Pain in the Back

back pain

I hurted my self a little.

Mom, be cool. I’m fine. No need to call me and suggest I go to the doctor right now. This post was written about a week after I hurt myself and will be published about a week from the day it was written. By the time you read it, I’ll be absolutely back to 100%. Also I love you and please send money.

I woke up one morning with a severe pain in my lower back. I couldn’t figure out what I did. I have a pretty strong back and am careful about doing certain back exercises because plenty of people in my family have hurt their back through work injuries or dumbass crossfit instructors.

But this was a definite pain in my lower back that wasn’t like a pinched nerve or a tight muscle (which I’m unfortunately extremely accustomed to). This was like that dull, debilitating, feels like it’s coming from your spine pain. Yeah. It sucked.

I had to slowly get up and down from my bed and chairs for about a week. I hobbled around like an old man because the only position that felt comfortable was slightly hunched and walking slowly. I yelled at kids to “Get off my lawn!” even though I live in an apartment complex. I avoided back exercises and stretched as best I could I did whatever it took to felt better.

As I was trying to figure out what did it and a particular move came to mind. The day before I woke up in pain I had been doing dumbell deadlifts. I had used a higher weight than normal. It had been a while since I did a deadlift. I got cocky and paid very little attention to my form because I never had issues with them in the past. I made sure to really use my back and rely less on my hamstrings and arms to make up for it.

Basically… I over did it.

It took about a week to recover. I’m slowly starting to get back on track (BACK! HA! GET IT!? BACK on TRACK!? BAHAHAHAH… sorry). By next week I’ll probably start to reintroduce some back exercises to help strengthen it again so this doesn’t happen. And I’ll introduce them slowly. And carefully.

It’s like that old saying goes, “Once you go bad back, you don’t ever go back.”

Cologne Incapacitation

I’ve said it before. I will say it again.5170609728_24be6c86ba_z

I know a body like the guy in this cologne ad requires a lot of time at the gym. I get it. And I thank you for your service to society by creating such sexiness.

But my god- I cannot breathe when you spray heaps of cologne on your body then begin to sweat it off at the gym. It becomes more potent than it already is without sweating. It is awful. I need to gasp for air.

Please. Please. Please, fellas. If you feel the need to be attractive at the gym, do so with an extra tight shirt or fitted spinning pants. Please… spare us with the cologne.

This is my last nice warning. The next time I write about this, shit will get real.

Thank you.

Gymversations

Shut up.talking-cell-phone-bench-press-set

Sorry. Not you.

Unless you were  the asshole on his phone the entire time he was lifting last week. If that’s the case, SHUT UP.

Allow me to explain my rudeness (which is brought about by your rudeness).

I get it. I do. You’re super busy and important. You have many leather-bound books and your apartment smells of rich mahogany. And you quote movies to make people laugh because you probably don’t have a lot of original jokes of your own. I get it. And I get you.

But I don’t want to hear you. I’ve got my headphones in. Do you see? Of course you don’t. You’re not looking at me. You’re staring at yourself talking on the phone in the mirror and you’re enjoying what you see. Meanwhile, the rest of us are wondering if you’re going to be giving up that coveted flat bench anytime soon so we can actually use it.

But you don’t care. You’ve gotta talk to your buddy about that chick you got digits from last night. You haven’t called yet. You’re playing it cool. Playing the game. As a woman myself I’ll be surprised if those digits were actually real. But maybe you knew that. Maybe you called immediately when you got home to tell her goodnight and realized they weren’t real. And your feelings were hurt. And you cuddled up with your blankie and watched The New Girl to feel better. But you don’t want your bro to know that. So you’re gonna pretend like you didn’t call. And that you’re totally the man. And that you’re amazing.

I hear you.

No. I mean I physically hear you.

And you’re annoying. And you’re saying nothing of import. And this conversation can wait. So get off the phone and get back to that bench press. Or I, the only chick in this weight room, will throw you off of it. And that’ll be embarrassing for you. And your bro on the phone. And no amount of New Girl will be able to laugh it away.

So hang up, shut up, and please get back to lifting.

I thank you.

Get Your Reps In

female2In many ways, I approach my career athletically. I grew up playing lots of different sports and learned the value in practicing daily for incremental improvements in order to become overall better during game time. I understand that every chance you get to practice even the smallest of moves, you improve your overall performance in the game. I also understand that it’s helpful to take notes of specific games and how you did in them to analyze and see what you do well and what needs improvement.

And I apply a lot of that to my career. Daily. I treat performances as game time. I do the best I can given whatever surroundings conditions I’m playing in and analyze how I did afterwards. I know it’s not the same because in the entrainment world- especially in comedy- so much is arbitrary. But you can find ways to evaluate yourself. And you can understand how different moves help overall performance.

For instance, I consider doing stand up open mics the same as doing cardio at the gym. It’s necessary and can make a big difference in your overall physique. But doing hours and hours of it doesn’t always give you the best outcome for your time investment. You’ll improve, of course, but it’ll be incremental. And I consider writing like lifting weights. The more time I spend writing- whether it’s these blog posts, screenplays, short films, sketches, stand up jokes- the better I become as a comedic brain. In the best case scenario, in a good workout, you can get in both your weight lifting and your cardio sessions. But if you only choose one, you can just choose based on the immediate goals ahead.

Lately, for me, I’ve been lifting more weights and doing more writing. As a result, I’ve sculpted my body more effectively and created a ton more opportunities for performances that feature my strengths and sensibilities I wouldn’t otherwise have. And I’ve been happy with the results on both ends.

But I’m of course itching to find time to get that cardio back in my routine. I like to get those reps in on the mics to stay fresh and connected to the community. Even just one mic a week (or a couple cardio per week) and I can keep from getting too rusty.

So gotta keep the performance and practice routines balanced. Otherwise you get fat and not funny. And that’s just an odd combination.

I don’t mean it. I just needed a way to quickly end this post because things were getting too real. 

Prince Charming

prince charmingIncredible news, everyone.

For those of you who have ever followed this blog in any capacity, you know that I make up relationships in my head with men I see regularly at the gym. (Click here and here and here for some samples.)

For those of you who have never read this blog before, I’ll clarify. Yes, I’m a friggin weirdo.

Anyway, I have big news. I saw the most perfect human being you could ever see. And he was at the gym. And he was beautiful.

He wore all black. He looked like a male model. And this is LA, so he probably is a male model. If I were a creepy old man with a “modeling” business and business card, I totally would have approached him to model for me.

Who am I kidding. If I had my business cards on me, I would have approached him to model for me anyway.

Of course I didn’t talk to him. That’s not how these things go. Instead, I stared silently from a distance.

I actually lucked out. He chose a spot in the gym that was near where one of the stretching mats is. I stretched for much, much longer than I normally do because I could steal looks at him.

He was beautiful. I know if I see him again it’ll totally be meant to be and true love and we’ll ride off to a magical castle together and live happily ever after forever and ever.

 

 

Make-a-the-sexy

russianI was at the gym the other day focusing on my legs. Some people call it “leg day.” Most people who use talk like that, though I can only stand for short periods of time so I refuse to call it leg day.

So I was at the gym for leg day, and these two older women came up to use the leg machines near me. They were tentative about using the machines, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. I was half-way through leg day. And dude, brah, listen, leg day is like real tough, ya know?

At one point, I was isolating my hams… hold on, let me take a giant chug of this Muscle Milk before I continue my story. Anyway, I was on a machine to work my hamstrings and the two women seemed to both be quietly looking at me. I was rockin’ out so hard to some serious heavy metal- you know, gettin’ in my zone, tryna get that PUMP- I didn’t notice at first. Finally, I took out my headphones to see if they had a question or whatever.

The one next to me asked me how to use the machine. I adjusted it for her, told her how to use it and we experimented on how much weight to use. If it were me, like, you know, obvs I go HARD, but I that’s cuz I’m like a beast, brah.

I showed her how to use a few machines around us including the one I was on. She looked at me as I was showing her and said, “Oh, you make-a-the-sexy” and pointed to my rear-end.

I was like chyeaaaahhhh, took a swig of whey protein isolate, and got right back to leg day.

Chyeaaaah brah. Makin’ the sexy.

And now I hate myself.