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.

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Poor Form

I learned I have bad form.hook

I went to do squats and a girl took the only other squat rack right next to me. I thought to myself, “Game on” because I’m overly competitive and turn everything into a challenge.

We both put the same amount of weights on the bar. Then we both went to it.

And I got my ass handed to me.

This girl had the same weight on the bar as me, sure, but she went twice as deep into the squat as I did. And when I barely made it through my three sets of 10, she was just starting to add weight to do more sets.

She owned me. In a competition I made up. She wasn’t even paying any attention to me. She was too busy being beast.

Double owned.

So I did what I always do when someone hands me my ass… I decided to get better. I promised myself from now on, I’m gonna have better form for my squats. I’m gonna go deep into that squat.  Even if it means I have to go down in weight. Even if it means I can’t do as many reps. Even if it means my legs shake and burn. I’m doing it. Then, when I meet again my squat rival, we can go toe for toe.

Or in this case, butt for butt. Like J.Lo and Iggy.

Back to School Schedule

school busI had to make a change to my schedule. I was pushing myself too hard. It was unsustainable. I was trying to get up at 6 am to get to the gym every morning before working for a while before going to my day job then spending late into the evening working on comedy. I was barely sleeping and usually sleeping through the gym. It didn’t work. Couldn’t keep it up.

So I’m trying something new. I’m letting myself sleep a little later to accommodate for my constant, inevitable late nights. Then I write in the morning before heading off to work, much earlier than I was before. Then I can leave earlier than I did before. And can go to the gym during that sweet spot after lunch rush but before “regular” people are out of their jobs. Right around the time when school gets out.

Maybe it’s not “ideal” to not workout first thing in the morning, but it’s more ideal to at least get to the gym and get a workout in than to regularly have to choose between sleeping a reasonable amount and working out. It’s counter-intuitive to miss either of these. So I had to make a change. And that’s what I decided upon. At least for now.

Plus, I’m done with the gym in time to clean up and still get out to the second half of my day- meetings, writing, rehearsals, shows, etc.

I already feel more well-rested, calmer, and more productive. And I’m making some inroads on getting in better shape. Because I can go consistently. And that feels good.

Plus, whenever I go, I get more stories for this blog. So really, it’s a win/win for all of us.

Hollywood Pretty

It’s no big secret that I belong to LA Fitness. I typically go to one main gym nearest to me. But I like having the convenience and ability to go different locations in the city depending on my day’s schedule.

Last Tuesday, I had some time to sneak into the LA Fitness right in the heart of Hollywood. It’s literally located on Hollywood Boulevard feet away from The Chinese Theater and tons of other Hollywood landmarks.

And it is filled to the brim with actors and pretty people.

Everyone around me was beautiful. They’re in excellent shape, perfectly proportioned people with amazing skin, hair and teeth who love to watch themselves workout in the mirror. So they were clearly actors.

When I went to the cardio section, half the treadmills were filled with magazines and the other half were filled with highlighted scripts for people memorizing lines.

I even recognized some people I’d seen on TV and other’s I’d worked with around the city. So. Many. Actors.

But these are my people. I’m an actor at heart too (despite the thousand other things I also love doing). So I workout because I’m trying to look good. Sure, it feels nice to be in shape and it’s important to me that I stay healthy… but I really want and need to look good to help catapult my career. And having tons of beautiful, in-shape people kicking their butts around you is excellent motivation.

Plus! The Juice Bar even comes equipped with the ability to give you your own eating disorder! I got a post-workout shake that gave me food poisoning later that night! I totally puked up everything I ate the whole day, which inched me a little closer to my goal weight! Thanks, LA Fitness Hollywood Juice Bar! Now I know how easy it would be to be bulimic (just in case eating right and exercising regularly aren’t good enough)!

Gym Boyfriend

You guys. I totally have a boyfriend. A real one.

At least… he’s totally real. The boyfriend part might be a stretch. At least in his mind. Since he doesn’t really know I exist.

Let me explain.

I’ve been trying to go to the gym at about the same time every day in an effort to create a better routine for myself. I started going around the same time every morning. I did this before my favorite gym closed. While I was over there, I noticed a guy who was getting personal training around this time of day. I mostly noticed him because he boxes and does intense exercises with his trainer in the same room where I’m trying to stretch, relax, and act like I’m bettering myself. He made me feel bad for working so hard, so I didn’t like him. But isn’t that how every great romantic comedy starts?

I probably saw him twice before my gym closed down and I had to start going at the same time  to another nearby gym.

And you guys… He’s made the move to this gym, too.

I was so excited to see a familiar face from my old gym that I think I may have started thinking we were closer than we are. Because now while I’m doing my stretches in the other gym’s multi-purpose room and he’s working really hard with his trainer, I feel like we’re bonding. Like it’s a date or something.

He’s like super strong and sweaty. I like a man who works hard. He doesn’t look up much from his workout because he’s so focused. But I like a man who can focus. He usually wears the same outfit or variations on it. I like a man who keeps his style simple.

I even told my girlfriends about him. I told them that we meet at the same time every morning for our gym dates. So far it’s Monday through Thursday. I’m not sure about Fridays. I’ve missed our last few dates. Shame on me, I know. I’m sure he has been like totally heartbroken.

One day, I walked to the women’s locker room and accidentally caught him as he was walking out of the men’s locker room right across the hall. I smiled and blushed. I didn’t want him to think I was following him! But I couldn’t miss out on my opportunity for contact! He made eye contact with me then looked away. I marked the date on my calendar because I know he’ll appreciate me keeping track of stuff we need to celebrate like that. You know, once we’re married and everything.

I saw his trainer last Saturday when I was at the gym. I think his trainer may actually be starting to recognize me. Which is embarrassing… though I’m not quite sure why. But it is. He was not training my gym boyfriend that day. He was training some other lady. We made eye contact, but I quickly looked away. I didn’t want him telling my gym boyfriend that I’ll just make eye contact with anyone! I’m totally taken, dude. Back off.

I highly suggest everyone get a gym significant other. It’s great motivation to get yourself to the gym. Then you, too, can be as happy as I clearly am in my delusion.

The Gun Show

Got your tickets?

I do comedy. It’s kinda my thing. I do it as much as I can. I’m constantly writing and performing and working on my craft.

I went to this one open mic yesterday that I love. It’s a really sweet environment and it’s GIRLZ ONLY.

I wore a nice sleeveless top because it’s laundry time so my pickings are slim.

And I’ll be honest, in that lighting, my arms looked fabulous.

I had just worked out my chest and arms that morning, so I felt even more confident. I went up to 20lbs from 15 lbs. I couldn’t get as many reps, but I did wear myself out which was nice.

I do this in part because I get onstages a lot and like when my fabulocity is noticed.

And believe you me, last night it was noticed.

Also because I pointed it out to everyone listening. So…

8 espressos 10.7.13

Feisty

My very brave friend Shannon had me train her this morning at the gym.

I say she’s brave not because I’m an intense trainer (though that is true… I don’t like lazy and won’t let you do it). She’s mostly brave because it was 6:30 am and I had not had breakfast. And it was not my gym so I didn’t know where anything was. So I was a bit…ahem…cranky.

She was a good sport about it. She knows me well enough to read between my cranky words to get behind what I’m saying.

At one point, we had a little interaction with another woman in the free weights section. She wanted a weight I was using. The thing is… I was using it. She tried to argue this point with me. But the problem was…see…I was using it. And basic weight room etiquette is first come, first serve. You just wait until the person using your weights is done with all their sets before you use it. Especially if they’re mid-set. Using the weight in question. Like I was. Did I make that point clear?

She got a little snarky with me, so I gave her attitude back. Because, see, I was using the weight at the time so, no, I didn’t want to give it to her.

Luckily for her, I saw the actual weight I wanted to use had been returned to the rack (5 lbs heavier than what I was using, by the way…), so I said she could have mine and went to get the heavier. She said she only needed one. I told her I didn’t care how many she needed, I wasn’t using them anymore so just take whatever…I don’t care.

Shannon, seeing this interaction, let me know I’m getting a little “feisty” with her.  I’m aware that I’m not the most chipper person 1) At the gym 2) Without breakfast and 3) In the morning (let alone the lethal combination of the three). But there is a standard weight room etiquette. Some things are more forgivable than others. Asking someone to use your weight while you’re using it is just about the biggest faux pas you can make.

About five minutes later, I’m looking over at the girl who wanted the weight and she was doing her “exercises” with the worst form I’ve ever seen. Now, again, I recognize I’m a snob for form. I was lucky enough to be coached on a lot of exercises through sports and weight training in high school and been practicing on and off for years. I’ve studied enough to know that I’d rather do three reps with perfect form than 30 with shitty form because I know those three reps do more than anything else. Anyone who’s done one pilates session knows that focusing on form is the single most effective choice you can make in a workout.  Everything else will fall into place if you’re actually doing the exercise right.

Apparently, I made my disgust well known. Shannon claims I mumbled “She has the worst f***ing form I’ve ever seen. I don’t even know why the f*** she’s wasting her time right now or why the f*** she even need that weight, she’s doing herself absolutely no good and just taking up f***ing space in the weightroom where someone who knows what the f*** they’re doing could be…” or something like that. Maybe even more colorful.  For the record- I don’t remember saying it. But also for the record, it’s definitely what I was thinking so it wouldn’t surprise me that in my delirious and angry morning state I had no filter on.

Shannon reminded me again to “Calm down there feisty. Not everyone has as much training as you.” And she was right. But people can have common sense. If you look like a total idiot, you’re probably not doing yourself any good (see my previous post that tells you how I feel about the elliptical machine where you really look like an idiot). You’re likely doing more harm than good.

So do everyone a favor and before you get into the weight room with the big dogs and do your research. Look up some weight room etiquette. Bring a friend with you (like Shannon did) who knows their way around a weight room until you feel comfortable enough to be in there by yourself. And for the love of god, look up how the eff to do the exercises you’re attempting.

Otherwise, you’re going to hurt yourself. Or I’m going to hurt your feelings by cursing at you. Either way, you lose.

And- for the love of John, Paul, George, and Ringo- do not ask someone for their weight while they’re effing using it.

That is all. For now.

The Dinkiest Gym in All The Land

My gym is terrible.

It’s dark and smelly.

At any given time, at least half of the cardio machines have an “Out of Order” sign on them. At least half of the supposedly “working” machines do not function properly.

The pool is filled with old people, fat people, or some combination thereof.

The sauna stopped working.

The weight room is gross. I’ve seen the same water bottle sitting in the corner for a week, giving me little faith it gets cleaned on a regular basis.

The mats for stretching are from 1912 and barely hanging on by a thread.

In the locker room, half of the lockers are bent out of shape so they don’t open properly. Some of them are cut so you can’t put your lock in them. Others are sticky inside.

In the shower rooms, most of them don’t have a curtain for privacy. And the hot water only works on some of the showers. And one time, I showered right after they cleaned it with industrial cleaner and I got a sinus infection for a week from the strong fumes.

It doesn’t have air conditioning. At least it doesn’t feel like it.

You have to pay 50 cents for parking every time you leave.

Supposedly, it was going to start construction three months ago. Some people walked around. Nothing has been started and nobody has been warned.

And yet I love it.

I am totally anonymous there. I don’t have to impress anyone. Nobody pays attention to anyone else. Everyone has the same crappy expectations. Everyone is just in there to do some work on themselves and get the hell out. I know where everything is. I recognize people who work and workout at the same times I’m there. I’m comfortable. I trust it.

What the hell is that all about?

Guilt As Motivation

I saw a guy yesterday at my gym who clearly had problems walking.

I saw a blind man walk down from the top of the stairs in the weight room all the way to the locker room slowly following the railing and his own instinct.

I see really old people who barely shuffle along plop down on a treadmill and get their sweat on.

I read stories of people who went from being almost unable to walk to running marathons through slow but sure dedication to exercise.

I’ve lost close friends of mine way too young. These friends loved to race and workout.

I see, read, and think about stuff on a weekly basis and it motivates me to get off my butt and get to the gym.

If the guy who has problems walking can get on the Stairmaster, I can get over my little sore foot and get a good run in.

If the blind guy can get a ride to the gym, find his way in an out of the locker room, get up and down three flights of stairs to presumably lift weights for a while, I can finish that last set of pull ups I wasn’t looking forward to.

If an old person get take their fragile body on a treadmill and make a concerted effort to continue to push it to better themselves,  I get take my young, healthy body on a treadmill for a mere 30 minute jog.

If a man who had scar tissue throughout his body and was almost in a wheelchair at age 40 can slowly reengineer his body through a whole lot of yoga and even more patience and perseverance to be able to run again without pain, I can get off my lazy ass and get some time in at the gym.

If some of my wonderful buddies were still around, they would give anything to go for a run in the fresh air and feel their lungs burn while their muscles tire out. It’s such a meditative, familiar feeling that you get addicted to once you’ve experienced it enough. Sometimes, when I’m really not motivated or need an extra push to get through a rough running patch, I’ll picture my friend running with me, giving me that extra inspiration to keep going strong.

Maybe it’s weird. Or maybe it’s the midwestern in me that constantly feels guilt. But I use it as a reason to get off my butt and be the best me I can possibly be.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get my workout in.