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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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.

Coach Potato

fitness21No. I didn’t misspell couch. I meant coach.

I’ve been considering getting a fitness coach for a little while. Not a personal trainer (momma can’t afford that right now…) but a fitness coach. There’s this lady online named Rachel Nicole. She’s picture here. She’s in badass shape. And her prices are reasonable.

I even emailed her. I wanna buy the 3 month package. She gives you the whole nutrition and the fitness plan and check in with you weekly about your goals. And you get access to her via text if you need it or have specific questions.

I think that sounds perfect for me.

I’ve just been holding off. I was going to buy it several months ago, but instead I spent money on (more) improv classes. I have no regrets about that choice (even though they’re not yet paid off…), but I’d like to refocus sometime soon on getting in badass shape like this chick. If I had spent my money on this, I would have spent like 1/3 of what I spent on my improv classes. If that gives you any perspective about how expensive friggin classes are out here in LA.

I haven’t committed to it yet. I’m letting myself recover financially from some other choices and trying to get some money coming in from some of the (many) investments I’ve made over the past year.

But hopefully soon I can get up off my butt and support this lady who will in turn support me on my own fitness journey.

Until then, I’m considering myself a lazy coach potato.

I used (a lot) of parenthesis in this (blog) post. I (don’t) know why. I (do) know it’s confusing. I’m (very) sorry (?).

Sperm Bank

shocked faceI saw an add for a sperm bank on one of the TVs that plays around my gym. Not like the regular TV that plays regular programming. I’m talking about the TV monitors that just continuously loop in-house ads. Maybe your gym doesn’t have them. You probably pay more per month for that luxury. Good for you.

Normally, I ignore the ads. But one caught my eye the other day. Can you guess from the title of this post which one it was?

That’s right. It was for a sperm bank.

It wasn’t that I was shocked at the content of a Sperm Bank. It’s that the tag line was, “Get one last workout in before you go home” or something like that. Along the lines of “One more rep for a good pump.” Something grossly inappropriate. To the point where it made me laugh out loud. Which I don’t like to do at the gym because I like to stay invisible. But I laughed. And people looked at me funny. And I looked down and scurried off.

I can handle an ad for a sperm bank at the gym. But I cannot handle a witty tagline that tries to relate sperm bank donations to working out. I will giggle every time.

Wouldn’t you?

Gym Discovery

discoveryThere’s a gym in Hollywood I don’t frequent, but I’ve gone a handful of times. Part of the reason I like LA Fitness in the first place is because there are lots of locations so I can go to different places depending on what side of town I’m on.

The Hollywood gym, which is right in the heart of Hollywood just steps from the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, is one I go to on occasion. Part of the reason I don’t frequent it is because I didn’t see a free weights section. I figured there probably was one, but I never looked too hard. I just stuck with the easy to see machines and simple cardio.

But the other day… I kept walking. I walked down a hallway I’d been near before and decided to just keep going.

Why didn’t I do this before? I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know where I was going. But the truth is, I didn’t know where I was going. And the more important truth is, nobody was paying attention to me. And the most important truth is, even if they were paying attention, I don’t care about the opinions of strangers.

And there it was.

A huge free weights section I’d never seen before. A giant chunk of the gym that I had never before discovered. I was like Christopher Columbus (because there were already tons of people there who clearly knew it existed but I felt a weird sense of ownership because I found it for the first time myself which doesn’t really make sense but I felt proud anyway).

Lesson learned: Never stop exploring. You never know how you’re limiting yourself until you push the existing borders and boundaries of the world around you.

Also, every gym probably has a free weights section. So just keep looking.

Game Face

angry-face-girl-2I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the friendliest at the gym. I also don’t hide my emotions well in my life in general. Luckily for all of us, I’m a pretty happy person so I don’t go around scaring people all the time.

So it’s no surprise to me that an older man in the weight room commented on my expression the other day. He looked at me, started laughing (not the first time this has happened to me…) then said, “Looks like you got your game face on.”

I looked in the mirror. I was scowling. Big time.

I laughed and said, “Yeah, I get in the zone.” I said it too loud. I had headphones in. I didn’t want to take my headphones out because I didn’t actually want to have a conversation with this guy. I wasn’t actually listening to music, I was listening to nerdy podcasts. So I didn’t actually have to talk loud. I could hear him fine and had complete control of the tone of voice. But I wanted to pretend like I was listening to loud music. So that I didn’t have to converse with him. Because I didn’t want to converse with him. But I’m midwestern, so if he continued the conversation, I would have had to continue talking to him.

He didn’t. He shrugged and moved on.

A little while later, I’d moved to a different machine and he was near me again. He looked over at me and I couldn’t help myself. I’m a ham. I made a really intense scowl at him then started giggling. He started laughing.

You guys… if you give me an audience, I’m going to put on a show. It’s how I’m hard-wired, dammit.

You can take the girl off the stage, but you can’t take the stage out of the girl.

So now I just added another person to the list of people to avoid at the gym in a constant effort to remain anonymous. Dagnabbit.

Instagram Fitness

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 7.32.24 PMI started following some fitness people on Instagram. My friend showed me a good fitness motivation (@motivationforsquats) and I decided to follow them. I can use some fitness motivation. I’m a sucker for a good quote and inspiring picture. So I figured, “Why not?”

It’s a little much for me. I’m used to using Instagram just to follow a few friends and people who post cute pictures of dogs. I’m still adjusting to the fact that when I check my feed at 10 am, I’m going to see tons of pictures muscly people wearing very little clothing.

It’s too early to say whether or not it’s helping or hurting. Maybe it’ll make me feel bad and get my butt to the gym to kill it like those guys. Maybe it’ll make me want to eat more food so I don’t turn into the level of crazy those fitness people are. I don’t know yet.

They do a lot of promotion within their own world for other people and accounts to follow. So if you’re easily annoyed by long descriptions and repetition (verdict is still out for me on this one), maybe it’s not for you. But if you don’t mind and just like the pictures and inspiration, then maybe it is.

I do know that a couple days after I started following some of these accounts, I definitely felt more motivated and killed it at the gym. I also know the next day I slept in and ate a large brownie. Then again, maybe that’s just my personality. Who knows.

I’ll keep you updated.

Dinky Gym Reopened (for real this time!)

The gym I used to go to regularly closed down not long ago for remodeling. And for those of you who follow, I thought it reopened not long ago. I was wrong.

I called ahead last week (after learning my lesson) and found out they were supposed to reopen Wednesday. So I waited until today (Monday) just in case.

And guess what- it’s really open! And it’s beautiful!

The girl who works at the front desk (and recognized my Tupac shirt because I wear it semi-regularly to workout) was there! We chatted. It was like being back home.

Plus, the parking is easier and the traffic is more manageable and it’s all around less chaotic. And! Fewer people are there so more of the (brand new) equipment is available.

I’m so excited! (And clearly into using parenthesis today!)

(Hooray!)

Go Big to Go Small

For the New Year, I’m shifting my focus in my workouts. I’ve mentioned before that it’s good for the body to change up your workout… but I’ve also mentioned that I don’t tend to do it because I like getting in the zone with a routine.

But that’s changing! This year, I’m going for total body workouts every time I lift. I want to hit every one of the major muscle groups in cycles and then when I’ve done that for three to four weeks, shift up the exercises. My goal is to be more dynamic and creative about my workouts. I’ve enlisted some big help for that, too. It’s always good to have a little help when you’re making big changes. I’ll probably eventually share what the help is… but for now it’s nonofyodayomb’iness.

I’m also starting on New Years with a major diet shift. I’m going to be downloading everything I eat into my (new free) Workout Buddy app that has already calculated the calories I need to get the weight I want. Again, I’ve enlisted major help with this. So as it continues, I’ll also keep you updated.

For me, the most important part of any goal is having an emotional response as to why you want to do it. I have two emotional investments in my goal of slimming down and toning up:

1. I want to get to the next level in my career and I’m lucky (though some would say unlucky) enough to be pursuing a world that cares what you look like and how your body looks. I want to give myself every advantage by having a slender, athletic body.

2. On the nutrition side (the one that’s much harder for me to follow through with), the help I’ve enlisted is also going to be doing the diet with me. So both of us are going to be watching what we eat and calculating it together. And if I have any questions, I can just ask. And when I want to cheat, I know I’m cheating myself and my partner. It’s an accountability buddy. And one I like being around and I’m grateful for the help from… so I don’t want to just take it for granted.

So these are my two little fitness shifts I’m focusing on in the New Year.

I’m excited to see what comes of it.

Lady Douchebag

There’s a woman at my gym who frequents the weight room as much as I do. In fact, she’s there more often than I am. And she looks like it. She is IN SHAPE okay people? I mean… she’s strong and hella toned.

I’ve spoken with her once. It was Sunday. She came over and asked if she could use a Kettlebell I had hoarded in my little corner of the multi-purpose room. I didn’t actually have any plans for the Kettlebell, there was just the one so I wanted it. I liked people to think I know what I’m doing, even when I have no idea.

It’s how I’ve succeeded at life so far.

Anyway, she asked me to borrow it and I told her no problem. Then I thought maybe I’d misjudged her in the past. I’d always thought she was a lady douchebag because she grunts really loudly when she lifts weights. She doesn’t wear a shirt, just a very tight sports bra that barely holds in her enhanced lady parts. Her hair is always down while she works out. She obviously spends a lot of time outside the gym tanning. She has false eyelashes she either puts on before every gym session or has permanently attached to her lids. And – the biggest sin- is that she throws her weights after she’s done with a set. Total douchebag move.

Also keep in mind I’ve seen this woman for months. She was at my old gym and made the move as many of us (like my gym boyfriend) did when it went under construction.

In our one quick Kettlebell interaction, I’m thinking maybe I misjudged. Maybe she’s not a douchebag. Maybe I’m just jealous of her dedication to fitness which obviously surpasses mine. I decide to see what she’s going to do with the Kettlebell so I can learn from her. She can become my teacher rather than my adversary.

Guess what she does? She asks a hunky dude from the weight room to stop his set to come take a picture of her. Then she poses in various poses holding the Kettlebell. She makes him take a video and several pictures. He returns to the weight room. I’m standing three feet away (perfectly capable to take a picture) and she didn’t ask. On top of it, she didn’t really do any sets. She just took pictures of what it would look like if she were working out.

My assessment of Lady Douchebag stands.