When I told Tommy I was going to start working out, he laughed.
Then he went, “But you hate that. Didn't you say working out was akin to being friends with Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey?"
Okay. So he didn't say that last part. (It's still true though.)
But he was right about the first part.
I hate working out.
But I’d like lean legs again. And to not have to grunt to pull my pants up. It’s not attractive. Sometimes I’ll be doing that and Natalie will overhear me and shout, “Say excuse me, Mommy,” because she thinks I’ve farted.
It also doesn’t help that there is a mother at Natalie’s PreK class who is skinny as a stick. Plus, she recently had a baby. The last baby I had was 4 years ago. Why don’t I have genetics that allow me to drop all the weight after I’ve given birth? (It could be my love for chocolate too…)
I decided to check out the gym on base when both kids were in school. Forcing myself to go to a gym is not easy. And, I didn’t even know what I should wear. I almost walked out of the house in flip flops. FLIP FLOPS! Then I realized as I sat behind the wheel that you can’t work out in flip flops. So I came back in and pulled on some sneakers.
I felt awkward at the gym as though everyone could tell I didn’t belong.
“She hasn’t worked out in years!” I imagined the buff guy lifting weights shouting.
“She looks lost,” the girl on the elliptical would chime in. Totally not out of breath. I always marvel at the people who can speak normally while working out. My voice comes out in puffs. "I'm.........go.....gonn......gonna.....d....d....die..."
I felt lost. Should I do the elliptical? Or the bike? If I got on the bike, I’d be able to sit. But then my legs would feel like they might break off. The elliptical burns more calories. But what if I get so tired that I fall off?
I chose the elliptical. Mainly because I felt ridiculous just standing there. Most people who go to the gym have a purpose.
“Hello,” I said to the guy beside me.
He didn’t respond.
Then I realized he had earphones in his ears and he was listening to music.
I forgot music.
Oh well. I’d focus on other things. Like non-jiggly thighs.
Five minutes into the work out I felt like I wanted to die. Sweat was dripping off my forehead. I gazed around the room in astonishment. Why didn’t anyone else look like they were about to keel over?
Then I realized I forgot my water.
My mouth got dry. I worried I was going to pass out in the middle of the floor. Would people help? Or would they not even notice because they were busy listening to music? Would people just be like, “Oh, sweet, a free elliptical,” and calmly step over me?
I did the elliptical for ten minutes. I couldn’t go any longer than that. Then I found a water fountain and slurped at it in a very unladylike manner. I felt like a horse. A woman walked past me and did a double take as water dripped from the lower half of my face.
I left after that.
I mean, I had no music.
And my legs already felt like they wanted to break off.
“I’ll get better,” I mumbled to myself. “The first day is always the worst.”
Please tell me it gets better.