I went to the gym yesterday for the first time in 5 years. Not like a hot bodies gym (I don’t know what that means), but the YMCA. We joined because it has great family and kid programs, and most importantly – 90 minutes of free childcare while you workout. BOOM. (that’s the sound it makes when I step on the treadmill)
Getting myself + two kids there was half the battle, but eventually I dropped them at the kid zone and found myself alone to get my exercise on.
Solitude. Peace. Panic. What if my baby gets hurt? What if a stranger tries to take them home? How many germs are on those communal toys?
It’s been heavenly to be home with the kids for the past year, but I have totally forgotten how to leave them in the care of someone else.
My mind finally started to ease after about 10 minutes, at which point I was panting and sweating like a beast. Did I mention I was walking?
I also had a massive wedgie. But of course I had picked a treadmill that was front row center, so there was no way I was going to reach around and pull it out with 10 sets of eyes behind me.
Then I spent 5 minutes wondering what kind of message this would send to my daughters. Would I ever tell them to purposely leave their underwear up their butt? Choose vanity over comfort? Let their crippling self consciousness cause anal chafing? I wish I was kidding. This is why I shouldn’t be left alone with my thoughts.
I tried to distract myself by turning on the treadmill TV, but I couldn’t get it to work. I won’t lie – I was so damn disappointed I almost got off and called it quits. The opportunity to watch TV by myself was my #1 reason for joining the Y. (I lied earlier when I said it was family programs.)
Thankfully I was stationed in front of a window overlooking the pool, so instead I watched a senior citizens water aerobics class. There were about a dozen 70 and 80-year-old women slowly bobbing around the pool, chatting, and completely ignoring the instructor. One of them spent the whole class just straddling a pool noodle in the shallow end, riding it like it was Seabiscuit on race day. That’s my kind of exercise. Sign me up.
Finally the timer said I had only 6 minutes left, so I hit the Stop button because c’mon – those last 6 minutes are a throw away.
Needless to say, that was the longest 24-minute workout of my life. I don’t want to be dramatic, but I think I was delirious for a few minutes afterward because I walked into the bathroom, went into a stall, realized I didn’t have to pee, and walked back out. And I didn’t even remember to pull my underwear out of my crack.
Next time I’m hoping it’ll be a bit easier to find my rhythm – for getting there, for wearing the right clothing, for exercising, and for turning on that damn TV.