I decided to join a gym. Not an expensive one, or one where I’ll have to commit to showing up at a certain time to jump around or cycle with strangers, or one where people grunt while lifting weights, but a gym where there is exercise equipment that may give me a better workout than my Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds DVDs.
I’m nervous. Of course I am! I know that my first time there I am going to feel as vulnerable as I did when I was in grammar school and we picked teams for kickball, or when I had to change into a one-piece gym suit in the locker room at the middle school. I’m going to put myself back in that self-conscious place that none of us likes to go, but it’s clear to me that since I am not willing to give up food or wine, and my logy metabolism is slowing down even more now that I’m in my mid-forties (did I just say that?), I need to exercise more.
The last time I frequented a gym it was a painless and successful and free experience. I eased into it slowly with my friend Candyce. We were both Resident Directors at Simmons College at the time, and fortunate to have access to the newly constructed, state-of-the-art Sports Center. We started by walking together on the suspended track, and eventually felt confident enough to tackle the Stair Master. Gradually we used all the equipment regularly—rowing machines, bicycles, treadmill. And it was great. I stayed with it for two years, and got fit enough to run. Yeah, like outside, with a walkman, which—once I no longer had the luxury of free gym membership—was a good thing because it was free.
Alas that was a long time and a foot surgery ago, and I have no friend to accompany me or encourage me this go-around. But I do think it’s about time I moved a little more. So wish me luck.
(And think of the material I’ll get there, the stories I’ll have to share!)