Monday, November 26, 2007

The Gym

I wish, right?
I've done a pretty good job in keeping it a secret but I haven't been to the gym in close to a month. I have no other excuses other than simply growing bored of the change-lift-sweat-home routine. In the past year I hadn't made any big advancements. My body maintained the same weight, hardly gaining or loosing anything. I've been using the same weights, mildly mixing up my workouts but mostly going to the gym for the sake of defeating health guilt. For the past 8 years I've been hitting the gym on an average of 4 times a week. I felt it was time for a break.

Today, however, was my first day back. It was odd at first. As I fumbled with my lock and changed in the locker room I began to notice things I never had before. Would I do this everyday? Fumble with my lock? Throw clothes into a cubby? It was so odd, as if everything I had been accustomed to doing was something new and strange. I went to the weights and figured I should do chest, my favorite muscle group to work and also the basic go-to for starting up a workout. Again, despite the familiarity of the setting it felt strange. This is what I do everyday? Throw my towel down on a patent leather bench, grab silver heavy objects and lift them? How weird.

But then I felt it. On my second set of bench pressing I felt that burn of my muscles ripping apart, tensing and then pushing energy to lift the weight. Ahh, that's right. There's that old familiar feeling that I haven't felt in a month. The act of physical exertion. Hello, old friend, haven't seen you in a month but it's good to see and feel you again. I hadn't realized how much I missed you until now. By mid workout what started to feel bizarre was how I was able to go so long without going to the gym. I got on some old machines and lifted them and felt my muscles twitch and tinge while my mind reminded itself of, oh yeaaaaaah, this is how it feels. "Hello Hammerstrength Machines," I said, stroking the incline bench press, "I've missed you."
I started to get lost in that mind-muscle connection of feeling my muscles work through the exercise. I repeated silly yet hot mantras to myself to push through the hard work. For instance during reps I'd say, "muscle (push, push, push) bear!" and "Daddy's (push, push, push) Home!" Trust me, it works. By the time I hit abs I was full-on focused and congratulated myself for waking up on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend and getting back on track.

I suppose the real challenge is now convincing myself that I am actually interested in health and that I should want to go to the gym. I can only hope my gym-recharge lasts more than a week and a month from now I'll still be interested in going as much as I am now. Doubt it. I fucking hate the gym.


Anonymous said...

I sooooo needed to read this today, Eric.


Anonymous said...

My return to the gym after 2 weeks abroad was marked last week by forgetting the lock combination I've had for 12 years. I mean, WTF, right? I noticed which machines were our for service and which shower heads are still leaky. Not that I expected any change, but there appear to be no new (and/or hot) members at my gym. Just the same, old faces, spouting the same, old DJ-obsessive blather. Thank Evolution for my iPod (and the new music I'd acquired while away).

I will say this: I love showering and shaving at the gym. It's not an entirely unerotic love, though it's always asexual. "Hello, Nozzley, how I missed your steamy, hard-as-nails embrace."

bigislandjeepguy said...

i lost all interest in the gym after my mom's battle with lung cancer. i couldn't go there anymore with so much time to "think". instead, i switched it all up: outrigger canoe paddling, running on real streets instead of a treadmill, hiking dried lava flows and occasionally throwing around some weights in the house while my dog looked at me like i was a wacko.

it's still working, 7 years later. sometimes, you need a change. and sometimes, you feel like a nut.

Anonymous said...

Personally the couple of times I've seen you at the gym I thought you were a hot looking stud.

Jim Provenzano said...

honey, if you went to my gym, I'd be there every damn day.

Anonymous said...

That was awesome. I've been in the gym 11 months now. I LOVE IT.