CYA at The Gym

Hello there, Fellow Americans, we need to have a chat. Did you know that we spend 1.8 billion dollars each year on unused gym memberships?

What’s that insanity about? Is 1.8 billion dollars just chump change to us, America? We don’t have anything else to spend 1.8 billion dollars on? Since we’re currently experiencing a global pandemic, people have good reason to avoid their gym. But before long, we’ll be back to normal and so sick of being stuck at home that none of us will have any excuse not to get back in there.

BE CUTE, EARN CREDIT

To prepare, you’re going to want to make sure you’re dressed for success… gym success, anyway. To those of you who are single and wanting to mingle, you might even want to look cute while you’re there–I won’t judge. You’ll need the latest gadgets too, of course, to make the most of your workout and be able to post your humble brag on Facebook that you do, in fact, work out. I personally believe that if I’m not wearing my Fitbit and it doesn’t record my workout, then I might as well not have even worked out. I want credit for that stuff! I want receipts!

So, what to wear? When I finally forced myself to get back in the gym last year–(and you can’t really keep calling it “baby weight” if the baby is five–I convinced myself that I didn’t need fancy, name brand athletic clothes. They have plenty of cheap leggings at the standard-small-town corporate store that’s right up the road, and those would do for me just fine. I’ll be honest, I was pretty proud of my $6 leggings. They were cute, they were comfortable, and they were SUPER CHEAP.

The gym where I worked out was a small gym where we did a strength training program in groups. I went every day at 6:00am. One morning, about halfway through the hour long workout, I went to sit on a bench to do a chest press and immediately felt something cold. On my rear end. There was something cold, touching my bootie.

Now, reader, I want to say that the truth of the situation hit me immediately, but as I mentioned, it was 6:30am. I was barely awake. My first thought was “Did I sit in something wet? Did someone spill some water here? Oh, no, is it sweat??” Horrified at the thought of sitting in someone else’s excess bodily fluid, I jumped straight up and my hand went right to the spot to check and see if my leggings were wet. My first thought was, “That’s my butt. My hand is touching my bare butt.” My second thought was, “I really should’ve worn panties.”

Gym Commando

Now I know, it is not ladylike at all to be running around the gym, going commando, but unless you’ve tried to un-wedgie yourself with leggings on, in public, then you can zip it. And if you have managed to do that without drawing a crowd of onlookers, then please, teach me your ways. I always wore long t-shirts (which became a clutch decision here), so I never worried about it.

But now, as I felt a distinct breeze blowing past my bare backside, I regretted that decision. As it turns out, there is a reason the leggings at cheap-mega-corp are only $6. They are not high quality. Certainly not durable enough to withstand actually working out in them. I guess they’re meant to be pseudo leggings? Just lounging around leggings? Your just-pretend leggings?

Either way, here I was, staring at the floor, terrified to look up, knowing that there was a chance that I had fully mooned my entire workout group. To say there was a hole in my leggings doesn’t begin to do the situation justice. What happened to the backside of my leggings that day defies the laws of science. It was like a whole section just evaporated. Even thinking back to it now, I can’t explain it. I left the house in normal leggings with a covered tooshie, and I would be returning home in a pair of assless chaps.

Don’t SKIMP ON YOUR TUSH

I, of course, did what any normal adult would do. I scream-whispered at my good friend Kim who was nearby “I HAVE TO GO HOME.” And then I ran. Didn’t say bye to anyone, didn’t tell my trainer why I was leaving halfway through a workout, just ran. I was so horrified I couldn’t process it fully, I just knew I had to get home. Later, of course, I would tell Kim what happened, and she would reassure me that neither she nor anyone else saw anything, but she’s a really kind person that doesn’t like to make others cry.

I went that very day and bought two pairs of thick, well-made, pricier leggings, and then just had to employ willing suspension of disbelief to force myself to walk back into that gym the next morning. Don’t skimp on your workout clothes, y’all. Just trust me. Spend the money. Consider it an investment in your self-respect.

My Gym Romance

In addition to the right clothes, you also need the right gear. I am personally somewhat obsessed with my Fitbit. One might say it’s even a somewhat unhealthy relationship. I was, no joke, driving to the gym one day and realized I didn’t have my Fitbit on, and I turned around and went back home. Like a newly in-love dolt who can’t enjoy anything without their “other half.” I refused to actually do my workout without my Fitbit there to record it. It’s a little odd, I admit it. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows between me and my little tracker, though.

Have you ever noticed how passive-aggressive your Fitbit sounds sometimes? A message will flash across my wrist sometimes at the exact wrong time: “Only 300 more steps to your goal!” I will respond, out loud to my wrist jewelry, “I’ve been on my feet all day just GIVE ME A MINUTE.” But then, at some point, I will get those last 300 steps in, because deep down, my OCD is stronger than my need to rest.

A word of caution, however, if you do dive into the world of fitness trackers; they have a tendency to bring out everyone’s competitive side. You can challenge your friends, family, and coworkers to see who gets the most steps each day, and let me tell you, people do NOT like to lose. I have heard some pretty funny stories from people about how they managed to best their competitors. One girl I knew put her Apple Watch on her dog. Another would just sit and swing her arm while watching TV.

Everyone starts to assume everyone else is cheating. “How did she get 18,000 steps in one day, that’s not even humanly possible!” Now that I think about it, maybe avoid the group challenges. However, when we’re all allowed out of our houses again, get those steps in. Wearing good quality athletic clothes. And your Fitbit. And, most importantly, your undies.