Readers-

I am not a gym person.  The word “gym” conjures up images of blue uniforms and locker rooms from the 1980s. Those were rough times, not to be relived.

I understand the concept of the gym. You pay your $30/month, sign up for a year, and hope, through osmosis, that you’ll get in shape.  I have a fundamental problem with gyms–I cannot imagine paying someone money to work out. Remember, my sports are mountain biking and surfing: the mountains and the ocean are free.

I have friends who belong to gyms.  They like to proclaim on their cell phone to me, “I’m going to work out,” and I honestly have no idea what they’re going to do.  Lift weights? Go to a step class? Swim? I hear spinning classes are cool. Then what do they do? Shower? Grab a soy smoothie? Have a cigarette?  I just don’t get it.

Secretly (or I guess, secretly up until this point) I have always had a minor level of disdain for those who paid someone else so they could keep in shape. Hogwash! I cried–just ride your bike or walk the three miles to the store.

But that was before the bike accident and slow recovery. That was before the metabolism slowed down to a glacial pace.  That was before responsibilites piled up and weather didn’t cooperate. That was before time became very, very precious.

So where am I? I’m heading to San Francisco this week to surf (yes, I know, it’ll be cold) and I am hopelessly out of shape. I’m going to go for it anyway because that’s what I do.  The last time I surfed in the cool Pacific waters off California, I got beat up and dehydrated.  Twas a great time.

And when I get back, I’m going to join a gym. Why? I’ll tell you why. As a freelancer, it takes some serious will power to self-motivate to write, edit, and find new work.  At the end of the day I have no will power left to haul my ass off the couch and do the right thing. I need to get out the house. I need to work out first thing in the morning so I don’t head into biking season ten pounds bigger than last year.

I need to lose weight.  I need to feel better about what kind of physical shape I’m in.

Sigh. I need to join a gym. Heaven help me.

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