No one seems to call these places 'gym' anymore, and I can understand why. 'Gym' implies old linoleum, rusty lockers, the smell of everyone's sweat meshing together into a horrific odor stew, being subtly peered at and not-so-subtly judged, awful gym uniforms...
OK, I'm obviously flashing back to my forced gym days of youth. I wasn't particularly traumatized by
This was the result--time and again--of my high school bowling efforts... being picked last for gym class games of kick ball, softball, volleyball, anything-followed-by-the-word-ball; this seemed, actually, to speak well of my classmates' ability to think logically and strategically. The blue-and-white HORIZONTALLY striped one-piece gym suit, with our names stenciled on the upper right shoulder jail mate style, that infantilized even the curviest young women... that still gives me the shudders. (And, for the record, our school colors weren't even blue and white. They were black and gold. And, also for the record, boys could wear their own shorts and T-shirts for gym.) As anyone who has subscribed to my email newsletter (see sign up box on Home Page) knows, by virtue of receiving my humorous essay about flunking bowling in high school (and later becoming a mom of very athletic daughters), gym was not/is not my 'thing.'
But I've reached--well, passed--the age where I can just rely on general good health to generate more general good health. So, I've started walking and hiking (two physical activities I actually love.) And my husband and I joined a gym, so we could take a few exercise classes and use indoor exercise equipment such as ellipticals or treadmills on days that it's just too cold or stormy to walk outside.
I've been going to an occasional water aerobics class, and actually have been enjoying that. Pretty good for a woman who as a kid was terrified of water and who didn't learn to swim until she was pregnant with her second child.
However, I've discovered that there are risks associated with being a writer and going to the gym. I keep getting distracted by the other characters at the gym. I need to be careful. One of these days, I'm going to get so distracted that I go flying off the back of the elliptical, and then everyone else will have a story.
Still, how can I not get distracted? Here are a few samples: