Sunday, April 3, 2011

C is for Core

             There's an anorexic on the treadmill in front of me.  I'm not being facetious or funny, i mean like a legit anorexic.  One where her muscles are all ropey from malnourishment and her legs look a baby colt's. I've got her routine down now to a science.  She hops on the third or fourth treadmill in the front row in between 3:25-3:30 PM everyday (alright, i don't go every day myself but that's a technicality. and on the days i do go, she's there and still sprinting when i leave).  She wears those running shorts that are cut up the side, usually in green and sometimes in fuchsia. You know the kind.  The ones that runners wear to identify themselves as runners that I'm pretty sure are only sold at secret stores.
              Anyway, Anorexic hops on and begins jogging.  At the fifteen minute mark she takes off her shirt to continue running in her black sports bra, never skipping a beat.  She doesn't break for water.  She's too tough for water.  At 4:00 she plugs an earphone in her right ear and listens to Oprah on one of the giant televisions in front of me.  I wonder if she's deaf  in her left ear or has a phobia about using both earbuds.  I make up stories about her from the elliptical machine when I'm not too busy scrolling through my playlists or jumping off to visit the drinking fountain.  It's sad when rehydrating becomes a fun excursion.. 
             On the whole i've gotten okay with the fact that joining this gym has turned me into a semistalker.  Not a full on stalker, mind you, where i follow strangers donning leather gloves, but a partial stalker where i  make up stories in my head about their banal, suburban lives.  There's only so much you can look at while on a freakin elliptical machine.  It's either observe people or stare at the parking lot.
             I mention this to my trainer one day, asking if the Anorexic is here all the time (i realize this totally makes me sound like a stalker and my previous statement sound not very credible-- but think what you will.)  I then announce that if i begin to look like her I'm upping my "cheat day"s from one day a week to two days a week.  My trainer is too nice to tell me that possibility is a long way off.  Instead she chuckles politely and steers me over to the rows of kettleballs.
            "We're gonna do your core now," she states briefly.  I have learned that what she means when she says this is, "I'm gonna make you do weird shit that you will hate me for."  Actually I'm still unsure as to what my "core" is exactly, but it's too late to ask my trainer at this point.  It's like when you let someone call you by the wrong name for a time and then someone else finally corrects them and you feel like the stupid one. All i know is that usually these exercises involve me rolling around on the floor while sticking my legs in the air or mimicking a mountain climber.  Sometimes there's crab-like motions from one end of the gym to the other involved.  If it's something that makes me look stupid, guarantee you it's "strengthening my core."
           This exercising thing is kind of a crock.  But i guess if i have quit smoking i might as well be openminded and punish myself some more, right?  Don't get me wrong, i love playing with giant rubber bands and putting my belongings in a 4x4 locker.  I'm just saying i wish there were parachutes or roller scooters like in elementary school.  Then i might go every day.  Until then i just need to stick with the commitment i started and reserve judgement about this...which is hard for me, because judging is one of the things i do best! 
            I will let you guys know what i think about this whole gym experience in a couple months, and if i can stick it out.  I guess it's all part of the process.  The process of what, i don't know exactly, but it is part of the process of something.  Growing up?  Trying to get my outsides to match my insides?  Letting go of fear?  My gut kinda tells me it's the last one, but i dont remember when i was taught fear in the first place.  I imagine we're all like little kids on fancy playground equipment, hoping to be noticed and not noticed at the same time.  One of these days i will walk past Anorexic, pull the plug out of her ears and scream, "Whatever you are running towards--hate to break it to you--but you're not gonna get there!"  Or maybe i will just stand back and watch her chasing ghosts from my stationary bike.  In any case, i gotta go ice my core now.


The Unknowngnome said...

Maybe "Anorexercise" just likes to run.

This is a very funny and thinkable post.


deep said...


Naquillity said...

good luck with your exercising journey. you've inspired me to get busy. hope all is well. have a great day.

dana said...

When I started, I started lifting weights. I started out pushing 70 pounds UP with my legs. Three months later...190 pound lifts! I was SO PROUD. Then while bragging to my doctor, he said "Are you NUTS? You've had three abdominal surgeries! You're asking for a hernia." *sigh*

I noticed you visited my writing blog and I wanted to also let you know:

I've started posting my manuscript again, and I hope to continue until the entire book has been placed on my blog. This way, at least someone will get to read it.

Matt Conlon said...

I used to enjoy lifting weights in high school, and I looked pretty darned good back then. When I graduated, I just plain stopped. That was roughly 55 lbs ago. One of these days, I'll get back into it, I keep telling myself. Soon as I have the extra cash for a membership.

TheyCallMeVarmit said...

This was such a great (funny) post! Good luck with the gym-thing, too!

Marian said...

ah i just came from the gym. i sure wish they had parachutes, too. sigh.

Jingle said...

love the image,
cute core of apple.

Lena said...

I love your writing. Thanks for stopping over at my place so I could discover you!

Funny, but sad post, too.

I so get the being good at judging.

Kim Nelson said...

Yeah... I can't do the gym thing. Gotta go to Pilates or yoga 5-6 times a week for my physical fix.

Cadan Henry said...

i'm new to the site. are you really in a mental institution like the it says?


India Drummond said...

Ooh! I hate the gym, but I'd never considered what a prime spot it is for peoplewatching!

Ann Grenier said...

This was a funny/poignant essay. You had me interested in Anorexic from the get-go and I thought there for a minute you weren't going to follow up---but wham you whipped out that ending and wrapped it up so well! I look forward to reading more. I found you on Quasars and Quills.

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

I once paid for one year of the gym without going because I was so sick of the mentality there!

Great post!!!!