Wednesday, March 08, 2000

Gym shoo

My husband is starting to make noises about me joining a gym. Not because of my weight--he values his body parts too highly to make a crack about my weight--but because lugging an iMac from one room to the next left me moaning and groaning and munching Advil for several days thereafter. Your muscles are out of shape, he says. You're losing strength, he says. You should join my gym, he says.

Now, this implies that my muscles were once in shape, I was once strong, and I might enjoy going to a gym. Patent falsehoods, all. I did go to his gym for a brief time while we were dating, but--oh, gee, you know, you do things when you're dating and trying to establish common ground with your beloved that you would never do in real life. He watched "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd," and I went to the gym. Now, going on 10 years of marriage, he can't say the name of that program without gagging. And I feel much the same about the gym.

I have many excellent reasons for not wanting to go there. I'm a busy woman. I work full-time, and even though I telecommute three days of the week, I'm supposed to be sitting at my desk watching soap work, not galivanting around, lifting weights and riding bikes that go nowhere. After work hours, there are the kids--homework to do, activities to attend, stories to read, computers to haul. Should I neglect them to sweat with strangers when I can perfectly well neglect them at home by checking my e-mail every 35 seconds? Then, of course, there is this Web site, which I must spend hours and hours procrastinating over before finally hammering some bit of blather out at 2 in the morning. Go to the gym? My life is overflowing as it is!

Of course, if I really wanted to go, I'd find the time. I don't really want to go. I really want not to go. I hate going to the gym. I hate everything about it. I hate exercising. I hate lifting weights. I hate climbing stairs. I hate looking at my lumpy self in large mirrors. I hate aerobics. I hate seeing skinny people in spandex. I hate seeing fat people in spandex. I hate spending money to do something I hate.

And besides, it's not like I don't have options. I could walk. Walking is free! Walking is something I don't actively hate! I could take my discman and walk while listening to tunes and have some nice time to myself. I won't, but I could. I could also work out to one of those TV exercise shows, although last time I did that, doing step aerobics in my basement, I blew out my knees. I could invest in some quality home equipment, maybe that contraption Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley feel so strongly about. That way, I could exercise anytime, day or night. I'm sure my mother-in-law, who lives downstairs, wouldn't mind hearing weights clanking up and down in the middle of the night.

Or I could let my gym-toned husband lift the computer next time, while I lie on the couch conserving my energy, watching old "Molly Dodd" tapes, and polishing off the truckload of candy we accumulated around Valentine's Day. Some of those chocolates are heavy.

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