Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
My boyfriend is always suspicious of people who exude happiness. So am I. We both like to say, "Happy people are hiding something." Actually, that quote was always used by my best friend, Kelsie.

I myself do not possess a happy demeanor. When my friends see me working out on the gym floor, they have often said that I look pissed off and ready to rip someone's head off. I try to pass it off as concentrating on my workout. To be honest, I am not at all pissed off or upset about anything while a work out. I am really just concentrating on my exercises. I have had students of my class try to approach me but quickly run away when they come face to face with me. I do try to say hello but it may often come out as a grunt that signifies my desire to be left the fuck alone.

I do find instructors who are effervescent quite tiring. How can anyone be so damn happy to teach a class? I enjoy teaching my step class but, believe me, I am far from jubilant while I address the class at the beginning. How can anyone turn on the positivity while teaching class? I made a mental list of people and instructors who I think are the best. Let's just say that in a dark alley, you want this fuckers on your side.

Maybe, what we need to do is redefine the meaning of happy. Maybe excessively positive people are really the troubled ones who are not happy. Maybe happy is no longer happy. Maybe I need a prescription to prozac. Later.
Monday, December 29, 2003
When I used to work as a Front Desk Receptionist at the gym, one of the biggest problems we had when closing the fascility was trying to get people out of there on time. Our hours would clearly be posted but that would not help. We would give everyone a 15-minute warning and still they would take their fine time getting out of the shower and getting dressed. Some would even claim that they had not finished their workout and would insist that we wait for them to.

Now that I also work in a wine store, we face the same problem. We give the customers, who are at the tasting bar, a 15-minute warning. We would like to think that this is their chance to finish up their flight of tastings. To begin with, most of my staff will not start a tasting if there are only 20 minutes left before we close. Five minutes before our closing time, I ask all the tasting bar clientele if they plan on purchasing anything tonight because I am about to shut the store & it's registers down AND if they are, they must make their selections now and pay for them. Most times this works. There are exceptions.

Why is it that people think that those of us who work in customer service want to stay at our workplaces beyond our designated closing hours? Do people really think that because they paid for a service, they deserve to have that service even after the close of business day? Why do some people think that just because they are about to spend money at a store, the store must stay open for them? What ever happened to consideration for our fellow humans?

It is amazing to me that people do not realize that the staff that runs a business at closing time wants to shut down the business on time so that they can go home. I assume that most, if not all, of the working world wants to get out of work as soon as their designated time arrives. Why can't customers see that service staff are humans too? That as humans, we too have a life outside of the workplace? That, like them, we too want to go home once the business is officially closed for the day?

My friend, Christine, likes to call these people Bubble People. For these individuals, nothing in the world exists but them. They live in their own bubble and do not have consideration for anyone around them. If you ask me, Bubble Head People is a better name. Later.
Saturday, December 27, 2003
The holidays can really put a damper on one's gym routine. But since I entered my 30's, I have noticed that it really has become more and more difficult for me to get to the gym. Is this because my priorities have changed? Does one lose vanity when they turn 30? Is my lack of enthusiasm for working out due to the fact that I have been in the same relationship for almost six years?

Take today for example: I got up at 8:30am to make myself a cup of tea. Put three loads of laundry into the wash at 9:00am, did some household chores until I had to put the laundry into the dryer at 9:35am, did a light grocery run as the clothes dried, at 10:30am folded the clothes, made some stir-fry for dinner at 11:00am, rearranged the pantry while I made dinner, washed all the dishes, and now I am blogging at 11:45am.

Sometime when got out of bed I had planned to fit in a quick workout sometime before I had to go to work at 12:30pm. Not sure why everything else took priority over lifting weights. I still like working out. I still enjoy the endorphin rush of gym activity. Where did I decide that the high of step class could be replaced by the ecstasy of organizing my shelves? Am I just getting too old to partake in the exertion? Is the gym a place for 20-year-olds trying to preen and pump themselves to find what they need to find?

I am planning on making it to the gym tomorrow morning before I report for work at 10:00am. To be honest, I wish I could take an aerobic class of some sort but I will settle for lifting weights. I could use the sweat and caloric burn to get rid of the tons of food I have eaten over the past few days. On the other hand, I am looking forward to making dinner for my partner: I think I will be making a nice tuna casserole and a green salad. Later.
Monday, December 22, 2003
I have been meaning to find out if I am the only one who thinks that wearing your fur to the gym is not really appropriate. I don't know if you really need to throw on your mink as you head for your spin class.

Isn't one's fur supposed to be saved for when one goes out for a nice dinner or event? Or at least not used for such things as going to the gym or shopping for groceries. Doesn't the fur coat get ruined if you throw it on after a particularly sweaty session at your local health club? And if you don't even break a sweat at the gym, aren't you really just hanging out doing nothing?

I just find that dragging your chinchila to yoga class a bit ostentatious and affected. Throw on a sweatshirt and maybe a windbreaker. But I highly doubt your rabbit waistcoat will be necessary. And, to the guy who I saw wearing that ankle-length fox the other day: It really does not go with your sleevless tee, puma sweats, and adidas shoes. Later.
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Sorry for the quiet time but I have been on the West Coast celebrating my father's 70th birthday. Good times, good times.

While I was out there, I went to the gym twice and I came to the conclusion that the Los Angeles gym scene is quite pathetic. As much as I make fun of the New York gym population, LA's gym population makes us look like a bunch of triathletes. This is the third gym I have attended in LA.

Although both gym populations are there for vanity reasons, I get the distinct feeling that the West Coast gym members are mostly just there because they can't afford the plastic surgery. At least on the East Coast, I don't get that feeling. Maybe it's because LA is made up of people trying to break into the TV and Film business (which is all about how you look). Maybe it's because NY is a much more intellectual place than LA. Maybe I am generalizing.

The Cardio Combat class I attended was taught by a very talkative instructor who talked about her dream of her getting breast implants. She also talked about how she would like a cute body like Gwen Stefani or a butt like Jennifer Lopez. In between these remarks, she cued some moves. I got a good workout but mainly from the fact that I knew how to get one from what she did. She was very nice but I was disturbed by the fact that she focused on "perfect" celebs throughout the class.

I also noticed, while I was weight training, that everyone did the same exercises and paid absolutely no attention to form. Most of the men were working on their biceps while the women worked on their triceps. What is it about the arms? Am I missing something. Of course, I was doing back, shoulder, and bicep exercises with very little concentration on the biceps AND a whole lot of concentration on my form and control. I got some weird stares. Maybe it was the slow, controlled, deliberate movements. Maybe it was the amount of weight a small guy like me can lift. Maybe it was the short shorts.

I asked an instructor, who happens to have taught in NY, about the class population. He said that most of the people who work out don't want to put effort into class. Some don't even want to break a sweat. He says it can be frustrating because most of the LA gym population goes to the gym so that they can say they belong to one. They tend to not attend classes that are physically challenging let alone mentally challenging.

Maybe I should be thankful for the people who attend my class. Maybe I should stop poking fun at NY gym-goers. Maybe I have nothing to complain about if I compare the two Coasts. Maybe not. Later.
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Until recently, I never realized how intimidating the gym/health club can be. I have often heard stories of people who are afraid to go to the gym because of the people who populate it. I have even heard a story of some people getting into "shape" before joining a health club. I used to just push these stories aside as stupidity on the part of the individual.

How can anyone get intimidated by anyone in the gym? Isn't the point of joining the gym to be able to get into better shape or improve one's health. Then it hit me the other day: I was watching a friend of mine teach a Sculpt class while I was lifting weights. A group of ladies had gathered to take the next class, which was a step class that I also planned on taking. All of a sudden, one of the ladies said, "There is no way I am taking the next class from this teacher. Her body intimidates me. Plus nobody should look that good in spandex." What?!?! Is it really intimidating to work out next to someone with a great body in spandex.

I myself tend to work out in spandex. I tend to work out in form-fitting tiny outfits that allow better movement through full range of motion. Is my outfit and physique intimidating? I guess if I was the "Average Joe" trying to get into shape, watching anyone who exudes the confidence to wear such revealing outfits as they work out may send me into an anxiety attack. The Average Joe may feel incapable of reaching the same fitness level as spandex man.

I can also see how intimidating it can be to work out next to someone who is trying to bench press the weight of a Volkswagen Jetta while grunting so loud he may pop a blood vessel. I guess the aggressive grunts and groans may cause one to shy away from the weight floor.

Honestly, if you probably talked to spandex man, he is probably has the same inhibitions as you do but has gotten over them enough to get into a pair of tight short shorts. Either that or he is just comfortable with himself but means no harm or discomfort to anyone else. As for the guy who grunts and groans as he lifts, ignore him. He is just trying to get some attention and reaction. If anything, the noises he makes are more irritating than intimidating. If you stick around, he probably will quiet down because he is embarrassed at your staring at him in disgust as he grunts. Later.
I'm just writing down some of the things that run through my head.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Eating up the City before it eats me up. I'm a freelance cook who spends his free time working out, cooking for "my man", and wondering why the Right is so concerned about my bedroom.

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