Today...I did something that I have been putting off but needed desperately just to feel quasi-normal again...I went to the gym. I charged the Zune, put on a fresh sports bra, and laced up my mud-caked running shoes. I thought "this could last ten minutes, or I could go the distance. I could be here for hours." I had eaten a waffle for breakfast, so chances were good that I would not be there for hours. But I needed to go and I needed to sweat. I needed to wipe something other than tears from my cheeks and I wanted to work off some of the anger that had been creeping in subconsciously. And, as luck would have it, gym clothes are the only things that fit right now. Well, that and I do have one pair of fat jeans because you always save one pair of fat jeans. Always. God has a plan for me - I was a fitness director and personal trainer for 5 years and thus own an arsenal of lycra...perfect for post partum workouts (or for working out after a summer of margaritas and mojitos, apparently). Armed with Nickelback and Pink and the tiniest bit of Metallica, I charged through the door, up the stairs and onto an elliptical...for less than 20 minutes before I was breathing heavily and experiencing chest pains. Huh, I guess those pre-natal aqua classes weren't really the workout I was used to. I've gotten soft (which I already knew because right now, everything jiggles...and I mean everything). I'm glad I didn't start out with Spinning. So, I cruised into the Cardio Theater (which is about 15 degrees cooler and was playing Days of Our Lives on the big screen. FYI: Stefano was marrying a woman that I'm pretty sure he had killed off when I was in college. And Stefano has more lives than both of my cats combined). I did 20 minutes on the treadmill before I got my breath back and it didn't hurt to raise my right arm. Back to the elliptical I went...for 10 minutes before I thought "if I have a heart attack up here, in the dark, no one will know until the after-work crowd gets here. And I could start to stink at that point." So, back to the treadmill I went. I did my last 10 minutes, getting an hour of sweat in and a priceless amount of self-loathing out.
I have always taken pretty good care of my body. Although I was always the chunkiest, least "cut" instructor at the fitness conferences, I knew that I was probably more physically fit than half that crowd. I will tell you right now, group exercise instructors can down some tequila shots. No lie. So, after college, I tried to minimize the binge drinking, eat more vegetables and cook edible tofu. When I got pregnant, I flossed everyday, went to the dentist (which, as nice as he is, was still a nearly insurmountable task), refused to eat blue cheese or brie or any meat that was less than charcoal. I drank water without Crystal Light and found a new way to love decaf iced tea. In my head, I decided that if I did everything "right", there would be no problems. Well, I did everything right and here I am anyway. I feel betrayed by my body. I gave it everything it needed to nourish our child and it wasn't enough. The only proper justice is to abuse the hell out of it until it gives out from lack of food and too many Kickboxing classes. I want vindication and I want it in kilocalories. Twenty minutes into my workout today I realized that is not the answer. I can give that scheme a whirl, but it will only end with me on a gurney while paramedics try to find a vein for IV fluids. I do have anger that is best expressed in Spinning...anything else would be misdirected. And I do find peace in the counting of miles, the breath pattern of a chest press, and the eucalyptus intoxication of the sauna. I would prefer for women to be less naked in the locker room (especially those who want to talk to me while their stretched and saggy girl-dom is jiggling about)...but on the whole, the gym is satisfaction for me. You can't think about baby footprints or labor pain when you're doing shoulder presses. You can't just sit in front of a TV and eat Nutella out of the jar while drowning in a sea of Babies R Us commercials. And it's a great place to go if you want to fit back into those skinny jeans...because you always keep a pair of skinny jeans, too. Always.