To help me achieve this goal, I’ve even posted a workout chart on my fridge. To go with the to-do list of challenges I have taped on my wall. Because I’m the kind of person who won’t do anything unless I get to check things off a list or fill out a chart or something.I’ve managed to stick to a pretty regular running schedule much to my surprise (and, I’m sure, yours). Even though this involves my having to wake up really early and leave my apartment. Even on Saturdays and other days when I’m not technically required to leave my apartment.
My new found running success is mostly because I’ve managed to coerce one of my coworkers into being my running partner. Well, in all honesty, we’re more like running-plodding partners. She runs ahead, while I kind of plod behind her. But it’s really nice knowing that someone else is undergoing the torture with me. Even though she tends to look a lot less tortured than me.Unfortunately, I’m not having nearly as much luck getting myself to the gym.
I haven’t been successful in suckering any of my friends into joining my gym, so I’m pretty much left to my own devices. Which means I hardly ever go.
Mind you, I dutifully pack my gym bag a couple times a week and haul it with me to work with the intention of stopping off at the gym on my way home. Even though the gym is at least a five-minute bike ride out of my way.
But this weird thing happens on my bike ride back from work. Instead of turning towards the gym, my bike somehow ends up going straight home.
It’s not my fault.
I think there might be something wrong with my bike.
Besides, whose bright idea was it to build a gym that’s not technically even on my way home? I have to leave campus and cross at least two streets to get there. I mean, they might as well have built an obstacle course in front of the place.Plus, I’m the kind of person who needs a special incentive to go to the gym.
And, let’s just say, being able to fit back into my pants is really not incentive enough for me. After all, who needs pants with waistbands? I live in China where pajamas are considered appropriate going out attire.
In Japan, I would go to the gym solely so I could use the locker room after my workout. I’m telling you the locker rooms in Japanese gyms are like spas – only nicer. One gym I went to had a bank of massage chairs and these makeup tables tricked out with fancy lights and mysterious lotions and potions. Another gym had seven different hot tubs. Because anything less than seven hot tubs is just slumming it.
In Brazil, my major incentive to visit the gym was this hottie personal trainer, who had taken it upon himself to whip me into shape. He would regularly measure my thighs and then point out the different exercises I should do so I could get, what he called, “a nice horse’s ass.” (Apparently, that’s considered a good thing in Brazil. If only this was considered a good thing everywhere. Because I’m pretty sure after all the dumplings I’ve been eating since I moved to China, my rear-end has definitely reached horse-like proportions.)But my gym here in China is kind of lacking in the incentives department.
There isn’t even a single hot tub. The closest thing they have is this hot water dispenser.
Because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the middle of a workout and I’ve thought, “You know what I could go for right now? A bottle of piping hot water!”
And, while there are a number of cute trainers at my gym, none of them have taken a personal interest in my thighs.Not that my gym is all that bad or anything.
Despite its exuberant name, it’s just your typical gym.
There’s your usual assortment of treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, weight machines and free weights.
There’s also your usual assortment of classes.
I keep on meaning to take one of the classes if only because I’m intrigued by the English names of the instructors. I mean, who wouldn’t want to take a belly dancing class with someone named Purple? Or maybe Power Step (A) with the lovely Fang? And who better to teach Latin dance than Raining? Seriously.
Oh, and there’s a smoking lounge. Because, let’s not forget, this is still China.
Probably the best part about my gym is the super sweet membership card.And, well, there is some prime people-watching to be done there.
You see, every time I go to the gym there’s always someone doing something so incredibly incomprehensible with either their body or their wardrobe (usually both) that I totally forget what I’m doing because I’m too busy staring at them. Then I realize that I’ve been doing leg presses for twenty minutes, and I can no longer feel my knees.
Once, I watched a woman doing lunges down the length of the free weight room. Which, in itself, wasn’t anything too spectacular. But then you factor in the fact that she was wearing a denim mini-skirt and platform heels, and, well, you’ve got yourself a show.
And there was the time a woman swished into the gym in a baby pink, full-body snowsuit. As she was running on the treadmill, her legs were causing so much friction, I was, honestly, worried she was going to set herself on fire.
Earlier this week, I sat riveted while I watched this massive, middle-aged man lie down on one of the weight-lifting benches and proceed to wave his arms and legs in the air like a tiny, helpless, baby bird.
This was almost as exciting as the time I got to see a toddler doing crunches. Seriously, guys, there was a toddler on one of those ab crunching benches doing crunches. Granted, she was getting a little help from her mom. But, still, that two-year old must have had some serious core strength.
And then, last night at the gym, I watched a woman work out for thirty minutes with her cell phone pressed against her ear the entire time. It was impressive. She even managed to lift weights while holding her phone. I should probably also mention she was wearing Uggs and a sweater jacket. And she was doing that thing where she was wearing tights instead of pants. Because, apparently, there is one thing she can’t do while holding her cell phone – put on any pants.
(Mind you, I’m sure these people think I’m the total freak and go home and talk about me with all their friends and family members. Like, “You should have seen this foreign girl at the gym. She was staring at me so long you’d think she never saw someone work out at the gym in her snowsuit before. Sheez. What a weirdo.”)Really, given all the prime people-watching at my gym, I don’t know why I don’t go more often.
I mean, this stuff is almost as good as Youtube. Except without the kittens. (I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, though. I mean, if women are making their toddlers do crunches, I can’t imagine their pets are too far behind.)
So as an incentive to get myself to the gym more often, I’ve come up with a new chart to put on my fridge.
Genius, right? I really think this one is going to work.How do you inspire yourself to go to the gym? Or are you one of those people who actually likes going to the gym, like, on purpose and stuff?