This chain is one of the cheaper ones in the city so it attracts a high volume of gym-goers (Washingtonians are not known for their splurging, after all) and on a random Tuesday after work, you might find yourself walking this stretch of Connecticut Avenue with ten to twelve others on, what I like to call, The Walk of Doom. Everyone is dressed in sweats, shivering in the cold, looking pale, chubby, miserable, and generally unmotivated.
Personally, I’m a pretty big fan of the gym. I have a go-to workout routine (I know, I know, Jillian Michaels reminds me repeatedly in women’s magazine to “shake things up!” and “challenge myself!” but my personal opinion towards that concept is meh), so for me, the gym never feels all that arduous or soul-sucking.
I always bring a junky magazine, set it up on the treadmill, and run at a pace that is conducive to reading about Britney’s growing derriere while I (hopefully) shrink mine in time for swimsuit season. Or an upcoming trip to Miami. Or just, you know, to fit into pants in case I ever need to leave my apartment and dress in socially acceptable attire.
The gym makes for some great people watching. In my case, working from home can be pretty uninspiring, so when I’m surrounded by dozens of bodies it is a true sensory overload.
I notice the uber anorexic girl who’s always, literally, always on the elliptical in the back of the cardio room. She’s 5’8 and probably 90 lbs and looks like she’s about point oh four seconds away from crumbling into a pile of dust on the machine.
I notice the hairy, sweaty, weight lifter guy with the hugely built upper body and tiny chicken legs. I just want to smack him with my People magazine and show him the male celebrities that don’t devote an hour a day to their pecs and lats and tris. It’s like, please, for the love of god, do some mother effing lunges.
I notice the pregnant lady who’s running on the treadmill next to me, huffing and puffing, with some strange belt-looking contraption supporting her belly. It’s like a sports bra for fetuses. Odd.
The gym is full of bizarre, exotic creatures. I never felt that way until I stopped being around people all the time, but now, when I go, I feel like a scientific researcher who gets sadly overexcited at the sight of new bacteria in her petri dish.
So, I guess, next time you’re at the gym, take a look around. What do you see?