“Today I am taking a stand against the 1% of Americans thatgo to the gym. I mean, look at them. All smug and happy and fit and healthy andenergetic. Don’t you, a member of the 99%, just hate it? Why can’t they be obeseand tired and miserable like me? Why can’t they go to bed at 7.00pm after ahard day’s work and ignore their family? They should just pull up a cot next tothe rowing machine in the gym and live there, for crying out loud!”
Ladies and gents, you have just experienced a “former Fatty”moment. That’s right, that was me about a month ago. Well, not precisely. Itypically flavored those remarks with the most diabolical curse words you canimagine. My pastor would literally give birth if he knew what I really wassaying. And yes, my pastor is a edude. And yes, I just referenced a dude givingbirth. Just go with it.
The point: I have discussed making excuses (see Killing Dogs That Ate Your Homework). I have discussed getting angry and using it asmotivation to work out (see Dark Side). I have even discussed Kung Fu. But whatI haven’t discussed is The Arena. That’s right, the gym itself.
The first thing you should know about The Arena is that itis full of gladiators, so you’re going to feel weird. You shouldn’t, but youwill. If I had a dollar for every bicep vein or protein shake I have seen thispast month, I would be filthy rich and tell Bill Gates to start polishing myshoes. But here’s the thing: the people in the gym DON’T CARE that you feelweird. In fact, they are actually quite nice. And encouraging. And probablyhappy for you that you’re taking the step towards fitness. So get over it.Move on.
The second thing you should know about The Arena is that itis full of stuff. Rowing machines, weights, treadmills, stair climbers,medicine balls, more weights…the possibilities are endless. So here’s myrecommendation. If you have a trainer, have them give you homework. On paper.The last thing you want to do is walk around feeling lost. It’s annoying and a little disheartening to not have a plan. If you don’t have a trainer, figureout a workout plan for yourself before you go. On paper. Get a plan and knockit out.
The third and final thing you should know about The Arena isthat it smells weird. The combination of B.O., protein powder, and peopleexhaling with stanky breff (a.k.a. stinky breath) is pungent andmay require an oxygen mask. In this case, the only thing to do, really, is toexhale more than them. Which means you should work out harder and faster (be safe, don’tinjure yourself) than them. Get in and out before you catch a whiff offoulness. Or go outside and work out. Yeah, you should probably do thatinstead.
Be a rebel and Occupy Gym. Be there at least four times aweek. Block everything else out for that one hour or so you are there. Go finda punching bag if you have to, and just start wailing on it. Stress relief,exercise, diet. I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out.
Editor’s Note: Be careful with the punching bag. I may ormay not have gotten to “into it” and starting biting and clawing it in mymoment of pure, unadulterated rage. Stick to punching, or kicking…way moremacho.