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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Gym Fear and Loathing

gym-membership.juAgainst the backdrop of the worst terrorist incident in France in 50 years, I needed a diversion of my own. Confronted with some fear and loathing of a much lesser sort, I was faced with a possible gym membership and didn’t know what to think. It had been decades since I held a sports club membership, years after growing up in a country club milieu.


Did I have the time? Did I have the interest?

Benedetto had always laughed at the thought….gym-membership

“Steps? You need steps?” he would ask. “Just step outside. Bicycle in place? Why not bicycle somewhere? Walk on a treadmill? Do you like the idea of going nowhere?”

He was right. There was plenty to do right outside my door and I enjoyed being in nature when I spent so much time sitting and inside. Now Petya was trying to sell me on the idea since he wanted to join the gym and had already gone on a tour.

gym-membership2“You could get a $10/month membership,” he informed me, speaking my language of no long-term contracts and no high-fee obligations.

“Oh, come on,” I protested. “You don’t know about gyms. They have supposedly-low fees and you’re stuck for life….”

He brought me the paperwork and I pored over the fine print, showing him how to read a contract. It was gyma pleasant surprise. Sure enough, a basic gym membership covered all types of machines and facilities with no long-term obligation. He was interested in the $20/month membership whereby he could receive mechanized table massages, pulsating chair deep-tissue massages, and bring a friend to any of their facilities.

This I had to check out for myself.

gym2The two of us went and he requested a tour for moi, private and nervous nelly that I was. What if I knew somebody there? What if these were all professional athletes.

Our tour leader took Petya and I through the gym. He was a college kid and nice enough. He explained that the gym was designed for the average person who wanted to get into shape, and not for professional body-builders.

“You’re out,” I said to Petya.

The machines were amazing—from the usual treadmills and stationary bikes, to the ellipticals, and arm, gym3thigh, leg, and back machines that had no names. Even the first three had developed greatly in the years since I had set foot in a gym, with ample disinfecting stations to wipe down equipment in these germ-laden times.

Before I could say no, but not before I had voiced many of my supposedly-legitimate-concerns (what will I wear? when will I have time? will I be the fattest one there? I don’t know how to use the machines! I will be neglecting my already cup-overflowing gym21responsibilities! lol) to my son, we both signed-up. His goal was to go upon occasion with his father or a friend, and the rest of the time to do his thing solo. He was also kind enough to offer to walk me through my initial paces and get me accustomed to the machines.

Taking the tour, I glimpsed lots of college-age girls in spandex leggings, I think more of what I would call tights. Funny, I don’t seem to get wedgies with my tights…. As a matter of fact, my standard-issue black tights that I wore with everything from skirt suits… to pants… to well, not shorts… but only because I didn’t really wear shorts… fit looser than their leggings.

I turned to my son who was studiously looking in another direction. Good boy. We had taught him to avert his eyes when faced with the skantily-clad. Apparently, he might need to watch the individual TVs in this kind of setting. Nowhere did I see any middle-aged women, workoutunless they were covered with tattoos and lifting weights. Coming for a tour in the middle of the day was probably not the best idea.

Many were the middle-aged men, though. Hmmm… did they work? A few bald, elderly men joined in, mostly tall and slender. Lots of young girls, college-aged, extremely thin, almost where their leggings looked loose on them. As we were leaving around 3:00 pm, many more mainstream people—college guys, older women…. Where would I fit?

I picked up a chart listing peak hours of usage: 5:00-9:00 am and 3:00-8:00 pm. Well, there went that. Hmmm….

Oh well, we’d figure it out. At $10/month, what did I have to lose, but some self-consciousness and flab?

Tomorrow, I’ll start. Too much to do today.


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