Monday, June 25, 2007

My Own Personal Hell

After careful consideration, I’ve started utilizing my gym membership to a fuller potential. I’ve called upon the strengths of a personal trainer to guide me a bit, and per her suggestion I decided to take a Spinning class. Now for any of you who (like me) think that this sort of class only entails a bunch of overaged, overweight women lazily sitting on a stationary bike for an hour…I would like to educate you a bit…

Due to a higher demand, they require you to call ahead to schedule an “appointment,” so after my workout on Saturday I scheduled the 9:30 monday morning class with Lisa G. She sounds friendly enough, right? I choose the hour-long class (as opposed to the regular 45 minute classes) but I figure this may provide me with a little more of a challenge, seeing as how I AM the girl who rode her bike across the state of Florida in high school with my youth group (let’s forget that that little excursion took place over 10 years ago) and afterall, what kind of wimp can’t ride a bicycle for an hour? Little did I know on Saturday that on Sunday night, I would be the proud winner of a sleepless 8 hours full of cramps of epic proportions. Some of you ladies may know what I am speaking of, we are talking like biblical pain here. 4 Advil + 2 Tylenol + a heating pad didn’t touch this puppy. So when Chris wakes me up at 8:30 (after what little sleep I was able to obtain) to say he’s leaving for work, I am about the crankiest person that has ever lived. Chris sweetly tries to tell me that I have a good excuse if I want to skip the class, that he’ll even call for me if I want and tell them I’m sick and can’t make it. But I am a trooper. I am woman, let’s hear me roar, right?

So I drag my butt out of bed and to the gym, being sure to arrive early to meet Lisa G. and have her help me set up my bike. My first impression of Lisa G. is that homegirl is possibly the perkiest woman I have ever met. Everything about her is perky. Her voice. The bounce in her step. Her boobs are perky. Even her ponytail seems to sit at an unnatural point on her head. She puts on her little Britney-Spears-esqe microphone and then introduces herself to me and tells me how glad she is that I am here. I am only slightly self-conscious as the others are filling in and her microphone is booming our conversation about this being my first time in a spinning class, and that I don’t really know what I’m doing, but that I regularly do long cardio sets on the Elliptical trainers and Treadmills so I shouldn’t have any problems keeping up. Lisa G. only smiles at me a bit while I am saying this. I wonder what that smile means while I choose a seat in the front row, the center seat, of course. This is a typical practice of mine in any class I take. I am a bit of an overachiever and I like to give the professor/instructor my full attention. And I am only slightly concerned when I overhear the two people sitting on my right discussing their times on their most recent Triathlons and see the T-shirt of the man on my left proudly displaying that he was a contendor in the Ironman Challenge. But only slightly concerned, right? Before we even begin I am sitting on my seat, peddling away (following the cues of the Mrs. Triathlete and Mr. Ironman) to warm up, and realizing that my butt REALLY hurts. Already. I peak behind me at the room (that is now filled to it’s 35 person capacity) and notice a number of people using either gel seat-covers, or padded-butt shorts. I also notice that there is not a single overaged, nor overweight person in the bunch. These people are some real hardbodies. I notice their special little cycling shoes and am faced with a sudden harsh realization that these people ALL look to be professional atheletes. I wonder to myself if there is any possibility that I accidentally got placed in the class that is training for the 2008 Olympics. I am beginning to think that maybe this was a bad idea. I start cursing myself for choosing this particular seat. Had I been a bit more strategic (or less cocky, however you want to look at it) I would have chosen a wiser placement possibly towards the back or even better, in the very back next to the door so I could sneak out and no one would see me.

Lisa G. turns the lights off, and a mini-lazer-lightshow begins. Some (rather hip) music starts playing, and Lisa G. instructs us to increase our intensity by 3. She then tells us to pick up the pace and go into “Standing Climb” position (this is exactly as it sounds, you stand on the pedals while leaning forward to the furthest-away handlebars as though you are climbing a steep hill on a mountain bike.) I notice immediately that my quadriceps are (already) aching but at least my butt is no longer sitting on that dreadful, hard seat (always looking for that silver lining, folks). A chorus of exhuberant cyclists yelling “WHEW,” and “WOO-HOO” is bouncing around the room. Lisa G. says “Keep your back neutral and head up people” in her perkiest voice while looking directly at me (who had taken to staring at my handlebars). I correct my position while wishing that I had superpowers to shoot lazerbeams from my eyes and knock her perky head clean off her perky shoulders. The sudden (horrifying) realization now occurs to me that in this position, “the junk in my trunk” is on display for every one of the 30 people in the rows behind me. I flex my glutes tightly while peddling faster, I can’t let Ironman next to me beat me up the “hill” by too much. Chaz, a supermodel in the row behind me who is clearly a regular, yells out “Is everyone having fun?” Several “WHEW”s break out throughout the room. Who the heck is this guy? I decide that he must be sleeping with Lisa G, because nobody else would be this much of a butt-kisser. I look at the clock…9:42. About 45 minutes left. Lisa G. tells us to go back to ’Position 1’ and increase intensity again, as the music speeds up. She wants us doing 120 rotations per minute and leads us in a count. I am at about 110 and decide that I refuse to go faster unless she allows us to decrease our intensity. At a very appropriate moment, she reads my mind and asks “Are y’all cycling through quicksand?” I stop hating for her only a moment, seeing that she does notice the pained looks on our faces (or possibly just mine), until I hear Her Royal Perkiness say “Then increase intensity and speed because you’re ALMOST working hard enough.” Urge to kill increasing.
9:47…more than a quarter of the way done…and I am about to pass out. I decide to take my mind off my intense rear-pain and calculate exactly what percentage I am done…It’s now 9:48 and I can’t just say 1/4 done. I need further encouragement so I believe that 18/60ths or 9/30ths is much better. Makes me feel closer to 1/3 which I like. A lot.

Around the one half-mark (or as I prefer to see it, the 11/20ths) I begin to feel a little less like I am going to die. I believe this is what we (professional athletes) like to call “getting over the wall.” My butt is now numb so I hate ’Position 1’ the most but ’Positions 2 and 3’ have both rubbed a huge blister on the side of my left foot so I don’t like them either. I begin thinking up my own positions, such as ’Position 4’ where you stand up on the pedals but don’t actually have to pedal at all, or ’Position 5’ which is really just me standing outside this wretched place dumping the remainder of my Aquafina bottle all over myself. I decide that I like ’Position 5’ the best, and that maybe I should leave it as an (anonymous) suggestion in the comment box. It is now 10:23 and I am litterally counting the droplets of sweat on the black floor below my bike…I believe I am up to about 22, which is actually a little less than the 24 below Ironman and the 30ish below Mrs. Triathelete. I experience only a fleeting sense of accomplishment followed by some pretty severe self-loathing while remembering my initial assesment of what a “nice, relaxing break” a spinning class would be from my daily intense Elliptical cardio marathons.

Lisa G. informs us that we have just 30 seconds left, and to push ourselves. I am fighting the urge to flip her the bird. We finally finish, and the sweaty 30-something ladies behind me tap me on the back and tell me how impressed they are that I made it through the whole thing my first time. Now this type of compliment would usually make my day but at this moment I am plotting a way to punch them both square in the ear for patronizing me. I decide that I may be slightly cranky and it’s best that I just smile sweetly and thank them (I will let the air out of their tires along with Lisa G’s later.) I do feel accomplished. The bright side is that my cramps are now only a distant memory, the less-than-bright side is that my Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves are now informing me that I won’t be able to walk tomorrow…or sit on anything other than a doughnut, for that matter. Overall I consider it a ’character building’ move on my part. On my way out I see my personal trainer. She walks over and asks me if I’ve had a chance to try out that spinning class she recommended. I am overwhelmed by a newfound respect for her, as well as my own personal desire to stab her in the eye. I tell her that I tried it, and that I may even try it again next week…only this time I will only be doing the 45 minute class, and I will be rockin’ a pair of padded-butt shorts. You live, you learn, right?

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Paging Dr. Freud...

So this was my dream last night…

I’m coming home from work, and I notice that my doormat is gone is has been replaced by a new, strange one that's the size of my entire front porch.
The doormat is the shape of the state of Virginia. In the center of the state is a large, 3-D picture of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Underneath Ruth’s face is one of those conversation bubbles coming out of her mouth, with the words “Don’t Tread On Me!”
And that, my friends, is pretty much all I remember. So what the heck does all this mean? Hmmmm…

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Isn't She Knocked Up Yet?

So I feel that it’s time to address a certain issue with everyone. One that has become quite the topic of discussion lately. Here is the answer to everyone’s questions…

No. I am NOT getting preggers anytime soon. And No, I do NOT WISH to be preggers.
Here’s something that y’all need to get…I am a selfish person. I have always been a selfish person. I am an only child (technically) and it kind of comes with the territory. I actually really LOVE being selfish. I guess you could say it looks good on me. I wear it well. Whatever. My point is that when you become a “mommy” (even the word makes me cringe), you have to put the little bundle of poop first in your life. And let me be honest, I’m not altogether certain that I’m capable of that. I mean, have you ever met a child? If you think I’m selfish you should meet a six-month old. Seriously. Talk about having absolutely NO regard for other human beings! Now I’m not saying that I won’t wake up one day and decide to change my mind…that’s a woman’s prerogative, isn’t it? But until that day you all need to STOP asking me that disgusting question…
“When are you and Chris going to have a baby?”

Gross. Every time I hear that question I nearly vomit in my own mouth. And yet you people keep asking. As if I’m some sort of freak for being married a whole five years and not feeling the pangs of desire to be a mo… (you know, the “M”-word). Call me strange, but I just don’t think it’s fair to be bullied into having a baby just because I happen to own a uterus. I mean, do you people plan on being the ones to wake up at 12, 3, and 5:30 am to feed this screaming beast? Do you plan on coming over three times a week to watch the little monster while Chris and I go out to dinner? Are you people going to be the ones to forfeit YOUR play-money to buy diapers? To find yourselves coming home from a friday afternoon shopping excursion toting Baby Gap and Children's Place bags instead of Nordstom and Pottery Barn? And allow me to paint you a little picture…
Do YOU want to be the unfortunate discoverer of a booger (yes, a booger) on your cream colored casz-chic couch that you saved up for for months? Do you? Because I, sir, do not.

So in closing I want to make it very clear…I don’t hate children (well okay, maybe a little). There was a time when I would have told you I couldn’t wait to have a child. Chris is praying that I’m just going through a phase…and that I’ll just snap out of it one day. And maybe I will. That would be just like me. But it will happen when I am ready. Not when you all decide that YOU’VE waited long enough. The spawn will come along eventually. I’m personally looking in to just waiting until we’re 55 and then adopt a nice, independent, respectful, independently-wealthy young 25 year-old who has an innate desire to take care of us when we’re old. I think we’ll call him Clayton…

Monday, January 15, 2007

Victory Over Teen Girl Squad

Okay, so I’ll set the scene for you…
The worst day of work EVER. Not feeling well, some kid throws up on me ON PURPOSE because he didn’t want me to take x-rays on him, argument with the boss, and some lady picks a fight with me because apparently when I told her that her blood pressure is too high I was lying because I “must have a personal issue” with her. Anyway, the day is finally over and I’m heading for my car. Realizing that I have nothing for dinner at home I trudge into the grocery store next to my office.
I now have the biggest headache that any man, woman, or beast has ever experienced. I’m standing in the checkout line feeling irritable, aggitated, and tempted to take my own life right here in front of Aunt Jemima standing behind me (she really did look like her.) These three 18-year-olds are standing in front of me looking very “Teen Girls Squad” and basically making fun of EVERYTHING they see. First it’s the lady walking by in a sweatshirt that says “College” (you know, the classic Belushi sweatshirt from Animal House? Anyone with any knowledge of great cinema would appreciate the reference and humor of the sweatshirt.)

The girls laughed at how she’s “so trailer trash” that they doubt she ever went to college. Then it’s onto Fatty McButterpants in front of them who happens to be buying lots of fried stuff, cheese, and pastires (unfortunate) but they make sure to talk about how “this won’t be helping him out of his next heart-attack,” loudly enough that he hears them. Then they are kind enough to move on to the checkout lady. The leader of the pack (who, by the way is wearing enough gel and mousse in her hair to smother a small village) mentions in passing to ”Florence the checkout lady” how if she was her age and working in a grocery store she would kill herself. Soooo at this point, I’m pretty annoyed. It’s one thing to humiliate Fatty but quite another to insult my girl Florence (she always compliments my hair so naturally I love her).

They then move on to me. Sticky-hair-girl looks back at me, looks me up and down (hair in a mess, feeling like hell, wearing dirty scrubs) and says something under her breath that sounds an awful lot like “Nice pajamas.” Her idiot friends giggle then whisper something about “don’t say that so loud, she’ll hear you.” She then makes another equally intelligent observation to the effect of “who would ever go out looking like that?” This is the point in which I basically loose it. Without even thinking I lean forward and tap old sticky-hair on the shoulder and say “hey sweetie, the 80’s called. They want their “wet look” back” while scrunching her incredibly crunchy hair.

It is then that I realize how terribly stupid (not to mention outnumbered) I am. I think, this girl is DEFINITELY going to deck me. I start remembering back upon my high school years, wondering why I was such a wuss as to never have been in a fight. I am completely unprepared for this. Her eyes are now shooting fire because apparently nobody in Princess Sticky Head’s whole life has ever said anything to her like this. I notice my hands trying desperately to make a fist (just in case)and I realize that I am such a “fight virgin” that I don’t even know whether the thumb goes inside the other fingers or outside. I must have missed that day in delinquent P.E. I am now at battle within myself. One side wants to stand my ground and continue staring her down, pregnant pause going on for what seems like eternity. The other side (the one who would rather not get it’s butt kicked by crankycheerleader and her homies today) wanting to quickly apologize and then fall into the fetal position on the floor. I stand my ground. I notice that Florence is laughing at my joke and that makes me feel a little better. Maybe she’ll have my back. What kind of an idiot expects a 60 year old grocery store clerk to have her back? I’m in trouble. Aunt Jemima is now backing up a bit in preparation for the spectacle that is about to take place. She makes one of those “Oooohhh, girl” faces at me and I see the pity in her eyes. Here it comes. Sticky-Hair is about to make her move. I can just feel it. She reaches for her receipt out of Florence’s hand and looks back at me and says “Well that was mean and uncalled for.” And walks off. That’s it. The little weanie walks off looking as if I hurt her feelings terribly. I won. I really did. Victory was totally mine. I was so proud of myself that I actually almost high-fived Florence, then quickly realized how very old and white and uncool that would be. But I won nonetheless. So there it is folks. My moment of glory. Made the whole day seem almost worth it. I hope she cried in the car. Maybe even threw out her 34 bottles of spray-gel when she got home. God bless America.