How to go to the Gym

In my recently developed quest to try new things, I have successfully joined a gym. I actually joined yesterday online. If you don’t want some muscle head touring you around the equipment and showing you where the towels are, then online is the way to go. Online is the new way of doing everything. I was actually going to work out online, but I guess they don’t have that part set up yet.

So, yesterday I joined a gym, printed out a sheet of paper declaring my official membership, and headed to that location. I arrived at the gym a little after five, which is apparently the time all of the members of the gym choose to park all of their cars and go inside. While I was looking for any scant amount of parking available, I noticed a curious development. Everyone was headed from their cars to the gym, all carrying duffle bags, and all with miserable looks on their faces. The look of despair on these duffle bag laden individuals made my heart bleed. It also made me run for the hills.

So, if you too are interesting in going to a gym, here is a walk through for gym membership day one:

  1. Join gym
  2. Tour parking lot
  3. Flee in terror

Day two, I was determined to actually go into the gym. After all, they are probably looking for me, their newest member, by now.  There is probably some kool-aid I need to drink or something.

Showing up a little earlier than the day before, parking is not as difficult. Plus, as an added advantage of scoping the place the day before, I now know the procedure for walking in.  Grabbing my duffle bag, I look as down trodden and miserable as possible and head for the front door. Some muscle-bound guy in a tank top even opens the door for me like I belong there. I am already winning at going to the gym.

When I get to the front desk, there are three muscley guys standing around speaking to each other in some sort of language I don’t understand. It sounds like grunts and half finished words, and from what I can tell, seems to be about some sort of substance called Hydro Muscle Bulk. I was confused at first, but then remember our resident sciency guy, Andreas ( mentioning something about stickleback gonads being of enormous size, leaving no energy left to waste on building an expensive big brain. These dudes must be reallocating their resources. See… science can explain EVERYTHING.

One of the guys notices me standing there with a document in my hand. I give him the document and announce my membership into their tribe. I can tell they are duly impressed. Also, I had NO IDEA this is a SECRET SPY gym! They scanned both my index fingers with a laser and gave me a secret code. I am not even exaggerating on this point. I am pretty sure I am getting called on a mission any day now.

I found the changing room okay, and had all the gym clothes in my duffle bag. But, then I remembered Diana (@haircuter) telling me about the huge sweaty manly muscley women clan and I am afraid they will walk in while I am changing. So I have to change in a bathroom stall with the new fear of dropping various items directly in the toilet. I rationalize that dropping things in the toilet will probably be easier to deal with than whatever it is the manly muscley women will do to me. Diana didn’t really say what they would do to me, but she did use the word ‘scary.’

Now, it is time to attach myself to one of those machines. You know, like in the matrix. I go and find a machine. The machine tells me to press a program or the green button. I press a program. Nothing happens. So, I press the green button. Nothing. DAMMIT! I JUST GOT HERE! I can’t believe I am failing already. After pressing more buttons several more times, I decide to try another machine. Much to my relief, this one works. They are never going to let me operate the secret spy equipment if I can’t get a damn treadmill to work.

Much to my dismay, I am not actually attached to the machine. Before I was worried about becoming a scene from the Matrix. Now, I am worried about falling off. Falling off seems much worse. I start the machine and it feels really strange. I don’t know if any of you have ever walked or run before, but usually when you walk or run, it is you that is moving over the ground. This treadmill system is exactly the opposite. The ground moves out from under your feet in a callous attitude where you had better either move along with it, or get flung off into the remote corners of the universe.

I notice in the course of my very successful not falling off of the treadmill that several other people are coming over to the broken machine and pressing a series of buttons with no success. I think to myself what terrible spies they will be. I also think that this situation could be easily resolved with some sort of sign that says, “Broken.” I hate to suggest it though. The guys at the front really seemed to be focused on the Hydro Muscle Bulk.

It took a little getting used to, but after about half an hour, I was finally able to keep pace with the machine without the constant fear of the thing flinging me off into the recesses of space to hang out with the dark matter. Then, it very considerately informed me it would be stopping. Great, mission accomplished, right? No. Not even close.

Now that the floor has been spinning beneath you, your new mission, if you choose to accept it, is to go back to regular walking. After spending a good half hour with the floor spinning, my feet graciously decide that is the way the world would be from this day forward. From now on, the ground moves. Got it. Trouble is… feet… this situation was only temporary. We need to go back to the system of the real floor now.

I don’t know if any of you have ever walked on a floor that feels like it should be moving and isn’t moving, but it is really disorienting. I had to sit down for a bit. After successfully NOT falling off the treadmill, I’ll be damned if I am going to fall off the damn floor. Not today, floor. Not today.

In case you are interested in joining a gym, here is the walk through for day two:

  1. Walk through the parking lot with a duffle bag and miserable expression
  2. Enter the gym with your secret spy code and finger scan
  3. Avoid the huge sweaty manly muscley women clan
  4. Avoid falling off the machines
  5. Avoid falling off the floor

And… done. Easy, right?

So, now you know how to go to a gym. I just wish I knew where everyone was getting those towels. That is what happens when you join a secret spy gym online without anyone to tell you where the towels are. I’m thinking they are probably next to the hidden wall of secret spy guns and weapons.

Here is some workout gear to prepare you for your gym experience. I can’t even imagine how grateful you must feel to me for helping you with your health and well-being.

By wearing this shirt, you can blend in with the muscley women clan until they gradually accept you as one of their own. There is a documentary here begging to be made.

This one is for me. I plan to try the elliptical machine next time and want to be prepared.

Save the Words

Do you wake up late at night because you can’t figure out how to find a way to live where you don’t feel like one of those goldfish? You know… the goldfish that you win in a carnival and it is in a bowl and it is fine for a while, but then one day you look at the fish and it is at the top of the water with his little fish mouth gaping open, constantly struggling for air…

You are probably just tormented by all the dying words taking up all the oxygen in the air. According to The New Science of the Birth and Death of Words from the Wall Street Journal, words are shriveling up and dying all around you. Most of us are too desensitized by the noise and bustle of the world to notice.

Did you know that more than half of our language is dark matter? Words are struggling at a rapid clip not to disappear for ever into this vast pit of non-use. I can hear them screaming. Worse yet, not even new words are safe. Once a word is born, gets about 30-50 years in the sunlight, and then begins its gradual decline into “marginal utility.”

Have you used the word “Roentgenogram” lately? No, of course you haven’t. Because it is DEAD. Thanks to everyone going around saying “X-ray,” roentgenogram is never to be heard from again. I hope you will recognize your part in killing this word. I for one, am going to do my part to prevent these words from slipping off the cliff into oblivion, by providing you with this helpful t-shirt.

logolepsy n. -an obsession with words

It may be too late for “Roentgenogram,” but I think we can all do our part for “logolepsy.”