February 1st, 2011 9:03pm - I am Awesome, Everyone's Going Down

By February 1st, I hadn't worked out in two months. I had traipsed through Australia, Vegas, and Tahoe accompanied by booze slushies and cocktails. The extent of exercise that I had accomplished in those months was swimming as fast as possible in the opposite direction of a shark while diving the Great Barrier Reef. I was later told that what I thought had been a shark was in fact a very large turtle.

Starting February 1st, I joined a gym.

I ate a roast cricket a few years ago in Thailand and immediately gagged. Typically, I would rather eat a cricket than go to the gym. However, Sonoma County was flooding and my abdomen was expanding so much that I was starting to look pregnant. Someone in the grocery store last week actually rubbed my belly. I desperately needed to work out.

Unfortunately, I am consistently under the delusion that I have superior muscles. I played sports constantly until I graduated college, and I like to think of myself as an athlete. The fact that I haven't lifted anything heavier than a beer in the past three years failed to factor in.

I walked into a FIT Extreme class at Parkpoint Health Club, and I scoffed. Aside from one twenty-something overweight chick in the corner, everyone else was over the age of fifty-five. I noticed one of the men in my office smiling and waving at me. He's sixty-two.

I glared around the room, swung my arms across my chest a few times, cracked my neck, and thought to myself, I am awesome. Everyone's going down.

Within a minute and a half, I was sweating. Within five minutes, every breath was a gasp. My arms punched less enthusiastically and my legs shook. On my fourth girl push-up, I looked up at the old bag in front of me. She was doing man push-ups, elevating and lowering her body faster than I was. When we shuffled across the room like crabs, sweat pored into my eyes and I couldn't see. I missed the change direction and crashed into a man called Old Balls. He put his dry arm around my soaked shoulders and asked if I was okay.

"Water," I whispered, but Old Balls had continued shuffling and all I could discern was a blur of movement every way I turned. "Water," I murmured, stumbling like a homeless drunkard through the elderly. The last detail I saw before the sweat stung my eyes was Mayonnaise over in the corner looking at me and shaking her head.

After shoving my entire head into the drinking fountain and consuming a liter of water issuing forth from the tiny water stream, I was ready to go back inside.

I am awesome. Everyone's going down, I repeated to myself.

That was a hallucination. At the end of the class, all of the senior citizens walked out laughing and talking. I was incapable of speech and crawled out of the room.

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