Having decided that my dietary regimen of melting cheese on various carbs and drinking half a gallon of milk a day was not conducive to having a fly ass bod, though it does provide me such benefits as a propensity toward dairy farts, potential kidney stones and happiness, I resigned myself to giving getting in shape the old college try. I have not intentionally worked out since the Bush administration, although one time I did run to my apartment window to spy on my neighbors getting busy (they closed the blinds), but my building has a gym on the first floor that is free for residents and I decided it was high time to use it for its intended purpose, instead of only stopping in to fill up my water bottle (that filter, though) and make sure I don’t have any underwear lines. The mirrors in the gym are, I assume, intentionally slimming, which contrasts with the harsh fluorescent lighting blaring from overhead, so when I pop in to check myself out before a night of balancing being drunk enough to sing karaoke without fainting from the attention and sober enough that I don’t sound like I’m singing through novocaine, I get to admire my svelte figure while wondering when those newfound wrinkles and dark circles under my eyes turned me into a strung-out Steve Buscemi who apparently doesn’t know how to blend a concealer. Although I suppose if the mirrors had the effect of a soft-focus Instagram filter and a pitcher of margaritas, no one would ever work out.
I woke up early one morning before work, and, finding myself consumed by what was either a rare fit of athletic enthusiasm or demonic possession, I decided to go to the gym. My first exercise was ripping through drawers and closets trying to find the one ratty sports bra I had left over from my cool gal days on the high school golf team (dudes dig a chick in Dockers), and once I found it, I threw on a t-shirt and leggings that my boyfriend would later tell me were mostly see-through and strutted down to the gym to begin my new life as a fitness superstar. I threw open the gym door, filled up my water bottle, and was immediately overwhelmed. There were weight machines and exercise bikes and what I’m fairly certain was an iron maiden, but I quickly spotted a treadmill and decided that this was the way to go. I mean, I already knew how to walk. And I usually don’t even fall down. So I hopped up on the treadmill and started walking, but that quickly became boring so I decided to give running a try. At first, I felt empowered. Look at me, I’ve run a tenth of a mile. Soon, I’ll be running marathons and chasing bad guys over fences and finally figuring out what this parkour thing is all about. I would run coast to coast for some cause like cancer research or getting a Taco Bell closer to my house, and then next stop, the Olympics.
I ran and ran until I couldn’t anymore, until my legs had the consistency of pudding and my lungs felt like they were lined with machetes, and after stepping off the machine and dabbing at the swamp that had formed in my bra, I looked at the clock in triumph. It had been six minutes. I ran half a mile. Not exactly the Herculean feat I had anticipated, but I decided that was enough for today and army-crawled my now paralyzed body into the elevator to go upstairs and take a nap. But I couldn’t take a nap. I had to go to work. How do people do this every day? Does this gym membership come with an Adderall prescription I’m not aware of? Is this how Wile E. Coyote feels when he gets smashed with an anvil? How is Roadrunner even lifting these anvils? He doesn’t have arms. And is it so wrong to just want to eat something delicious and sit on your couch until sleep comes? Fitness is for the weak. Smart people accept the fact that speed bumps make their belly and boobs play patty cake and resign themselves to the fact that they’d be the first to die in a zombie apocalypse because they can’t outrun a drunk turtle. Sedentary is the life for me. Exercise is for chumps. Please write that on my tombstone when I die at the age of thirty-two from tragic pizza-induced heart failure. Please tell my story.