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I can’t connect to the Internet here at the library today. Generally, I log into www.schizophrenia.com, go to the “diagnosed with” boards, which I can’t access from home, and see how everyone’s doing, and the act of making a social connection helps me come up with a topic for today’s blog entry. But I can’t do that today. I feel excluded right now from the world of mental patients who enjoy communicating online.
Perhaps I can take this opportunity to write a chatty blog entry about myself, what I’ve been doing, how the new meds are working out, bore you to death with details you probably haven’t any desire to hear.
Or, I could launch into a dissertation on how Internet-dependent I am, how I’ll fall apart if my computer breaks down, but my phone was out for five days last year and in fact I didn’t fall apart. Any longer, though, and there would have been major meltdown.
Or I could talk about how I went on a five-day eating binge recently that truly wrecked my confidence. I could get into details, what a binge is like, and so on, but I think I’ll save that for another time.
What I really want to tell you about is the new gym I’m going to. I saw it on the bus yesterday and I said to myself, “Wow, would be so much better if I could go to a gym on the bus line!” and immediately got online (here we go again) at home and signed up for a free week pass at Boston Sports Clubs (www.mysportsclubs.com). I went to Yahoo maps (http://maps.yahoo.com)and saw that this gym is 1.8 miles from my home, and when the weather isn’t so hot I feel like a toasting marshmallow, I could even walk there. I noted the adjacent side streets so I’d know which bus stops were closest. Then today, after walking QB and showering, I headed over to the new gym.
I was immediately impressed with the enormity of the place. It made the old gym look like a closet by comparison. I stepped through the doors and was overwhelmed by a blast of cool air that told me these people had an air conditioner that actually worked. As I expected, there was a desk out front. I presented my coupon and handicapped bus pass (photo ID) to someone who obviously worked there. He disappeared into an office, then a friendly-looking young man introduced himself to me as Scott, a “membership associate,” and brought me over to his desk, where he arranged a bar code membership card for me like the one I have for my old gym, and showed me around.
I’ve never seen so many cardio machines in one place, and such a variety. Each machine has its own TV that you can plug headphones into (and a choice of 17 channels, Scott said) and a fan that blows cool air on your face if you want. I saw at least 30 treadmills, 20 recumbent stationary bikes, an entire room of “spinning” bikes, elliptical and stair-climbers of all sorts. There were huge rooms dedicated to free-weight work, and a room for nautilus machines, including a “22-minute express workout” area. An exercise room and smaller “mind and body” (yoga) room, off to the side, were designated for exercise classes, and further along the same side was a room for “spinning” classes with 28 bikes. The pool wasn’t the biggest I’ve seen, but pleasant enough, though I would be embarrassed to show up there in a bathing suit. Though I explained to Scott that I’m unable under any circumstances to shoot a basket, he pointed out the basketball court, then he gestured the way to the ladies’ locker room.
I was suddenly hit with déjà vu. I remembered my first time at the old gym. I’d never been to a gym before and didn’t know what to expect. I was embarrassed to ask for help, so I blindly followed what other women did: how they used each machine, how they adjusted it, how fast each machine worked. I rode a stationary bike for 20 minutes and then, too shy to try strength training, I immediately located the stretching room, did my routine, and headed home.
Now, I felt that I knew enough about working out to ask appropriate questions, to get the help I should have asked for in the first place, a year and a half ago when I first started working out.
I won’t bore you with the particulars of my workout, details that fascinate me and are useless for everyone else. Let me say though that the air conditioning was a blessing; I didn’t sweat to the point of dehydration, or get on the bike and suddenly feel like I had to pee. I am in my own very private world when I work out, and luckily I was afforded real-life privacy as well because the gym wasn’t crowded. If you really want to know, I listened to Vertical Horizon, one of my new favorite groups.
I think I’ll switch to Boston Sports Clubs. That gym suited me fine.
What is the point of my telling you all this? I think very little of what I said was worth saying, and I didn’t say it particularly well, but if I were to edit this piece, I think I’d save the “Déjà vu” paragraph (the first gym experience is always worth writing about), develop that, and toss the rest.
But I don’t want to toss the rest; I’m too selfish. People who work out are fascinated by their own personal details: how long they walked on the treadmill, how fast they rode the bike. People who work out become fascinated with their bodies, what their bodies can and can’t do, and how to push their bodies to do more and more. People who work out care about their bodies and care about these details. Some days I come home and e-mail my friends, who are probably bored sick, about my workout, how I felt I did, what needs improvement, and so on. (I think I lost a couple of e-mail friends this way.)
The library will be closing in 20 minutes. I just heard an announcement, so loud it scared the shit out of me.
I feel damned good. It’s hard to believe that only a few days ago I was depressed to the point of thinking about suicide. Instead, I’m sitting here in the library boring you with things you don’t care about, things that matter only to me, but matter deeply, and I want to share with you that depth.