Lately my life has been pretty busy. I mean, I have thesis prep and finals just ended, plus I’m rescuing a dog and then there’s the gym, Okay, maybe it’s not that much, but for a guy who’s used to more re-runs of The West Wing and Sex and the City than he cares to mention, that’s a busy schedule. But first and foremost, my priority has been to my work out routine. Now I know this may come as a shock to a lot of people here, but the gay community is very image-based. That’s right, gay men can be catty and superficial. I know, I know, most of you didn’t see it coming, but there ya have it. So I’m not proud when I say that I spend as much time on my body as I do, but it’s an ugly fact of life. But one of the things I’ve learned from this whole thing is what I like to call, the truth about exercising. There are a lot of myths surrounding exercise, but I’m here to tell you the real deal. I’m not saying this as a fan of juvenile diabetes or anything, because America certainly does have an obesity problem, but it’d be unfair to tell people to get a gym membership without talking about the down sides as well.
5. Exercising works better if you have a stuffy nose.
As much as I love the gym that I go to, that doesn’t mean I hafta like the other people. I’m not talking about the women that spend hours on the exercise bikes with their US Weekly‘s or the guys that wear sleeveless shirts that, for some reason, give you a full-on shot of their exposed nipples. No, I’m not talking about the smell of other people. I’m sure I’m just as bad as the rest of the gym, but when you cram a hundred people or so into one building which wreaks of sweat and patchouli? Well, before you know it, you’ll be dreaming of cold and flu season just to escape the unpleasant aroma.
4. Anyone who says they enjoy it is lying.
There are a lot of lies we tell ourselves. Some say that it’s the brain’s way of protecting ourselves from what we can’t handle, but whatever the reason, lying is pretty much a given. One of the most egregious falsehoods I’ve come across in my 23 years of experience is this idea that the gym is “fun.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good run or lifting every so often, but would I ever tell people I was doing it for fun? Hell no. I’m doing it for my own personal well-being and because I’m not naturally a guy who can easily fit into certain jeans.
3. If they’re not lying, they’re probably on steroids.
But the liars aren’t even the worst ones. There are those that say they enjoy it and I’m convinced that they actually do. Like I said before, I’m not opposed to the gym really. I like it every so often and it’s a good routine that I’ve got worked out for myself, but I’m talking about the people that you never see outside of the gym, but every time you go, you see them there. I’m not gonna lie, it kinda freaks me out. Well, a combination of ‘freaks me out” and “makes me self conscious.” There are entire groups of people that I never see break into a sweat regardless of the fact that they are there before I get there and they’re still working out when I leave. Okay, this one we can probably just chalk up to petty jealousy.
2. Just because you worked out, doesn’t mean you can order a pizza.
There’s this idea that a workout gives you carte blanche to do whatever you want afterwards. God, how I wish that was true. The sad fact of the matter is, it’s not. I’m sure you’ve heard this time and time again while you were doin’ your Jane Fonda workout tape or sweatin’ to the oldies, but you’ve gotta find a happy median. I’ve had friends that will work out and then order Chinese right after, then express frustration that they aren’t losing weight or seeing results. The truth is, exercise doesn’t count for much if you don’t make some other lifestyle changes as well, so don’t think of a gym membership as a cure-all.
1. If you say you’re doing it for yourself, you’re just kidding yourself.
Let’s just be realistic. Sure, part of it’s for you. I mean, you get the endorphins and all that fun stuff, plus if you buy into all that stuff about “the satisfaction of a job well done”, then you got that goin’ for ya. But who can honestly say that going to the gym is for their own peace of mind? Cuz I call malarky on that. It’s a self esteem booster, but how do most of us get our self-esteem up? When other people notice us. Or maybe I’m just particularly shallow… either way you slice it, this is my version of the truth about exercising.