Gym Buddy: “Your butt always hurts! Even pull-ups make your butt sore!”
Me: “Why is that?”
Other Gym Buddy: “I don’t feel my butt but I can’t laugh for how sore my abs are.”
Gym Buddy: “Oooh me too – and heaven help me if I sneeze!”
Me: “Sneeze crisis! Do you hold your sore stomach or hold your crotch to keep from wetting yourself?”
Other Gym Buddy: “Clearly you’ve had too many kids.”
Me: “Clearly I need more hands!”
Gym Buddy: “Speaking of kids, mine kept me up all night. I’m freaking exhausted.”
Other Other Gym Buddy: “Speaking of kids and exhaustion, I think I might be pregnant.”
Allison, the native Minnesotan: “Ooofda!”
Me: “You’re not pregnant, you just had your period three days ago, remember?”
Other Other Gym Buddy: “Since when do you know when I menstruate?”
Elderly woman walking by: “It’s because you refused to do abs because you said having cramps from hell should count. By the way, all of us in the Active Older Adult class took a vote and decided you need to buck up, Buttercup.”
Me: Hmm… maybe we shouldn’t have these conversations in the middle of the weight floor?”
Gym Buddy: Says the girl who mistook a side stitch during running for ovulating and jumped off her treadmill shrieking “I command you not to lodge in my uterine lining!”.
Other Gym Buddy: “Do we always have to talk about bodily fluids? Can’t anyone tell me why my lats are sore? What on earth did we do??”
Me: “I refuse to work my lats.”
Gym Buddy: “Are we going to start or what?”
Other Gym Buddy: “Just a sec, I gotta go pee again.”
Gym Buddy: “You’ve peed twice already since you got here!”
Other Gym Buddy: “What are you, my mother? Are you going to count my toilet paper squares too?”
Me: Who wants to turn this frown upside down? Let’s do the Rachel Cosgrove warm-up!”
Collective groan: “I soooo don’t want to do this today.”
‘Tis true. This is pretty much how we start many a workout. Why we can’t just talk about American Idol and be done with it, I don’t know but just like we usually end our workouts talking about food, we often start them with a good whine fest. And I think this is a good thing!
Power of positive thinking aside, there’s a lot to be said for shared misery. And let’s face it, a lot of exercising is misery. If you don’t stand over your whirring treadmill belt right before starting your Tabata intervals and stare at the timer in abject horror then you aren’t doing your Tabatas correctly. It’s like your mother always told you, to grow you have to experience pain. And that doesn’t just apply to the botched home perm you gave yourself and then tried to cover up with “feathering.”
I don’t think it’s very productive to deny that you feel the pain. I love working out – almost more than anything else – and I’ll be the first to admit that it can really hurt. A lot. I think it helps to embrace the pain, get it out, share it and realize that you’re going to do the hard stuff anyhow. And you’ll feel great at the end.
There’s a time and a place to go all Pollyanna – starting lines, finish lines, round 7 of a Tabata, and public restrooms are all great places to cheer a buddy on. (True and only slightly relevant story: While I was on the toilet at Target, my then 3-year-old son took advantage of my occupied state and crawled underneath the stall divider, surprising the poor woman doing her business next to us. “What’cha doin’?” he chirped. “Oh, the same thing that you’re in here to do,” she replied diplomatically. “Wooking at people’s butts??” he enthused. We could not get out of there fast enough.) But there’s also a time to let out your inner Daria and acknowledge that sometimes things just suck. (Like trying to apologize to a stranger through a restroom stall divider while both of you still have pants down around your ankles.)
Gym Buddy Krista pointed out the other day that people who only know us from reading my blog probably think our daily workouts are calorie-torching, weight-heaving, sweat-soaked carnival shows set to our own laugh track and everything. And while we do have a lot of fun – every day these girls make me laugh – I think I should point out that there are plenty of workouts that are awful, or worse – mediocre. There are days when everything’s sore or 3 Gym Buddies are out with sick kids or the workout I’ve picked is boorrrring or, you know, I get spit on. We’ve had equipment malfunctions, body malfunctions and way more than our fair share of wardrobe malfunctions (with the lion’s share of those being mine although today Gym Buddy Krista did tuck her pants into her socks.)
And that’s okay. If you treat every workout like it’s the last one before the Biggest Loser final weigh-in then you’re going to be disappointed and maybe even so disheartened that you quit working out altogether. Not every workout is going to be great – most of them aren’t which is why the great ones are so notable! But every workout is doing something good for you, even if it’s just the fact that you got dressed and showed up.
Embrace your inner “meh”! Long live the “only if I have to”! Flaunt your sore butt! Just don’t look at strangers’ butts in public bathrooms!
Do you ever have whiny workouts? Do you have someone you can have a good whine fest with? Anyone else have a good public bathroom story??