Today we return to our gym-talking roots. I don’t plan on recounting the horror of my New Year’s weight loss plans, much to your sadness, I’m sure, but rather we will focus on the dark and oft not spoken of underbelly of the high-end fitness world: it is exactly like high school.
What does this mean? It means that the minute I step off the elevators at the SCLA I am again the slightly less than popular girl who hasn’t learned how to manage her skin care regime and still thinks that her mother was correct in telling her that blue eye liner will help her eyes pop. Despite my years of estranged silence from the people I went to school with, a time period in which I developed a personality, became an intellectual, drove myself into a career with reckless abandon, became a successful and functional member of society with a flawless skincare regime, I am still the awkward girl. My lululemons, though equally as costly, aren’t the color that every cool girl has decided to ban together and wear this season. (Which reminds me exactly of whatever whore bag decided that Uggs and Umbros were going to be all the rage my freshman year of college. What the fuck? How could any girl know that trend was going to take us in that direction?)
Now, for all this gym misfortune, there is one teeny detail that keeps me floating along, despite the evil that prevails at the gym: I am, and will always be, twenty years younger than most of these women. That’s right ladies, you can stare, murmur, eye roll, blacklist– whatever– but at the end of the day, guess who is still going home a cake away from fifty? That. would. be. you.
And so I’ve learned to adapt. On Saturday mornings, my favorite gym fairy George (who, by the way, should be the next Best of Boston, lets work on that), teaches back-to-back weight training and cardio classes. The weight training is a spacial free for all, with women literally throwing their bodies onto the ground to save themselves a space. Because gym buddy and I have gotten into the inner sanctum, we simply stroll in about three minutes before class and talk to George until, what do you know, class as has started and we’re standing at the front. Sorry, ladies.
The cardio class, on the other hand, is not the same gig. My first cardio blast experience I was like a little fawn. Unbenounced to me, I had ignored the evil stares of “The Three” and positioned myself on their turf. George probably could have told me that I’d made such a fuck up, but I think that maybe he wanted to see if “The Three” would actually eat a young girl like me alive.
(“The Three” have different nicknames depending on the day. They started out as the Heathers, but there was something not quite evil enough about that name. Heather sounds soft and youthful. What we’re dealing with is something agier and more bitter.)
So there I am. A girl who has struggled her whole life with less than stellar coordination standing amidst “The Three” at the start of a cardio class where, guess what, a fair amount of focus and coordination is necessary.
I turned left at “The Three” were twirling right. I grapevined when “The Three” were adding their own cardio zest with a whirlybird. I felt myself self worth shrink, but then I remembered that they probably knew these moves from the original Jazzercise, something I couldn’t possible remember because I was in grade school.
Now, you must be asking yourself, “where is gym bff? why is she not saving you from this horror?”
Well, this particular day, gym BFF was dancing to the beat of her own cardio drummer, having not quite figured out if the alcohol from the night before had completed its course through her system…