Lately, Toby and I have been meeting after work at the New York Sports Club on 14th street and 6th avenue. Justifying the cost of the NYSC membership means having to attend often. And today, I can barely move.
I feel as though someone beat me with a sack of oranges. Twice. My ass hurts, my legs hurt, the top of my feet hurt, my shoulders hurt, my arms hurt, even my nipples hurt. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of pain I am in today.
But that’s not why I’m writing.
I have always found that the experiences one has while at the gym are rather fascinating. While I’m there, I can’t help but watch everyone around me as I have conversations with myself. What else is there to do but listen to an iPod and watch everyone (including yourself) act weird? Nothing. Even TV can’t keep my interest for long. Basically, I’ll do whatever I can to make the mere split seconds I am beating myself with go by a bit faster. If that means pretending everyone is watching me and if I stop running they will all laugh? Then, so be it. Keep running, bitch. If that means saying I can’t stop until the calories I ingested for lunch are blinking GONE! Across the red beaming lights below. Then, so be it. Keep running, bitch.
Basically, I create little milestones just to so I can push myself a bit further.
I’ll go until I reach my age in minutes.
I’ll go until my perogies are digested and gone.
I’ll run until this guy either gets rid of PJ Harvey or he licks her injuries.
If you stop the guards will shoot you.
The other day while I’m talking myself into beating myself with a sack of invisible oranges, a young lady hopped onto the treadmill next to me. She was a wee bit shorter than me, probably 5”4’. She was of an average build. Her extra weight resided around her hips and on her thighs, while mine surrounds my belly like an inner tube. (Not that I make it a habit to compare myself to others, I’m just trying to paint a picture without giving anyone the impression that I am MISS FIT USA.)
She stood there punching in numbers. It did not appear she knew what she was doing. (We’ve all been there). Her hair was brown and long. It was pulled back in a ponytail. She was pretty in that sorority sort of way. Finally, her treadmill kicked on. She put her headphones on then placed a magazine down on the rack in front of her. It was the thickest, pinkest magazine I have ever seen.
And then I saw it. On her left hand was the BIGGEST rock I have ever seen in person. It was sittin’ pretty and perfectly. It stared back at me as if to say, “You are merely coal.”
She opened the magazine to a page that had been previously dog-eared. Lying before her was a spread. On one page was a close up of a woman in a veil. She was perfectly done up. She looked like a doll, a porcelain doll.
“Photoshop.” I cynically thought to myself.
On the other page, the same model was wearing a wedding gown—a perfectly fitted, most elegant, probably 10 thousand dollar wedding gown. This woman was a model. She was born into this world solely to wear long, elegant wedding gowns. And I have to admit, the gown was really beautiful. And there would be no way in hell I could ever fit into it, let alone look good in it.
“Hussy.” I cynically thought to myself.
The girl next to me began to jog. She was running towards something. Her goal was much clearer than any of mine have ever been. I knew at that very moment that she will eventually fit into that gown and look even better than the phony woman in the spread before her. But I had no way of telling her that.
But by God, if didn’t witness the most perfect display of an incentive to keep on running.
Tonight, I am bringing the bikini I wore at age 20. I will place it before me, and I will run backwards for 10 years.