Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Making the Most of the Gym

When I first joined a gym this fall, the personal trainer tried to push me into "warrior mode". Since becoming a warrior seems to involve large sums of money being transferred out of our checking account until the end of time, and the fact that I'd rather spend large sums of money on other things like new clothes and pedicures, I summoned my little strength as a non-warrior, and resisted. And I'm proud to say that, despite seeing both fitness pushers around the facility often, I have kept that resistance strong.

That's not to say I'm not enjoying my time at the gym. I am. I really am.

Because the gym has a fantastic kids' drop off area that makes the girls happy. And I am nothing if not dedicated to my children's happiness while improving my fitness and health.



I read through the drop off rules pretty carefully. And although they're clear that you cannot leave the building, and there is a two hour limit, there is no rule that you have to be actively working out during that time.

In fact - and here's the dirty little secret - you don't have to work out at ALL.

Seriously. You can check the kids in, then go find a nice quiet corner and read your magazine for two hours.

I mean, probably.

I've been afraid to try the not working out at all thing. I'm terrified that someone, probably Perky Trainer Girl, will catch me not working out, and then she'll force me to do core strengthening exercises while she bills me $200 an hour. So I haven't done it yet. I've been tempted, but I haven't. Yet.

But, let's say for example, that it's a random Thursday morning. I'm in my yoga pants, because, you know, it's a Thursday morning. The 4 year old is overtired and whining like crazy and bursting into tears over things like her pink pants being in the laundry. Reagan has been up since dawn and has pulled out every toy she can find. I decide we'll go to the gym.

I pack my bag carefully. Water, earbuds, yeah, yeah, all that workout stuff. Then I pack up all my shower stuff and a fresh change of clothes. Then I add several magazines, my Kindle, my phone, my notebook and a book. You know, just in case.

We arrive at the gym and the girls get their morning exercise in by running the length of the sidewalk in front of the plaza. We check in and I drop them off in the Kids' Zone, making sure to note the time of check in on the computer.

I stop in the locker room, and, after stowing my bag, hide in a corner and play Candy Crush until I'm out of lives. This takes anywhere from 5-15 mintues.

Then I grudgingly do about 15-30 minutes of actual exercise. While reading blogs on my phone and watching Food Network.

I return to the locker room and bring a magazine into the sauna until I can't stand the heat anymore.

Hot and sweaty, I take a loooong shower with no one knocking on the door, pulling back the curtain, asking when I'm going to be out, or trying to decipher the yelling from downstairs to determine if it's mere sibling rivalry that they can work out on their own, or an actual fight to death. The gym showers are blissfully quiet.

After my shower, I get dressed in actual clothes and do my hair. Sometimes, I even add a touch of make up.

I note the time.

If I have managed to complete all of these tasks before the two hours are up, I pull out a magazine or book, find a quiet corner in the locker room, and just read. If I got any good ideas during my quiet shower, I jot them down in my notebook. If I've built up some lives on Candy Crush, I'll play another game or two.

When I have five minutes left out of the two hours, I'll go pick up the girls. Clean, dressed, and relaxed. And totally within my legal time limit.

Two hours of gym time - thirty minutes of exercise. Sounds like a perfect workout to me.

Of course, this method is not without drawback. Adam has been impressed with my long gym mornings, but is probably wondering why the results aren't quite as impressive as the time clocked. But whatever, I'm not worried about that.

It's the two year old. The little one is onto me. She knows that I'm enjoying the gym far too much, and her toddler sense has kicked into high gear.

Because the one thing that this lovely, fun, childcare area does not do is change diapers. If your child poops, they call you and you are supposed to return quickly to take care of things. And although you theoretically could return to your "workout" and finish out your two hour allowance, that never seems to happen. Once I'm back to change a diaper, neither girl is happy to be left again. I did it once and the childcare workers were clearly not happy that I left two unhappy kids. So once there's poop, we're done.

And the little one has begun pooping right when I'm finishing the actual "working out" part of my "workout". Forcing me, tired, sweaty and unshowered, to cut my time in half and leave the gym looking and feeling like I've just worked out. Which is so not why I joined a gym. I can look tired and unshowered all by myself at home, thank you very much.

If she doesn't cut this out, I'm going to be forced to take drastic measures. I'll get there, do the sauna, play some Candy Crush, shower, kill some time with magazines, and then, once the stuff I actually like is checked off, do some exercise. You know, if there's time.

Because I'm a warrior.
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