Thursday, June 5, 2014

What I Think About at the Gym

I had one of those days today where I just fucking losing it mentally over a few insignificant things and a few things I made up in my head because I don't have any real problems. I don't get anxiety like that as much as I used to but it happens. I felt like I needed to do something to really let go of some stress. I decided that what I needed was to have a really good workout. Last night it was wine. Everything in moderation.

I don't usually get to go to the gym without some time constraint-I go in with a plan, and try to have an efficienct workout with enough time to go home and put on my face before work. Tonight I didn't have anywhere else to be. I just went to the gym with a lot of pent up nervous energy and did whatever my body felt like doing. And I think since I didn't feel rushed, or maybe just because I had a lot on my mind, I found my thoughts wandering. I just let my mind relax while my body did all the hard work, I really thought about a lot of shit. And I was like, you know who would find this really interesting? Probably no one. So that's why I'm writing about it in my blog.

On my walk to the gym I obviously had to pick a power song to pump me for the whole ordeal. I like to show up at the gym ready to do this. Today I needed something to make me feel like I'm awesome at life. I picked Human Nature by Madonna. It's hard to feel pathetic when you say the words "I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me"-which is actually totally irrelevant to anything that's going on in my life right now, but damn, that's a good line.

I got to the gym and I started out pretty easy, "running" on the elliptical. I usually do more intense cardio. But I had picked up a copy of Bust Magazine with Dolly Parton on the cover, and while I don't usually condone reading at the gym, I kind of wanted to at least flip through it. If you don't already read that magazine you totally should. This month's issue features an interview with Taryn Manning from Orange is the New Black, an article about how to help a friend in an abusive relationship, and lots more including the cover story on Dolly.

I was "that person" taking a photo at the gym

Once I'd skimmed through and decided which articles I wanted to read later,  I moved over to the free weight area. I work out in the women's only section in my gym. But I've noticed lately the men have found a loophole by participating in group glasses in the studio that's attached to the ladies section. There was a guy there tonight, and I couldn't help but feel like he was totally cheating the system. But then I thought some more and I was like, whoa, maybe I'M the one who's being a sexist pig here. I'm assuming he's just there to look at the women working out, but maybe he just really loves this Bodyjam class. I made sure to make eye contact with him as he was leaving, and just hoped he felt weirder than I did.

So I was at the weights and I saw a kettlebell and decided to try some of the "swings" that have been recommened to me. After the first two I decided I LOVE kettlebell swings, and did 3 sets of ten. Then I did some various squats and lunges, skipping rope in between to keep my heart rate up.

After that I decided to do some more cardio. Honestly, I don't ususally do so much(I focus more on weights), but today I just really  needed to get rid of a lot of energy.
  ****CHEESY MOMENT ALERT**** I truly feel like you can turn negative energy into positive energy through physical activity. And I was feeling a lot of negative energy today. So I got on the treadmill and obviously had to pick out some theme music for this part of the workout. I chose 808s and Heartbreaks. And as I ran at a medium pace at a slight incline to "Love Lockdown" I thought about how Kanye's discography has been like, super relevant to a lot of things that I've gone through. I'd rather overthink my relationship with pop music than worry about what the fuck I'm doing with my life you know?

By that point I was starting to wind down but I felt like I still needed to push myself a little bit more. I was pretty sure I could get through a few sets of reverse lunges off a bench.

Oh. No I could not. I got through about five on one side. Ok, four. I lowered my expectations(of myself) and did some body weight curtsy lunges and side lunges instead. I finished off with some yoga poses. At least I think they were yoga poses. I've never actually gone to a yoga class, so I might have made them up. I really wanted to do a headstand but I was pretty sure I'd look like too much of a weirdo, so I opted against it.

I finished my workout, and in the harsh light of the changeroom I could see that my skin looks terrible, probably due to how unneccessarily stressed out I have made myself recently. I tried not to let my mild case of adult acne ruin the good vibe I was on. Sometimes you just need to let little things go.

A lot of the time I go to the gym and only think about my workout. But today I was reminded that working out your body can be so therapeautic for you mind. I get so stressed out about so many external factors, but when I go to the gym it's just me. And there's something about challenging yourself physically that lets you relax mentally. I got to the gym feeling like a basket case, and left feeling great, in part thanks to Madonna and Dolly Parton. And Kanye. Don't ever forget Kanye.

I hope you all had a great day. I leave you with this:


  1. If you think a good workout is great for your anxiety you really might want to give yoga a try……WHOA!

  2. Somewhere right now there's a blog post being crafted along the lines of, "So here I am at my YogaLates AerobiJam class, and this chick keeps checking me out. I'm not a piece of meat, I just want to be sweating to the oldies without every woman in the gym wanting to jump me."

    PS If you like working out to Mr West, you need to download this mixtape: