Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to work

Today was my first day back to work after two weeks of holiday vacation. The thing I was dreading most was talking to Mustafa, but he managed to make it 20 minutes without getting on my nerves. This was facilitated by the fact that the coffee place I go to when I wake up before Baby makes coffee is closed until classes start in two weeks. I have always hated coffee addiction humor (har har, Garfield needs his coffee), but seriously, what the fuck am I supposed to do?

My new year's resolution of sorts is to go to the gym. I said "every once in a while," but that's supposed to mean three or more times a week. So, today, for the first time since my freshman year of college, I went to the gym. First, I asked fitness expert Dave what kind of exercises somebody with the legs of a powerlifter and the upper body of a 10-year-old tuberculosis patient needs to do. (I've biked daily for about seven years, but never intentionally done any other kind of exercise.) Then, I replaced the Indian pop music on the iPod somebody left in my lab with own selections* and headed for the campus gym.

Walking into the gym, I already knew that I would be looked down upon for being a "January person" and because I was dressed vaguely like Judd Nelson in Breakfast Club instead of in proper workout attire. As soon as I entered the weightroom, however, I was totally cowed. I had no idea which machines I was supposed to use or how to use them anyway. I asked a staff member which machine makes the huge pectoral muscles, and even approached one of the devices she pointed at, but I knew there was no way I was going to screw with that thing for five minutes to figure out how it works in front of all these ... jocks. So I wussed out and rode on some kind of recumbent stationary bike for about 40 minutes. Not exactly the upper-body workout I was hoping for, but at least it made up for missing my bike ride this morning.

Tomorrow, I'm bringing clothes so I can "dress out" for "gym," as they say (in fact, I will be wearing my original Saint Andrew's gym shirt from junior high), and I will try to actually use one of the upper body machines. I will look highly retarded, and I will probably be laughed at and maybe even wedgied, but it will be the first real step on my road to beefcake.

* Arcade Fire's Funeral and Yo La Tengo's I am not Afraid of You and I will Beat Your Ass. Arcade Fire makes some great workout music -- I was kind of disappointed when I thought my exercise routine was going to end before the disco breakdown in "Wake Up."


  1. my music of choice for working out (ie: walking the rose bowl) has been sort of stuck on the same 3 albums: Blonde Redhead "23"; Justice "Cross"; and Black Moth Super Rainbow "Forever Heavy"

  2. i totally understand the "fear of contraptions". sometimes i'll just go up to a machine, sit down and study the chart and then attempt do poses like the drawing.