That Time I Tricked Myself into Going to the Gym

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Recently, as in within the last couple of days, I decided that I would stop wasting the gym membership I am paying for and actually take my happy ass to the gym. Except, describing my ass as “happy” is inaccurate because I’ve been doing a lot of sitting around on it and it’s tired and annoyed that I refuse to pry myself out of my computer chair in search of physical activity.

That’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about my ass, but you all knew what you were getting in to when you started reading my blog.

Short and Feisty, keeping it real.

Anywho—I have a really hard time getting motivated to go to the gym. I know, I know, who doesn’t? (…beyond the freakshows that live every day just so they can go to the gym after work and be amongst their people. I dated one of those about 7 years ago, and I’m only still a little bit bitter that the call of the weight room was almost always stronger than the call of my company)

But lately, the thought of getting my out-of-shape-self into the neighborhood YMCA had gotten me so anxious that I began to panic. My best friend, a former trainer, asked me to pinpoint what is was that was making me so anxious, and my predictable response was, “I have no idea.”

Was it fear of failure? Fear of looking ridiculous? Fear of tripping on the treadmill and falling flat on my face?

No! None of those! Which makes the presence of those stifling feelings even more frustrating! Which then leads me to berate myself for having them! Which in turn makes me more anxious!

Hooray for anxiety and panic disorders!

Whatever it was, when I would drive passed the gym, my palms would start to sweat, my heart would race, and I’d floor it until I’d cleared the next intersection.

But the fluffy bits around my midsection have started to jiggle—something I’ve not yet experienced as a previously fairly athletic person. I played a lot of team sports, ran 5ks and half marathons, and supplemented all of that movement with my hyperactive nature. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling any love from my newly developed love handles.

Back to the gym I go, then.

“What if,” I told myself a few days ago, “you just go to the gym to pick up the group workout schedule? You don’t even have to stay to workout.”

“That’s pretty low stakes, I think I can manage that.”

“Yeah, I think we totally can. And so you don’t look too out of place, why not throw on your workout gear?”

This was when I started to get a bit suspicious about my motives.

“But wait, you said we didn’t have to workout—“

“Yeah, I meant it! Just get in the clothes so you can get used to the feel of the spandex on your skin again. Then it won’t feel so strange when you put them on tomorrow to workout. It’ll feel like second skin.”

“I guess that checks out, but your wording also creeps me out in a ‘Buffalo Bill’ kind of way.”

I threw on my spandex running pants and a t-shirt from the film I worked on earlier in the year. I’m usually not someone that would wear workout clothes for anything other than their express purpose, but my inner monologue was making a lot of sense.

“Ok, hop in the car, drive to the gym, and remember—under no circumstances are we to work out today!”

“Got it.”

Drove the 2.5 miles to the gym and got out of the car. Without the pressure to actually perform, there were no panicky sensations or attacks threatening to incapacitate me in the parking garage.

Since it was the middle of the day, there were a plethora of older men and women working out in the pool, soaking in the hot tub, and participating in “chair aerobics”. They didn’t seem to be having such a tough time, but I was still convinced that the goal of my day was to pick up that piece of paper—which I did.

I turned to leave when my inner monologue made me pause in the gym lobby–

“You know,” says me, “we do have to pay for parking, even if we’re only here for 5 minutes.”

“UGGGGH, I didn’t even think of that! I’m trying to penny pinch now that I’m not working full-time. Now I feel like this whole trip was a waste!”

“Why not just go for a quick walk? On the treadmill?”


“And would you really count a quick walk on a treadmill as working out?? You who has conquered 13.1 consecutive miles more than once??”

“I guess not.”

I head upstairs, put my purse on the ledge underneath of the screen and above the handlebars that monitor heart rate, and hit the green “go” button.

I had my headphones in my purse so I popped those in, connected to the gym wifi, and turned on the Spice Girls Pandora station.

And then I walked.

I walked until halfway through the song “Spice Up Your Life” where my 5th grade self took over and kicked the walk up to a jog. I made it through the end of the song, huffing and puffing and slowed the pace down again. I wasn’t even supposed to be jogging, so there’s no shame in returning back to my walk.

A ton of 90’s dance songs and 2 miles later, I had walk/jogged my way to the end of my workout—the workout that I promised myself would never happen but the one, both physically and emotionally, I desperately needed.



Up in the Gym Just Workin’ on My Fi– Trying not to Die

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Coming out of my writing hiatus to tell you about that time that I almost died.

Well, I honestly felt like I was dying.

Being an actor, especially in Los Angeles, it’s important that you ensure that a majority of your body parts refrain from jiggling in the presence of a strong wind.

That’s for both boys AND girls. I have it on good, first-hand authority that almost all of the most popular actors/actresses out there get told to keep things tight on a regular basis. Either that, or they want you to go the polar opposite direction so they can cast you as the obese comic relief.

It ain’t fair, but it is what it is…for now.

Gyms around LA range from dirt cheap (Planet Fitness) to more than a low-end car payment (Equinox). The former comes with long wait times for the machines and a packed house all day long, the latter comes with Eucalyptus scented towels, high tech equipment, and frequent celebrity sightings.

Guess which one I wanted to join!

I resisted the urge to blow a large portion of my paycheck on fitness and opted to join the YMCA, a step up from the bottom of the barrel. I have some unhappy childhood memories going to Y summer camp every year (that’s for another day), but the benefit of going Y at this time in life (besides the financial aspect) is that there are 24 YMCAs in LA county that I can go to–24! I’ve already figured out that some are in better neighborhoods than others (I’m not trying to get held up in the parking lot!), so it’s nice to know I can bounce around at will without an extra charge.

I am no stranger to fitness but I will admit that I’ve been estranged from it for more time than I think is actually healthy. I’ve run 3 half-marathons in the last 4 years and I was always an athlete growing up.

Recently, a combination of physical stagnation (enabled by Netflix) and a metabolism that’s thrown in the towel motivated me to get up and get moving. Love handles are cute, in theory, but they’re no fun when trying to keep them from peeking out of the bottom of your shirts. I’m too poor to buy a new wardrobe, so to the sweat store we go.

If I had to give you a little preview of the experience to follow, I would sum it up in one word:


The first day, I did the treadmill and the elliptical at an admittedly glacial pace, not wanting to pull any muscles or injure myself. Slow and steady.

When I woke up the next day without any aches or soreness, I knew I needed to step it up. Another awesome part of a Y membership is that you have a ton of group fitness classes included. I looked on the calendar and saw a “Core & Abs” class later that afternoon–it was only 25 minutes, no big deal, that would fly by.


I get into the class, follow everyone else’s lead and get a ball and a mat. The instructor tells us to lay down and I silently rejoice that I can get a workout on while laying in a horizontal pose. Would this be the class that my lazy heart would covet?

After the 2nd exercise, my stomach felt like it was punching me from the inside and I could literally feel the bile rise up my throat, threatening to end my workout and that of the man positioned next to me.

I had to throw my legs down, lay flat on my back, and breathe through my nose until the urge to purge passed. WOW, I had really gotten out of shape. I would’ve laughed if I hadn’t thought the gyration to my stomach wouldn’t make me nauseous again.

I started to get back on track with the rest of the group, kept dinner from the previous night down, and finished the workout.

25 minutes ended up feeling like 34 years and when I finally peeled my sweat drenched, sore, and more than slightly smelly body off the mat, those crazy ass endorphins kicked in and and I thought, “HELL YES, let’s go do some cardio!”

Here is where I pause to ensure you that endorphins are just like any other addictive stimulant and they should be illegal and extracted from our bodies as soon as possible.

I got on the treadmill and selected a workout that took me running through a New Zealand National Park. It’s hard to describe but: someone took a camera and ran around scenic sites all over the world. They measured elevation at each point and recorded it. So then they load all of these routes onto the treadmill, and the elevation on the treadmill mirrors the elevation changes you’re seeing on the screen as you run through the gorgeous flora and fauna. You wouldn’t think it would make a difference, but it is so much more interesting running through a “town” than just staring at the mirrors or windows in front of you. My biggest pet peeve with treadmills is the boredom I feel while running without a destination, and this little bit of technology really helps.

I did that for an hour (what–what–WHAT was I thinking??), climbed down from that magic carpet to nowhere, and found my way back to my car. In the shower at home, I marveled in my accomplishment and felt a little less lazy, a little less sluggish, and a lot more self-confident. I went to bed motivated to spring awake the next morning and conquer another group fitness class.

As I peeled my eyes open the following day, I couldn’t move.

Literally. My brain was sending the signal to my legs that they needed to get up so we could pee and my legs said “NO THANK YOU, HONEY, I’M FINE RIGHT HERE”.

My brain insisted, warned them that we were on the brink of reliving our pre-k days of a wet bed, and my arms were entreated to use some leverage to get us moving.


I rolled my torso to the side, despite the facts that my abs were filing abuse charges against me for the heinous crime I had committed the day before, and I almost landed face first on the dark-stain hardwood. My legs finally decided to cooperate, we made it to the bathroom without any accidents, and then, without my express permission, they carried me back to bed and deposited me onto the mattress.

That blessed, blessed mattress.

Nothing like a near-death experience to make you appreciate your thread count.


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