A throwback to a more successful workout.
Quite a while ago I promised y’all a second funny story about my sometimes charming, always awkward, public interactions. And here I am! Ready to tell you all about the time figuring out a new gym almost brought me to my knees.
It was a few weeks before Christmas and I had decided this lack of exercising situation was getting out of control. So, I figured that since I’m already shelling out an arm and a leg to go to American University, I might as well take advantage of all that I’m paying for and check out the student rec center.
I had been to my undergrad’s rec center before and it wasn’t too scary, so I figured I could handle this pretty easily.
But there were two problems.
1. Even though I know I still look like I’m in college, I feel wildly older than everyone on AU’s campus and I always feel like there is a big arrow above my head flashing SHE’S TOO OLD TO BE HERE. Because of this, I go to extremes to make sure that it looks like I totally belong wherever it is that I am at the moment.
2. I hate asking questions. I know, I know. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. But I just really hate asking them–can’t explain why.
Anywho, I put on my gym clothes, filled my water bottle, double checked that I had my student ID, and hovered outside what I thought was the gym door (in the freezing cold, might I add) until someone else in gym clothes walked inside. Obviously so that I could follow her and see exactly where to go and what to do to get in, duh.
She walked to the front desk and simply handed them her card, they swiped it, and she went about her business. Easy. I knew I could totally handle that.
I approached the desk, handed them my card, pretty much already taking my next step past the desk, when I heard a beeping noise. And not the pleasant you may pass beeping but the STOP WHERE YOU ARE DON’T PROCEED beeping. The gym employee (who I’m certain was 18 but was looking at me with such a disapproving look that I felt like she was 40 and I was 12) looked at me like I was an alien and said….
Gym employee: Is this your first time at the gym this semester?
Me: Yes! (said in my most enthusiastic voice, most likely with my eyes bulging out of my head, pleading with her to like me)
Gym employee: Is this your first time at the gym…….ever?
Me: Well, yes. (Wishing I could add–my first time at this gym!!! Not at any gym ever!!! I’ve exercised before, I promise!!)
Gym employee: You need to fill out this form and I need to go over rules with you. First of all, you must always wear workout clothes while you’re here–no sandals, no jeans (looks me up and down).
Me: (looks myself up and down, pretty sure that I’m not wearing sandals or jeans) Yes ma’am! I understand.
Yes, I’m now calling the 18 year old ma’am. When nervous I revert to extreme politeness.
I finished filling out my form and she waved me into the gym. Already humiliated by the oh you’ve never been to a gym before exchange, I walk straight towards the first lockers I see. Shockingly, I figured out how to lock it with little difficulty and spotted some treadmills at the top of the nearest stairwell.
The only problem was that I reached the treadmill and remembered that I was wearing long johns under my leggings and sweatshirt. Under no circumstances could I run with that many layers on, I’m a sweating machine even when I’m just in a sports bra and shorts. Thus, I needed to find the locker room–not just the set of lockers in the middle of the gym.
At this moment I remembered that I do in fact have a few friends at AU and, in desperation I texted them asking where in the world the locker rooms are in this joint. With their guidance, I found the nearest stairwell and hallelujah! spotted a locker room at the bottom. I hurriedly pushed the door open, irritated that I had spent 20 minutes at the gym and had yet to
break a sweat break a sweat due to actual exercising–you better believe I was sweating over the complicatedness of all this. And yes, I realize the complicatedness was totally my own doing.
Don’t worry, the hilarity isn’t over quite yet. Where were we? Oh yes, I had just busted into the locker room. And what did I find? A room full of lockers and……about 25 fully naked eight year old girls. They had clearly just been swimming as the room reeked of chlorine, it was fairly overwhelming.
I pushed my way through and found the changing rooms, hurriedly got dressed and headed back out to go upstairs and get on the treadmill. Only to find that the door to the stairwell I had come down had locked behind me. AWESOME. I started pacing the hallway, trying to figure out how to exit, come to the same dead end twice, and was almost ready to just call the whole damn thing quits even though I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OF THIS BUILDING when someone came through the door and I snuck back upstairs.
Figuring that I must be in the clear at this point, I headed upstairs, ran a little, worked out a little, changed clothes again, and then attempted to go on my merry way.
Only to realize I had left my student ID on a treadmill, which meant I had to go back to the front desk and ask if anyone had turned it in. They had and the 18 year old girl handed me the ID with a look that said I knew you had never been to a gym before…..rookie mistake.