Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Unfortunate gym facts

I'm a gym junkie.  I'll admit it.

Some days the beat just pumps and the foot pedals glide faster and faster.  TVs, when the music stops pushing me on, aid in zoning out for a few moments until the next song starts and the tempo speeds again.

Unfortunately, I'm a sweater.  Put me on a bike at 4mph for 5 minutes (read: easiest activity there) and I'll have sweat glistening on my forehead.  Increase the speed to 16mph and the time to an hour, and, well, I am the gym towel.  Toss me onto an elliptical for 15 or 30 minutes, and I've got the Nile on my shirt.  Treadmill?  Dark spots galore.  On the stairstep, it's pouring down sweat.

For some, sweat stains at the gym are like a badge of honor - look how strong/fit I am.  All the buff men swagger around showing them off.

Well, generally.

Most of the time sweat doesn't bother me.  But lately the bikes have screamed my name, and increased energy levels (plus maybe some boredom outside of the gym) engage me in a game of cat and mouse...just how far can I push myself until the asthma kicks in.*
Not these bikes...the other ones**
In order to save my backside while pumping through my workout, I use the recumbent bikes.  Yes, those. Now, imagine, if you will...an hour, sitting, on a bike, pouring sweat.  It's not just my shirt that suffers.

During my workout, this doesn't bother me.  It's only after.  The last three minutes before I have to stand up, walk along the row of bikes to the cleaning station, retrieve the cleaning items, clean the machine, walk across the gym to my keys (which also happen to be in the back of the lobby), and only then can I head toward the door...that's when self-consciousness hits me.

The entire gym gets a nice long look at my unattractive sweat of shame.

It's unfortunate.

My friend's words haunt me each time:  I once saw this girl who had sweat stains on her pants.  I felt really bad for her.


*I would like to proudly say that I'm beating the asthma, each heartbeat at a time.  It's officially taking me longer to hit that can't-breathe stage.

** A prime example of the bikes I don't use.  Or a class I don't attend:  Spin.  An hour on those seats and it's a week before I can sit down comfortably.  The class also requires a certain self-hate...take the multiple times the instructor yells:  Now full force!  Stand up and make it burn!  Aka, it's like sprinting uphill at 16 miles an hour - a no-no for anyone with asthma.  Increase that resistance another half turn!   Uhm, make it harder?  Two seconds and I'm literally unable to breathe.***  Anyone who can be perky and smile during spin isn't really in a spin class.

***True story.  I didn't want to pass out and fall off my bike.  How embarrassing...

Photos from Photostock.

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