Monday, August 20, 2012
The working life: I miss my granny gym
Here's the crummy part about going to the downtown Y at lunch. The good part is that it is even there - that I have the option of going to the gym at lunchtime instead of trying to find a way to kill an hour. It does not take me an hour to eat. It takes me about five or ten minutes, depending on how hungry I am. I bring my lunch. I don't like going out to lunch - remember the part about how the purpose of this job is for us to come out ahead on the money? Spending $8 a day on lunch eats into the margin really quickly. If I'm going to blow $160 a month, I want it to be on shoes. (Or $160 less whatever my made at home lunch costs, to get a truer figure of incremental spending.)
Plus I really don't like all the ritual that goes with eating out. The waiting to be seated. The waiting for the menu. The waiting for the waiter (ha - who's doing all the waiting?) to return with the water that is supposed to be without ice and lemon but always has ice and lemon because the waiter never pays attention. And so on.
I'd rather be at the gym. Not that I like to exercise - I don't, I hate it - but at least that's somewhat productive. It's a chore I want to get done no matter what. If I could transport myself home to do laundry during lunch, I would.
So. There is a gym only two blocks from my office. Perfect. It has classes at lunch. Perfect.
But here is the big difference.
The suburban Y where I have been going for a few years is full of retired ladies and stay at home moms.
The downtown Y is full of working people. Except for me, young working people. Young, single working people who are still at the stage of their life where it's not so hard and indeed is a social requirement to maintain a hardbody.
I am a middle-aged body.
They are 20something bodies.
I have to see them naked. I have to keep up with them in the high-intensity aerobic class. (Actually, I don't. I went once and never returned.)
I don't feel bad about myself after spending time with the retired ladies, who look really good, but look really good for their 60s and 70s. And who have arthritis and joint problems but who work out anyhow. Next to them, I look OK and I feel grateful that I am not in pain all the time the way some of them are.
But every time I leave the downtown Y, I feel demoralized. There is no way that I will ever look like the 20somethings. A fit 40something still does not look like a fit 20somesomthing. In fact, I never looked like these 20somethings. Never. So I feel demoralized for now and for my past.
Maybe the solution is to stop going to they gym.