Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Ultimate Goal

It’s 8am and almost 80 degrees under an impossibly blue, blue sky. Still a coolish breeze teasing around, but it’s going to be a very warm, beautiful day. I love mornings like this!  Time to walk, breathe, be grateful. Not stress over GAINING a pound and a half this week, instead of losing. Despite staying on plan. Despite going to the gym faithfully. Despite swimming for hours after work. Despite not having had any chocolate in….well, days and days at least.

I saw an old college friend a couple of months ago and one of the things that came up was keeping your eye on the ultimate goal when confronted with obstacles. In a professional situation, that has always meant I get smart, I get more focused, and I get results. For whichever large organization I’m working for at the time. Yay for them.

But it’s not something I’ve always been good at personally. If it’s “just” me, I get frustrated, I get my feelings hurt, I get defensive. I retreat. I make emotional decisions. And in the process of trying to “show” them,  (what am I, four?!) I end up hurting myself.

Tuesday afternoon I was at the funky little gym here in the Village. The one that’s only open Monday through Friday, and then only until 6pm.


Let’s call the proprietor Moody Mike (MM). Because he is. Very. And Moody Mike gets bored, sitting all day in the funky little gym. Understandable. But woe betide anyone who comes in after 4:30 for a workout. Or heaven forbid, close to 5:00, which is what I did Tuesday.

I signed in at 4:50. An hour and ten minutes is enough for a decent workout and some cardio, doncha think? But by 5:30 the only other guy in there wrapped up his loud, lengthy conversation with MM and left.

And then the glowering starts (MM’s a BIG guy. It’s intimidating.) MM wants to go home. Waves of resentment (?! He’s the one with the OPEN sign on the door) start rolling off him and hammering at me, quietly cardio-ing away in the corner. I try not to notice, but the heart monitor in front of me registers higher. I don’t mind if he switches off all the lights. I’m THRILLED when he switches off the bone-jarring music (don’t get me wrong—I love music, but the gym is really LOUD in a really small space and the mostly older members or already-deaf younger members with ipods in their ears YELL to be heard over…you get the idea). I don’t mind when he empties the trash or starts mopping the floors.

But at 5:50, when he closes the doors and turns off the machines I’m USING, it’s too much.

I try to unclench my jaw, and leave.

And I decide not to go back.

I think about checking out the ‘other’ gym again. The ‘real’ gym, in Mid-Valley, about seven miles away. The one with better hours, that’s open on the weekends, and has showers and lockers, albeit a bit primitive. The one close to the grocery store, and the bank. The one the ‘guys’ go to.

The one my (female) neighbor calls an unprintable name, and says smells.

I also think about the unused equipment in my garage. And living room. And walking shoes. And my dog. And whether I need to go to a gym at all.

So I don’t.

I didn’t go to the gym yesterday. It’s a month-to-month membership and yesterday my check was due. I hadn’t made a real decision on the other gym, but I had decided to take at least this month off from this one.

That’ll show him.

And then I thought about Lisa, and the Ultimate Goal.

So I’m going back to the gym today. Like a big girl. I’m going to pack up the TWELVE sales I had yesterday, take them to the post office on the way and get them mailed out. Maybe I’ll make it to the gym a little early – not for Moody Mike, but for me. I don’t need the hassle. And I’ll hand in a check for another month.

Because that gym suits MY purposes. It’s close, it’s cheap, it’s an important component on the way to my Ultimate Goal. MM is a good trainer, and he can help me get there. I want to be fit again. I want to be strong, and healthy. And look hot in whatever clothes I choose to wear.

Besides, maybe I’m imagining the whole thing, and MM doesn’t mind at all that people who’ve paid to use his gym actually do so.

It doesn’t matter. I’ve got my eye on the Goal.

And I’m not buying any chocolate, either.