All the kale smoothies and walks around the lake just aren’t cutting the mustard these days. I miss running. However, I know the best thing I can do is not run (and to be fair, every time I try jiggling around a bit to see if getting my sneakers on is possible, my incisions hurt). But that doesn’t mean I can’t go to the gym, right?
My manfriend, B, agreed to tag along to the YMCA with me early last week. With a new job, the BART strike, and continued bouts of insomnia (hello, panic attack at 4:30am!) I hoped some stress would melt off if I just pumped my heart rate up a bit. I relished the AC-infected airstream as I walked into the building, and even the wimpy-thin towel I grabbed for sweat dabbing felt like a soft old friend. Damn, I had missed the Y.
“You going to play basketball?” I asked B, assuming he’d hit the courts for pick-up games with local teenagers and old schoolers alike.
“Nah,” he replied. “Maybe I’ll lift some weights.”
We entered the fitness center area and after a beeline to the magazine stand to snag a back issue of Seventeen (ugh, what they’re telling girls these days…it’s just as bad as what they told me a decade ago) I hopped on an elliptical machine. And B stepped on the one next to me.
“B,” I said slowly. “Um, I thought you didn’t like the elliptical.” We were both pumping our legs and selecting our workouts.
“Oh, it’s fine!” he said cheerfully. “And well, I want to make sure you don’t overdo it.”
“I won’t overdo it,” I said stubbornly. “I’m fine.”
“Then why are you on a higher setting than I am right now?”
I looked down and saw I’d gone straight to my usual variation setting and ramped up the resistance. B had a point.
Thirty-five minutes, after I read out loud to B from Seventeen and we took a quiz about what kind of friends we are, I stopped, thought about starting again, and told myself I really did have to stop. B and I did some free weights and I tried like heck not to tighten my abs or wistfully think about running as I lifted.
*My kale smoothie recipe goes something like this: Kale kale kale kale, juice, maybe a piece of fruit, blend. Add kale as needed until thick. If not thick enough and you’re out of kale, add yogurt.