Monday, July 25, 2011

Let's Talk About Health Baby - Volume 5

It’s a strange little health debacle that I have gone through over the last few months that triggered back around my birthday and kind of snowballed from there. I was a loyal customer of Planet Fitness {the judgment free zone} and I had been since there was only ONE Planet Fitness. I had been for a lot of reasons but most of all had been the fact that it was cheap. There was also the fact that it was 24 hours and the fact that there were an awful lot of women to look at and trust me when you have NO social life whatsoever those two factors are pretty important.

Unfortunately there were a few cons that went along with having a membership there as well. There was the constant changing of rules as the place got way too big for its britches. First there was the installation of that stupid “lunk alarm” which depending on the day would go off all the time. It’s a big blue siren on the wall that goes off if people drop weights or grunt. I didn’t have a problem with the grunting as I started off like a lot of people, fat and pathetic and didn’t want to draw attention to myself. What did drive me bonkers about it was it created a carnival atmosphere when what I really wanted to do was work out, look at women, and then get the hell out of there. I would remain panicked that one day that thing would take me by surprise and I would injure myself, and fortunately that never happened.

Then there was the installation of the “dress code” and for the most part the dress code was only set up to start weeding out more bodybuilders and working class stiffs from the “judgment free zone” which the place was quickly becoming anything but. No jeans { and then later on it became no jeans shorts either}, no muscle shirts, and no bandanas or dew rags on your head. I was pretty iffy on this subject because where I didn’t wear anything on my head I walked into Planet Fitness on my first day in jean shorts and I worked out every day since in jean shorts. It was also becoming a problem as I couldn’t wear muscle shirts to work out and over the years I managed to become muscled, and regular shirts make it ever increasingly hard to work out in.

The last straw was the attitude that these rules installed in others as well. They may think there was a judgment free attitude going on, but trust me, once I started falling devoid of “judgment free benefits” it became very obvious very quickly. Along the way I would have to beg people to let me use machines as they sat and read a magazine or played text messages on it, and most of the time they would treat me like a real ass for doing so. Why was this you may ask? Well it was the way they were trained to behave from the moment they came in. The tours were becoming ever more alarming as I overheard them. The employees would walk people by me and explain how they don’t like bodybuilders and it is a laid back atmosphere where people couldn’t push you around. In today’s world you give someone permission to be an ass, they become a super ass, let me tell you.

It finally hit a beach head a while ago when they finally asked me to stop wearing my jeans shorts or I would be banned from the gym. Alongside a lot of other issues, like the fact that I had a girlfriend and was borderline disrespecting her by going to the gym and drooling over other women {she dumped me right after that too, so go figure} the lack of qualifications for “judgment free status” and the crowds of people that simply hindered a good workout, I signed up for a different gym and quit Planet Fitness. The other gym cost me more, but I got a keytag with it and could simply let myself in whenever I wanted to work out 24 hours a day 365 days a year and I could wear whatever the hell I wanted, so that was the big plus with it, that I could note from the beginning.

There were other plusses though that materialized almost immediately. I had never noticed how inadequate the “people friendly” gym was that I had been going to. There were a lot of factors in this but most notable was the lack of equipment they had. This was for many reasons but not the least of which was the fact that they tried to chase bodybuilders out. Not having good equipment will do that because obviously a bodybuilder needs more than just rudimentary equipment, and I had forgotten that over the years. I was doing my best with what little they had for equipment for so long that there was a small adjustment period in the new gym as I just got acclimated to all of the wonderful new toys to play with.

The people were different too. The “shut up and lift” attitude in the new gym was refreshing as I didn’t have to wait for equipment that was being blocked by ignorant people visiting the home planet anymore. No more standing in the way and gabbling about things and then staring at you because the people that took them on a tour convinced them that you were the enemy. If someone was reading a magazine, newspaper or texting on their phone they knew instinctively to do it out of the way. It was almost nirvana from the moment I walked in there. Even after my girlfriend at the time dumped me I didn’t even miss not having the women to look at because I was actually getting stuff done physically that I had been in my own state of ignorance for years about. Now that I am hopelessly in love with the woman I am going to marry here pretty soon it means even less as no other woman exists anyway.

I bring all this up because today was an interesting day for me all around at the gym. As both of you who actually read this know, I like to text my sweetheart between sets as if the two of us were working out together, while she is away from me. I usually tell her what weights I am accomplishing and how I feel as I am doing it {for those of you who don’t do this you should try it, as a motivational tool it is amazing} and she responds with encouragement. Today, I was working my legs and lower torso as I always do on Mondays and Fridays, and I was crushing {I mean crushing} my old standards of strength gains. I was easily slapping 40 to 60 extra pounds on absolutely everything I was doing and feeling good as I was doing it. This had EVERYTHING to do with my change in venue. The better machines, the better environment to be “ME” and not just “acceptable to a very pathetic norm” had really shone through on this day.

This is also very important because as far as my physical attributes are concerned my legs are completely lacking. Again it had everything to do with going to a gym that had almost no decent leg equipment, where they would humiliate you if you made a noise {and little did I know you almost have to grunt now and again when you are trying to get past a leg plateau} and my inability to get over myself and just push past my norms. That’s the part that my sweetheart helps me with, as she doesn’t accept the languishing Jeremy and pushes me past those things to the place I want to be. It felt great to share the triumphs of the day with her as I felt like the Incredible Hulk, and I can’t believe that thanks to my change in venue I am looking forward to Friday so I can get back at these legs of mine. I have NEVER said that before