Bonus points if you just said, “Shut up, you big baby. You’ll be stone dead in a minute.”
Well, I did it. I went to the gym and came back again. I figured out the treadmill enough to do the first of the Couch To 5K runs, and then I stared, befuddled, at the different machines for resistance training.
I was about to give up and leave when I turned around and met a friend of mine. She’s amazing: could probably run a marathon if she wanted, writes, runs Girl Scouts, everything. She took pity on me and showed me how to use every single machine there. It was awesome.
At the end, she said, “There’s so much I didn’t know. I couldn’t really help you.”
But that’s not true at all, and I’ll tell you why. Because in the places where she didn’t know something, she figured it out. I watched her figuring it out. When she knew what to do, I would watch her, watch her form, and imitate her. And when she didn’t know what to do, I watched her, watched her form, and now I can imitate her in that too.
I walked in there assuming, for some reason, that everyone knows how to do all this stuff. On their first day, they just walked in and there was the knowledge, hanging before them like a shining sphere ready to be taken into the palm of their hand. And instead, my friend who’s been going there for ages, had to decipher some of these machines, figure out what they do and how to do it. It took maybe three minutes, and then she’d adjust the whole thing and suddenly: a workout.
So I ran. I pushed on things and pulled on other things. I got used to the feel of the place. But best of all, I can take my time and learn what I need to learn. The fitness police aren’t going to throw me into the parking lot for not knowing what a lateral row is.
And there you have it.