Changing gyms in June was the best decision I have made in a long time. I never thought I would actually feel comfortable in a fitness facility. Apparently there is something to the "No Judgement Zone" signs adorning the walls because for the first time ever I actually feel like I belong.
Working out in public has been a huge
hurdle for me to overcome. I feel self-conscious about my athletic
abilities (which are minimal) and the way my rear looks in spandex
(which is plentiful). However, being around other slightly pudgy people
like myself, all sweating towards a common goal, I have realized that I
am more the norm than an anomaly.
In fact, my gym
managers go out of their way to keep the facility comfortable for the
amateur athlete. They tout what is called the "Lunk Alarm," which is set
off anytime a patron is excessively grunting, banging weights, or
drawing undo attention to themselves. At first I thought the alarm was a
gimmick until I saw the flashing blue lights and heard the wailing
The reaction to the Lunk Alarm is swift and
seems to be universal. Regardless of where I am in my work-out, I
instinctively stop and look for the "Lunk." The rule breaker isn't hard
to locate; they are usually beet red with embarrassment! After a few
uncomfortable moments, the alarm stops and everybody slowly resumes
their work-out. I always breath a sigh of relief, secure in the
knowledge that I will never be the recipient of the Lunk alarm!
I debated about whether or not I was going to go to the gym. My back
was sore, but I also didn't want to get into the habit of
procrastinating or making excuses. I was proud of myself when I changed
into my yoga pants, grabbed my newly loaded Ipod and headed out to
sweat. I have to admit that I was excited to give the new songs that I
had downloaded for the gym their first work-out.
up my keys, strapped on my Ipod and headed to my favorite spot--the
circuit area. Glancing at my heart rate monitor only buoyed my
enthusiasm. My new songs were helping me keep a faster rhythm. Not only
was I enjoying the music, but I was turning into a fat burning machine!
fact, I became so entranced by my work-out that my mind switched into
automatic and I became lost in song and movement. I was irritated when
the blasted Lunk Alarm went off and pulled me out of my work-out trance.
I looked around, prepared to cast a knowing scowl at the offender.
noticed that all of the eyes were pointed in my direction. I looked
around, but I was the only one in the vicinity. They couldn't be looking
at me! After all, I was in a self-imposed isolation zone, not using any
heavy weights and I certainly was not grunting.
stood still, like a deer in the headlights, until the alarm ceased and
everybody went back to their work-outs. The manager approached, and I
defensively asked why the alarm was set off.
you were singing "I Will Survive" so loudly that we could hear you over
the 20 treadmills and the facility music. We weren't going to do
anything, but when you continued into a rendition of "YMCA" we had no
choice but set off the alarm to get you to stop."
that moment I wanted to crawl into a hole. I had no idea that I was
singing, and the fact that I drew an audience was horrifying! So much
for getting lost in the music during my work-out. I think from now on,
I'll just leave my IPOD at home.