First, thank you for the love on the last post. You guys are kind and wonderful and I appreciate your taking the time to read my words, even when they are sad.

Today I’m going to tell you a story about the gym. Because I joined one. Remember? Sometimes I go?

When my sister was here, we agreed I needed to do something to keep active and busy. I’d been wanting to join a gym for awhile because I’m intrigued by Zumba. People have talked about Zumba. People are saying it is fun. I’ve never met any exercise that is fun, thus the intrigued. I also wanted access to a pool. Not immediately, mind you, but when I’m not wearing a maternity swimsuit from Target.

(Sidebar: I am totally wearing a maternity swimsuit from Target. I bought it last summer before a camping trip and only had 2 hours to shop. None of the regular-sized girl suits fit me, so I was wandering out the store trying to figure out my next move, when I stumbled into another rack of bathing suits. Cute, two-piece, tankini, cover that belly and wear a cute skirt to swim type suits. Score. I grabbed one and tried it on. It FIT! In fact, there was lots of extra room in the stomach area. I got excited, thinking my 2 laps around the store had caused a drastic and dramatic weight loss. I was all impressed with my new svelte form when I realized I could fit a watermelon under the stomach portion of the tankini. Then I realized: I’d grabbed a maternity suit. And it fit. And it was comfy. So of course I bought it. And told myself NOBODY HAD TO KNOW.)

(Second sidebar: Upon leaving the store with my new secret maternity suit, I called both Slim and Urmy, shouting to their voicemails, “OMG I JUST BOUGHT A MATERNITY SUIT BECAUSE IT WAS THE ONLY THING THAT FIT OH CRAP I WASN’T GOING TO TELL YOU THAT NEVERMINDOKAYBYE!”)

Right. So I wanted access to a pool but only after I had lost enough weight to buy a regular girl swimsuit. I also wanted access to the elliptical machines because that is really the closest I’ve ever come to having fun whilst exercising.

Ceci and I Googled and budgeted and finally found Om. That’s right, y’all. Om. (With the period. Like, Om/period. I’m not sure how I feel about the vibration of the universe having an end like that, but whatever. I belong to a zen-like gym.) We drove to Queen Anne right after work and asked for a tour.

Now. They say we are always growing and learning more about ourselves and how we relate to the world around us. Upon walking into the Om., I learned that I’m very uncomfortable in fitness-y situations. I also learned that I relate to fitness-y situations by getting extremely chipper and speaking in a high-pitched voice. Who knew? So we walked to the counter and asked for a tour and were greeted by a very large, very bulgy man.

I could not stop staring at his neck.

So Bulgy Guy (BG) starts walking us around Om. and showing us all the equipment (not a euphemism, guys). Ceci and I nod politely and BG is all, “Look at the treadmills!” and I’m all, “OMIGOSH TREADMILLS HIGH-PITCHED CHIPPER CHIPPER GREAT!” BG talks about cardio machines and wiping down and towels and mirrors and something about televisions and my mind is spinning because people are actually working out and oh my goodness are these people going to be here when I’m working out and if so will they be able to see me and if so are they going to look? Panic.

BG shows us 3 different weight rooms and talks about free weights and oppressed weights and weights that are waiting for their emancipation and I’m all nod-y and chipper again with the, “LOOK AT THE STABILITY BALL! RIGHT? THAT’S WHAT THAT THING IS CALLED? I LIKE TO SIT ON THOSE THINGS AND SPIN AROUND IS THAT A GOOD WORKOUT MY YOUR ARMS ARE BULGY.”

Panic.

Then BG offers to take us upstairs to see the group exercise rooms and we agree, Ceci normally and me chipper-ly (YES I’D LOVE TO SEE THE GROUP CLASS ROOMS BECAUSE OMIGOD GROUP EXERCISE!). At this point, I start looking around for the elevator and to my horror see BG head into a STAIRWELL. With ZERO ELEVATORS. You guys. Shit just got real. BG wants me to walk up the stairs. Like, on my feet. With my legs. BY MYSELF.

PANIC.

At this point, I’m looking frantically at Ceci, hoping she’ll make an excuse (oh, sorry, my sister can’t walk up stairs because it’s against her politics because the gays can’t marry and stairs symbolize walking over people who don’t have our same rights so maybe you can use your bulgy arms to carry her?) but she did NOT. She just followed BG up the stairs.

I almost quit here, guys. I almost turned around and walked right out the door. But then something amazing happened. Something beautiful. Something that allowed me to feel better about myself.

Bulgy Guy tripped. Over NOTHING. He just tripped. And I felt redeemed. It was all I could do not to jump up and down and be all, “Ha! Hahahahaha! You tripped! You tripped because you are bulgy and those thick areas of your body are throwing you off balance and you are a big sucker!” I did not say this. Instead I got even MORE chipper and was all, “OMIGOD SOMETIMES I JUST TRIP TOO!”

I’m surprised Ceci didn’t leave right then.

We survived the rest of the tour, saw the group fitness rooms (dude. In the spin room? They turn off the lights, turn on disco lights, and blast TECHNO while they kick your ass on a stationary bike. Also, sidebar: my friend CurlyBrunette quit Spin because she almost fell off the bike. The stationary bike. This is why she is my friend. She gets me.). We survived the tour, BG, my asinine chipperness, and the next thing I knew, I’d prepaid a six month gym membership.

See, six months is symbolic for me. Right now it’s hard to even plan ahead by a day or two. When I joined the gym, I couldn’t even face thinking ahead a few hours. So I’m giving myself 6 months, during which time I don’t have to make any big decisions. Six months, during which I can be easy on myself, focus on the goals I’ve already set without adding anything new to my plate. Six months to enjoy nurturing my friendships and getting used to this new life in which I find myself no longer with the person I loved so much. Six months to figure out what this life will look like.

My gym membership card is on my keychain. I’ve been to the gym 5 times in the last 2 weeks. I’ve tried Zumba. (Sidebar: I’ll never be a sexy Latin dancer. Please go elsewhere if you had this expectation for me. I’ll understand.) I elliptical. And I’ll do this for six months. Because who knows? In six months, my life could be radically different.

Om.

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