I love you. No, I mean it this time. I really, really love you.
I love your treadmills, your ellipticals, your recumbent stationary bikes, your air-conditioning. Oh yes, Washington Sports Club, I love being inside of you.
Whoa. Slow down...
Well, that almost took a turn for the worst. But you know what? I can't help it. After spending years scoffing at the idea of a gym, I learned in this past two weeks thanks to a $20 trial deal, just how lovely the gym is. Especially in DC, where save for the last few days, the summer humidity makes it nearly impossible to be physically active out of doors.
But even if the weather is fantastical, like it's been this week, I still would go to the gym. In fact, I wish it were a can of beans so I can eat it up and have it inside of me, well, at least for a day or so until my awesome and now more physically fit digestive tract took care of business.
And although I really do think going to the gym (and actually working out) 14 days in a row has done incredible things to my physique (I've somehow dropped almost 7 pounds and feel like I could beat Usain Bolt in a road race), I think the real reason I fell so hard, so fast for the gym is because it doesn't feel like DC -- it's the physical manifestation of The Anti DC.
The gym is a place where you won't see a suit and tie. There are no hidden agendas. The gym serves a blatant purpose -- to challenge its patrons; to push them to their limits; to tear their muscle tissue only for it to grow back stronger, fitter, happier; to quote Radiohead lyrics together. Or maybe that last one is just me...
Regardless of that, though, the gym is a place where people get down and dirty, or at least get limber and sweaty. It's a place to go when you need a reminder that we're all just human beings doing what we can to get by. That jag-bag with the "important job"? He's just a middle-aged guy trying to get rid of his middle-aged paunch so he can justify being such a creep. That waitress at Marvin who's a total bitch? She's trying to get hot so she can justify being such a wretched wench. Me? I just get a sick high when I run so hard that feel like I'm going to puke afterward. I also need reason to justify being such a wretched wench-creep.
But alas, my two-week trial period is over and today is the first day I will not be setting foot in the bright open space that has become my morning and sometimes afternoon spot in which to watch cable. And almost puke.
Why don't I just join, you ask? Well, for one, like I mentioned above, the weather has taken an unusual turn for the lovely so I can start bicycling longer distances and running around like a lunatic outside again. As for the weights, I'll go with the obvious choice of strapping cans of beans around my ankles.
But there's also another reason I'm not joining -- I can't get down with a one-year contract. (<--- OMG! A clue to the cliffhanger I alluded to Wednesday!)
So, in the meantime while I weep, I'll be listening to Steve Winwood on my iPod.
Indeed, "Higher Love" is a classic.