We're the ones your mother warned your about...No, seriously. We are.

Are you bleeding? Are you broken? Are you dead? Notes from a bi-coastal gym rat.

I'm a gym rat. You wouldn't know it to pass me on the street. After all, while I've lost a good amount of weight, I've still got about twenty pounds to go - hardly the stereotypical shape. I certainly didn't start out this way, and yet, I find myself here nonetheless.

I've always been that child that people say would be "so pretty if only you would just lose a few pounds, dear." I can't tell you how many diets I was intermittently put on throughout junior high & high school. They didn't work. None of them did. At one point right after college, they did thyroid tests to make sure I wasn't abnormal. (physically, anyway) It wasn't that I was unathletic, even. I had played sports when I was in junior high and was even - for two years that we jokingly refer to as "a dark period in my life" - a cheerleader. I really think I broke Sam the day that he found about that one. I offered to send him pictures of my trophies, but he said something about the cracking of the Seventh Seal.

Despite that, I was one of the "fat kids". It just...never seemed to come off. The weight, that is. I was the child that dreaded gym class, and I can honestly say I don't feel that bad about Ronald Regan dying. (for those of you that missed it, let me catch you up - Regan died. No, true story!) Why? Because I cursed his name at least twice a year during the Presidential Fitness Tests. I was not a registered voter in California during the last gubernatorial elections, but I would have voted against Schwartzenagger simply because of each of those gym periods that I spent in hell while I did an enforced mile around the track in high school. Fuck you, Terminator. Fuck you & the crappy CGI you rode in on!

Shortly after high school, I found myself a bit...adrift. At the time, I had (what I thought would be) a year's delay before being able to afford to go to one of the schools that had accepted me. I got a gig doing third shift manufacturing, but anyone who knows me will tell you that if I'm not doing ten things at once, I tend to get a little jumpy, so I then looked to see what else I could find to amuse myself. Since, for the first time in my life, I was making decent enough money that there was some left over, I decided to invest in a couple of things that had interested me for a long time. Things like my own car. Like a violin and lessons. Like Riverdance tickets for myself for my birthday. Like...a gym membership.

I ended up getting a membership at a gym that was just opening called Amerisports. Now, I'm not gonna pretend here. This was a gym in New Hampshire, about an hour north of Boston, so we're not talking a hard core district of Fitness USA. Definitely not to the level I've encountered out here in California. However, as an 18 year old that had pretty well learned by this point in life that she fell into the category of "physically inept", I'll be the first to admit that I walked in there not knowing what the hell I was doing. I meandered my way through the cardio machines, took a couple of classes, learned that I should never ever attempt Step Aerobics. Ever. (No, not even six years later. It's just bad. Trust me.) After about three months, I kind of had a handle on what I was doing. Or at least, I wasn't falling off the machines. (as often.)

Next up...

Because I can bench press you, that's why.
(tips tricks for general gym survival)

Street Cred -
the Ins, Outs, & What Abouts...

What Keeps Me On The Cardio Machines -
what's spinning in my CD player right now...