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Tall Drink of Nerd: Getting Physical


A blogumn by Amy Robinson

It’s 5:15 am and a steady rhythm of beeps pulls me out of the sky. I was hang-gliding over La Jolla after having escaped the killer zombies.  But my beeping alarm clock ended that dream, it’s time to get up and get to the gym.

This is much easier in theory than in practice, especially during the winter when the skies are still dark at 5:15 am, and the house is cool despite the central heating, and I am so cozy here, spooning under the comforter with a softly snoring husband.  It’s so easy to drift back off to sleep and slide up into the sky again, until the 9 minutes of snooze passes and the alarm goes off again.  Really, it’s time to get up.

Honestly, I’ve never been a morning person or particularly athletic.  I’ve always been clumsy and lazy, one contributing to the other in a vicious circle.  Then, about 10 years ago, I started going to a little gym around the corner.  My day-job started at Noon-thirty then, so I had all morning for just me.  I would do cardio one day and weight machines the next.  It was amazing how much better I felt.  My personality changed for the better.  I was perkier, quicker, confidenter!  My off-and-on depression totally disappeared.

Even now when I have to drag my carcass into the office by 9 am, I must sweat early in the day. The best part of working out every morning is knowing that I’ve actually done it.  There is no guilt or wondering if I’ll have enough energy later.  I can make plans for the evening, even short notice plans, because I’ve already worked out. If I wait to get physical until after work, I’d never get to the gym, Because I do hate, with a quiet and, yes lazy, passiveness, I hate GOING to the gym.  Which is another reason I do it in the AM, so I’m not quite aware enough to come up with an excuse to skip it.  At 6 pm, a flood of “I can’t because’s”… keep my car headed home and the gym left to the non-morning people who wait in line for busy treadmills.

The crazy thing is that I actually like being in the gym.  Tool or Rage crank out of my IPod, focusing my anxiety into energy.  I love the rush of improving my distance on the Stepmill.  Plus there is the added benefit of actually calming my spinning, stressy brain.  If I ever figure out how to leave the rat race and own a business, I want to own a gym. I have experienced, first hand how diet and exercise make life brighter, it would be awesome to share that with the masses.

In this, still imaginary, Amy’s Awesome gym, I would guide all the timid newbies to each and every machine. I’d whisper to them not to worry about what they look like, nobody is watching them and the only way to learn how to do something right is practice.  I’d form groups like the “I’ve-worked-out-for-6-weeks-straight-and-have-actually-gained-2-pounds” group or the “I’m-too-tired-to-get-up-early/go-after-work” group just to keep people socializing and engaged in their workouts.  And I’d always keep the bathrooms clean.

Now you know what drags me out into the pre-dawn darkness.  What keeps you from lacing up your running shoes?  What keeps you from pumping iron?  I’ll add both excuses to Amy’s Awesome Gym groups!


Photo Credit: I Like/