I’m in a bit of a pickle.
Not a huge pickle. Not like a kosher spear or one of those huge nasty things in a jar at the movie theater. More like a hamburger dill.
See, my mom had back surgery a couple of years ago. It took her almost a year to recover from it, and she still has bad days. I have my mom’s frame and stature. We’re both thin, white women with low blood pressure, high pulse rate, and zero endurance.
Which is why, about five years ago, I made up my mind to exercise. Despite all the profound faith analogies, I truly hate exercising. But I don’t want to have back surgery in 25 years, so I do it. Specifically, a butt-kicking class called Body Works. Every Most Thursday mornings at 9:45. My good friend, Lynn, makes me lift free weights until I can’t feel my arms, squat until I fall over, push up and sit up until I throw up.
I’m truly thankful for Lynn. Really. If I didn’t like her so much, I would hate her.
But the gym where I belong and where Lynn teaches has gone a wee bit downhill, so Lynn has resigned. She teaches several other classes at other gyms, but Thursday mornings have been handed over to a Drill Sergeant.
We’ll call her Kim. Not her real name. I’d hate to offend her.
I’ve been to Kim’s classes before. Kim yells. She condescends. She makes me feel like the weakling that I am. She makes me do leg lifts for ten minutes straight while more or less ignoring all the back-strengthening manuevers.
I’m not so crazy about Kim.
Lynn encourages. She pushes. She leads us in a wide variety of exercises that work all of our pathetic muscles. She lets us know that her legs feel like Jello, too. She talks about her young daughters and TV shows and magazine articles in the middle of muscle-shredding reps so we don’t think about how our bodies are begging us to stop and lay down. Lynn doesn’t care if her students modify the exercises or stop completely and grab a drink of water because we are about to die.
Kim yells. Kim condescends. Kim has no mercy.
I miss Lynn.
I went to Kim’s class last Thursday, trying to keep an open mind, giving her another chance. Maybe she was just having a bad day the last time I went to her class. Maybe that wasn’t the norm.
Nope. She’s an unmerciful yeller. Every time.
I sweated through it and made myself stay for the entire hour, but most of the time I was thinking, “I don’t care for your tone, missy.” Can we please lay off the leg lifts and do a set of hip hinges? ‘Cause Lynn does hip hinges. Every week. And push ups. We do lots of push ups in Lynn’s class. Why are we not doing push ups?
I guess I don’t adjust well to change.
The really bad news is that Kim is teaching every Body Works class offered during the times when I can go. So there are no other options at this particular gym. The gym I’ve belonged to for about six years. The class I’ve gone to almost every week for about that long.
Hence, the pickle.
I should try out another gym. I should find another place to have my butt kicked. I should take my flab somewhere else.
Yes, the flab. I will celebrate endure my 38th birthday in the very near future. And I think the flab fairy knows that. I swear she visited me one night while I was sleeping and rearranged my skin. I woke up the next morning, looked in the mirror, and thought, “Where did THAT come from?!?”
The peanut M&Ms and chocolate covered pomegranate bites must have sent her a memo.
And then there are the three little words that strike fear in the heart of every 38 year old: Twenty. Year. Reunion.
I’ve got nine weeks to get some biceps. And get rid of the pooch.
Or at least find a good pair of Spanx.
And a new gym.