Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh, The Indignity

Today as I sauntered up three blocks from my office to the gym, I relished the thought of finally returning to my beloved lunch run. Until I was confronted with a dreadful discovery.

I’d forgotten my shirt. I had shoes, socks, shorts and a sports bra. No shirt. My mind reeled and excitement ebbed. The thought of returning dejectedly to my desk, less 25 minutes of my day and with no workout to show for it was unappealing.

Let me give some context to this situation. I have always been that person who scurries off to change in a bathroom stall instead of in front of a locker. Don’t ask me why. Changing in public makes me uncomfortable. Yet I knew that a critical decision had to be made. I’m training for an Ironman, the very foundation of which is built on toughness and guts. Bailing because of minor discomfort (mental discomfort, not even physical) is the worst thing I can do. It was time to woman up. I weighed the options.

Sweater. No sweater. Sweater. No sweater.

Sweater. I felt that I could deal with being hot better than I could deal with being shirtless in the middle of the gym. I stepped out of the locker room in my goofy outfit and found a treadmill. I pressed the Quick Start button, set it to 7.5 mph, and hoped for the best.

Sometime during that first tenth of a mile, another realization dawned on me. Aside from the fact that I was overheating, I recognized that my sweater would surely be unwearable after almost 3.5 miles of heavy sweating. Then I’d be left shirtless for the rest of my workday. I knew what had to be done.

But first, I wanted to scope out the situation from all directions. Front: free and clear. Sides: one guy on the treadmill to my right. Back: two people on ellipticals, though I waited a little bit longer hoping one would leave. No luck. The situation deteriorated as a third joined the pack. Time to move. With shifty-eyed, sideways glances, I removed the sweater in one quick motion. The deed was done. And I was flustered.

So flustered, in fact that I ratcheted up the speed on the treadmill to 7.9 mph at mile 2, which is about half a mile sooner than I normally do. But my desperate move had emboldened me. I firmly believed that the hardest part of this run was over. Too much speed? Pfft.

It was a fair assumption. I killed the lunch run and improved my distance in 26 minutes to 3.37 miles. And somehow went from being the stall-changer to the shirtless person...and back to the stall-changer in half an hour.

Downside: I was THAT person at the gym.

Upside: Hell yeah I was THAT person at the gym!


  1. You do shower at the gym right? Then go back to the stall to put clothes on?

    Also come on, you can totally rock working out in just a sports bra. One day I look forward to that too. :)

    Yay for accomplishments.

  2. Awesome! You have no reason to NOT be THAT person at the gym. I'll be that person when I'm on my home treadmill, but I'd never go out in public that way. Maybe someday!

  3. We do what we have to do. Not only did you improve your time, but I'm sure you looked great doing it!