Getting Started - 4 minutes
Walk through those gym doors
like you own it like you heavily subsidize its lease with a barely used membership. Confidence is important, but you should skulk towards the lockers with hunched shoulders to let everyone know that you're officially out of your comfort zone. Become hyper aware of people glancing in your direction and assume that they are just waiting for your weak ass to make a mistake. Overall, your general self-confidence should be peaking somewhere between First Slow Song @ Middle School Dance and Being Late For A Prostate Examination.
One of these machines is the perfect fit, but since they all look like random piles of welded together pads and handles, spend most of your time pacing around the carpeted floor like a dog looking to shit. Examine the little Ikea styled description stickers as though there is an isolated section of your body that requires more attention than the rest. Give up and pick the machine in the empty corner that works whatever worthless body part you're most confident with: So, like, that film of skin that covers your kneecap or whatever muscle lets you spread your toes apart in a pair of sandals.
Most of your stretching time will be spent remembering how to stretch. Start by trying to recall how your gym teacher began class, but quickly lose focus and spend the next few minutes limply holding your foot up while struggling to remember the name of that game you played in Elementary where everyone pretended the gym floor was lava.
Working Out - 7 minutes
When no one is around, put your butt where you assume butts go, hands where hand could possibly maybe go. Try to figure out if you're supposed to push or pull before anyone notices. Do one rep and then increase the weight a notch. Do another rep and then lower the weight three notches. By the two minute mark, you're deep into muscle pulling/shin splint territory, so tread lightly and don't hesitate from taking a break. Ultimately, your goal is to alternate between feeling the burn and grimacing every time you accidentally catch a glimpse of your trembling arms in one of the five million mirrors.
Bring your workout to an abrupt halt if anyone saddles up to the equipment beside you or even waddles near your empty corner. Calmly do two more reps before quitting so it looks like you were wrapping up a set instead of silently fighting off a panic attack. Get that spray bottle and douse everything until only MRSA remains. Grab your stuff from the locker and head back to the car.
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
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