Sunday, October 12, 2008

On discovering the gym...and my inner nudist

I set my alarm every morning with the intentions of going to the gym before work. I typically hit snooze a few times before I get up, dilly dally around, put on my gym clothes, eat breakfast, and then come up with a million excuses of why "I'll just go tomorrow." Oh, now I'm too full from breakfast to work out. Oh, I'm out of cereal, can't work out on an empty stomach. Oh, Regis and Kelly is on, this is a good one. Oh, now it's just too late and I don't have enough time. People in my building often ask if I'm a trainer because I'm always walking around in sneakers and track pants. If only they knew. My other excuse for not going to the gym is that I just recently moved to Murray Hill and I just hate going to new gyms. I get so self conscious. I don't know where the machines are, I don't know the people, where the locker rooms are, or even where the entrance to the gym is for that matter. Walking around the city you always see people running on treadmills on the second floor but you can never find how to get up there. It's rather embarrassing to be standing on the street in your gym clothes, staring longingly up at the second floor, scratching your head. "HELLOOOOO UP THERE! HOW DID YOU GET THERE?"

Last week, fed up with all my designer jeans not fitting, I said, "Fuck this shit. You're a grown woman living in New York City. You can find a goddamn door and carry your lard ass up to the second floor to break a little sweat." And so began the journey. There are tons of New York Sports Clubs I can choose from for where I live. I can go to the 23rd and Park one, 34th and Park, Union Sq, or 53rd and Lex up by work. Endless options. I really hate machines and can't run on a treadmill due to a knee injury, so I decided on the 49th and Broadway location because they had a pool for me to swim laps in. Perfect. I got on the R to the 49th St. stop. I got to Broadway between 48th and 49th and saw a huge scaffolding sign that says NYSC, 15th Floor, Join Us! Well yes, that's what I'd like to do but where is the entrance? Nothing. I walked around the corner to 48th St and saw the building number, 1601, which was the gym's address, except it looked like a corporate building with a bunch of men walking in in suits. I circled the block one more time and was ready to get back on the subway and back into my cozy bed, slightly relieved that I had yet another excuse not to workout. At least I tried. Again, the nagging voice in my head started telling me I'm a grown up and to stop being stubborn and ask someone. So I walked into 1601 and asked the doorman. He said it was around the corner, through the parking garage. Seriously? I walked through the parking garage entrance and again no sign for NYSC. Just the garage and an entrance to a hotel. Again, I wanted to go home, but I walked in and asked the bellhop. Is there a gym in here? Up the escalator on the 15th floor he tells me. I got up a flight on the escalator and was greeted with the hotel lounge and lobby. No more escalator. No elevators. What the hell? A wandered around looking like all the other tourist in sneakers and sweats until I found the well hidden elevator. Finally. To the 15th floor. I got off and I was in a hotel hallway with signs for rooms on both directions. No signs for a gym. Really? I felt like I was trespassing. Is this the NYSC secret society? Do I need to knock on one of these hotel rooms with a password in order to enter? Finally I found it around another corner. Really? Does anyone else have to go through this when they try to go to the gym?

So anyway, gym quest aside, I had an awesome swim, 30 minutes, and just felt great afterwards. I normally don't shower at the gym because there never was really a point. I lived 5 minutes away from my old gym and would rather shower with my own products than to use theirs or have to bring it all with me. But with the chlorine, and I was already wet, I figured I should just shower off. The gym pretty much only supplies hand towels that barely covers your ass. I used to be a bit shy in the locker room but everyone was walking around completely naked, all ages, various sizes, waxed and 70's bushes, all without a hint of self conscious. I felt like I was making other people uncomfortable for covering up so I decided to walk around naked as well. It was the most freeing thing ever. This may sound a bit obvious or perhaps hippyish but it was just so freeing to be completely naked in front of strangers and not care at all what anyone thinks. I was naked and no one was even looking. I'm addicted. I may go to the gym on days I'm not working out just to take a shower. It's amazing. I love it so much I'm actually thinking about moving to a Nudist Colony. I would save so much money on clothes. And really, I wouldn't have to worry about jeans fitting anymore, and therefore solving this whole gym problem altogether.

No comments: