Sometimes life says obla-dee, obla-dah, so you go on.
Sometimes life gives you two options, so you take one and wonder why you were given such unappealing options in the first place.
One of the Option A versus Option B dichotomies that defines my journey in paradise is the following:
Wake up early, and be in "better" shape VERSUS wake up slightly less early, and be in much worse shape.
You see, my
So, if I want to go to the gym and "exercise," I have to do it either before 6AM or at 8PM when I'm running up and down the stairs chasing my husband with a weaponized stick of metal. Because the latter option doesn't send the right message to our children or neighbors, I've resigned myself to the fact that, more days than not, I should try to wake up before the sun.
I have been, to put it extremely generously, mildly successful at hauling myself out of bed at such a sadistic hour. Once I'm up and swilling mouthwash, momentum kind of takes over and the process doesn't feel quite so torturous. But lying in bed, with my alarm going off around 4:30, I have to call upon reserves of motivation and willpower that I don't think I was ever actually blessed with in my DNA make-up. My proficient procrastination wages an ugly battle with my theoretical desire to stop looking pregnant, and it's anybody's guess who will win out on a given day.
Today, I want to focus on the days I do make it up and out of the house to go the gym.
That gym is technically not a gym. It's the exercise room at my company. Kind of like this, plus some treadmills and two televisions.
The best part about the gym (besides it's being free) is that it is conveniently located about a quarter of a mile from my house. And my snazzy plastic building access card means I can go to the gym anytime. Even if that time is the hour of the day when the roads are empty except for the guy delivering newspapers and the guy canvassing the neighborhood for his next ice cream truck route (at least, that's what he told me he was doing when he flagged me down from his windowless white van and asked how many kids live in the area).
Shockingly, I am usually not alone during these workouts. There's a guy -- slightly younger than me, I'd guess -- who is there every morning, too. It always shocks me that he is -- I don't think he's married, so I don't think he has children, so I can't for the life of me figure out why he is up and moving before Starbucks has even served its first latte.
Regardless, there he is, with his black socks pulled up to his knees, his weird circular pacing routine in between sets, and his plastic water cup perched on the supply closet door handle.
We've gotten into our own version of a routine. It's pretty straightforward. Put ESPN on both televisions. Don't talk to each other. Don't acknowledge each other at all. Ever. In any way. Not even a little bit.
In fact, based on our morning sessions alone, I would not be surprised to learn that he only speaks Polish backwards and was born with invisible horse blinders attached to his temples.
Put differently, he is perfect. In the sense that he's the perfect companion for an early morning sweat session. When I show up bleary eyed and my hair in a bee hive, it doesn't matter. I don't have to think about a different way to joke about the early hour, I don't have to ask him how work is going, and I don't have to think about what he is thinking about as I fall off a Swiss medicine ball when I try to do crunches. Because I know he doesn't want to talk to me and I know he doesn't want to look at me. Per-fect.
But recently, this perfect union has been tested. On some mornings, it's been blown to smithereens. All because some new dope has decided to wake up with the trash collectors and hit the Smith machine.
The reason why this is devastating is that Dope is friends with Perfect. And their friendship is not the good kind. If they were 5, their parents would be scrambling for alternative play dates and requesting different kindergarten teachers. If they lived in Hollywood, one would by Lindsay Lohan and the other would be Taylor Swift. If they were athletes, one would be Tim Tebow and the other would be Rob Gronkowski circa pictures with strippers.
Point is, Dope brings out the worst in Perfect. As soon as Dope hits the rubber threshold of the exercise room, Perfect lets loose all the inane drivel he'd been holding in during our time together. Dope and Perfect immediately start comparing fantasy baseball stats and talking about fake trade deadlines in the big fake game they play. Comments about every single second of the ESPN broadcast get sling-shot from the free weights to the lat pulldown, and notes are traded about some boring meeting and the "dumb chick" that lead said meeting as they do a super set. They talk about the sweet pizza they ate last night, how many beers they drank during the game, and whether or not they're going to go to the club softball game that night. There's lots of high-fiving and chuckling involved, and their heads turn into big pieces of meat.
It's disturbing. On the level of finding out that Santa isn't actually married to "Mrs." Claus and that Tom Cruise left his mind on the set of Top Gun.
I have no choice but to unstick myself from the push-up I'm trying to do, reattach the vein in my forehead, and sprint out of the room with whatever I can gather into my arms during my mad-dash exit.
I thought Perfect and I were made for each other. That nothing could mess with the good gym thing we had going. Boy, was I ever wrong. Dope just proves there's always some dope, waiting in the wings to break up even the strongest of unions.
So, Life, what are my options now? Go to the gym even earlier? I don't think that's physically possible. I'm not even sure that it's possible to "wake up" for the gym if you haven't really had time to "be asleep." Pass.
Work out wearing earmuffs? Come on. Seriously?