Ode to the Gym

Oh ye gym, how I hate thee

You make me sore and you make me sweaty

My face turns red and I start to pant

But just as I think, “I can’t go on, no I can’t,”

A song comes on through my iPod Shuffle

Singing of beaches and booze, at first it’s muffled

But before I know it, my legs are in motion

Pumping and grinding as I dream of the ocean

My lips, too, are moving but nothing comes out

But the song in my heart makes me want to sing, twist and shout!

One after another, the songs fill my ears

Until I look up, sweat streaming like tears

Forty minutes have passed in the blink of an eye

And I owe it all to one man; that special guy

Jimmy Buffett, you see, sings to me

About beaches and boat drinks and how life should be

And it’s all thanks to him

That I drag my booty to the gym

Two mornings ago, as I huffed and puffed my way through my workout, it dawned on me that fitness has very little to do with why I actually go to the gym.  In fact, this all became so clear that I thought, “I should blog about this!  I find it humorous, so obviously, hundreds of other people will as well!”  To be honest, the re-launching of my blog pretty much centers around this one post.  So, things may go downhill after today.

For those of you who don’t know me, here’s a little back story (don’t worry, I’ll keep it brief).  I have a wonderfully lovely and awesome sister who is 14 years my senior (sorry Moli, it’s relevant to the History of Lindy).  Due to this age difference, I was pretty much an only child by the time I was 4, as Melinda was 18 and off pursuing her studies or drinking or whatever.  So, from 4 on it was just me and the folks, which meant I was left with a fairly good chunk of alone time on my hands.  Not to say that my parents neglected or ignored me, they didn’t.  In fact, they made for very fun and enthusiastic playmates, but let’s be honest, how much enthusiasm should anyone be forced to fake?

I mean, how much She-Ra and He-Man was my mom expected to play?  And I was no easy customer–I demanded my playmates put forth just as much effort, thought, and heart as I did.  We’re talking voices, strong plots that were consistent to the characters’ inherent personalities (don’t go makin’ Double Trouble all sweety sweet or turning Bo into a villain just because the mood catches you), location changes, twists, turns, lighting…the whole 9 yards.  And surely, after all the hours my dad spent playing “tennis balloon” with me, he, too, deserved a break from time to time.  (For those of you who don’t know, tennis balloon is a complicated and competitive game involving two blue plastic tennis rackets and a balloon.  I would stand in the middle of the den awaiting serves from my dad, who was seated in his chair.  We’d bat the balloon back and forth forever—Dad, gracefully serving from the comfort of his chair, and me, clumsily darting around the room like a newborn calf.  This game was especially awesome because we didn’t always have balloons lying about—we weren’t what you’d call a “balloon house.”  So, tennis balloon was only played on very special occasions–like the evening after a doctor’s appointment where I’d had to get a shot, or 6, and was given a balloon for bravery.)

But I digress.  The bottom line is, in between playing with my oh-so-patient parents and harassing whatever cat was lurking around at the time, I had some free time on my hands.  Through the years, I grew very accustomed to this “me time,” if you will and spent it in various ways—be it taking road trips through our yard in my electric Jeep, playing in the sandbox, chattering away to my imaginary friends, Hopi and Martha (I’m seriously not making this stuff up), or as I got older, reading books and listening to music.

So there I was, two mornings ago reflecting on my life, when it hit me.  All through my life, the best part of my “me time” has been the ability to throw on my Walkman, portable CD player or whatever the hot technology was at that time, and have sole control of my music programming. 

Thus, next time you see me on the elliptical or notice that I’ve “checked in” at the gym on Facebook, you’ll no longer think, “wow, Lindy’s really dedicated to fitness.”  Rather, you’ll shake your head, let out a sigh and know that I’ve gone to be one with my Parrothead chi, if only for a few fleeting moments. 

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