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Gorillas in the Gym

Yesterday I had the really brilliant idea of sneaking in some gym time before my PMP study group.

I don’t normally go to the gym on Tuesdays because of study group. But I’ve made some really good progress at the gym this month, getting rid of one of my extra five pound weights. And working on a second.

I don’t want to lose that momentum.

So I showed up.

And instead of a “Great job, Sunshine. I’m proud of you for showing up,” I got a “Since you work from home, you could at least show up already dressed for class.”

I work in the office two days a week. How many times do I have to explain my life to you before you stop being mean to me??

Anyway, I changed and joined the others gathering around the giant white board trash J-Vicious had dug out of a school dumpster. Which is probably a misappropriation of state funds or something.

All I know is that new trash board is far too big. J-V does not need that much space to create his torture sessions.

I’d put it back in the trash where it belongs except that it’s now secured to the climbing wall. And I don’t have full use of my arms at the moment.

Because full body day. With partners.


Because I’ve been a tad vocal about my aversion yo partner workouts, J-V agrees to be my partner.

Which is both a blessing. And a curse.

I don’t have to social or be friendly or process information partnering with J-V. I cannot explain to y’all how much anxiety-provoking those things are for me 90%of the time.

But anyone who has partnered with J-V on a workout understands the curse.

Since we had an odd number of people, he asked

Because this dude.

So the workout on the giant trash board was a list of exercises. You do one. Partner does one. Then you do two. Partner does two. All the way up to ten. Then back down to one.

Except for the exercises with a Star next to them. Those you only had to go up to ten. And not count back down.

Because, as we learned, bear crawls could take an entire class. Just to get to ten. No way you’re making the count back down.

And in these partner workouts, your rest break is when your partner is doing their exercises.

J-V does not like to let people rest.

So, we start with burpees.

This was the easiest part of the workout…

Pure Romance and LL started with bear crawls. Which was…look. When you have, like, twenty exercises to pick from, don’t pick the bear crawls. Chances are you’ll run out of time before you ever have to do them.

But good on them for jumping straight into the bullshit from the jump.

When B-Major got there, ten minutes later, she joined them. They were still bear crawling…

J-V and I had already moved on to triceps extensions. Which are normally not awful. Except at some point during those I said or did something that maybe wasn’t whining or complaining? I don’t even remember.

All I remember is J-Vicious actually said to me, and I quote, “Good girl.”

It took every ounce of strength I had in me to stop my inner feminist from picking up one of the dumbbells at my feet and slapping him upside the head with it.

Instead I reported it to HR. By shouting. Across the gym. To B-Major, “Your husband just said ‘good girl, to me! And then damn near patted me on the head like a dog!”

I feel it’s important to convey the emotional impact of an incident through the use of extra…details.

We moved on to some other stuff. Safely away from the dumbbells.

They were still bear crawling…

Thirty minutes in…

Just thirty minutes of bear crawling…

Then J-V decided they should just stop bear crawling and move on to something else.

And that we would do bear crawls next. Which…I mean, I was good with them bear crawling the entire class and me not bear crawling at all.

But whatevs.

Anyway, it’s important for you to understand that, when I bear crawl, I do an actual bear crawl. My bear crawl form is on point. Sometimes bear crawl is the only way I’m making it up a mountain. I hear crawl to the point that my hips and glutes are screaming for me to stop. And just lie down. And accept my fate.

Which gives your partner just all kinds of solid rest time.

J-V. Despite being the architect of these workouts. Does not bear crawl. No. What he does…

Have you ever seen, like, basically any scene from any planet of the apes movie where the apes run?

Just all knuckles and feet in a kind of lopsided gallop?

That. Is what J-V does.

Just gorilla-runs across the floor. As fast as evolutionarily possible. Just to keep me from resting.

His commitment to his clients’ discomfort is actually rather impressive.

At one point, he was gorilla-running so hard, as I lay in a weepy mass on the floor fighting for oxygen, he ran all the way out of his shoe.

Seriously. I just wanted a 30 second break. He could’ve given me a 30 second break.

Once we hit five laps. The updated number for that particular exercise courtesy of the bear crawl ladies. We moved on to calf abuse.

Or, wait, no. No, those were calf raises.

We were counting by tens instead of ones for those. Which seems really stupid in retrospect. And also in the moment.

At some point during all this, Big Lick and his daughter opted for rope slams. Which, also, we’re counting by tens. That one was also a solid twenty minute process.

Y’all got to make better choices. I know why I’m suffering through the worst exercises. It’s my punishment for having an emotional disability. But y’all free to make good decisions and you’re just bear crawling and rope slamming like in and out squats aren’t an option.

Anyway, when we hit forty on the calf raises. And I was already bargaining with my calves to try to keep them from cramping. Or exploding out the backs of my legs. I realized that this exercise didn’t have a star next to it. And we’d have to count back down after we hit 100.

So I found a marker and added a star.

You’re all welcome.

By the time we hit our last exercise. Plank to push up…with actual push ups, even J-V was asking, “Is there a star on this one?”

There is now.

But about that time, the timer went off. Signaling freedom.

And I was so exhausted of everything inside of me. That I went home. And straight into study group. Without a shower. Or food.

It wasn’t pretty.

It’s 6am now and I still haven’t showered. Just slept in my own post-workout funk last night. Because by the time study group ended. I had enough energy for exactly one activity. And I chose eating.

I’m currently in a state of full body numbness. Like, my body has just kind of accepted its fate. And stop feeling emotions altogether.

So, maybe I can just enjoy leg day without having to listen to my hamstrings whining the whole time.

I mean, I’m obviously still gonna whine. Everyone around me is gonna have to listen to me whine. But hopefully I won’t have to listen to my legs whine.

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Just reading and writing and running and looking for my happy place.


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