Just do what?

I am a fat panda.

Some of you may know that the last year of my life has included a lot of change and distraction and general uselessness. One of the side effects of this was an abrupt halt to my regular power yoga routine and marginally health-conscious existence, meaning that while I am not at the worst I have ever been, my fox and spunk level is decidedly decreased. But when I decided to move to New York this month, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to turn that around. Plus I think it is against the law to bring a fat panda into Manhattan.

Ultra-convenience is an absolute necessity if I am ever expected to set foot near a gym, and the gym closest to my office happens to be of the category that is referred to in the industry as “schmancy”. The kind of place that has 100 televisions and provides every amenity down to mouthwash and tampons in the locker room, and where you overhear employees discussing Beyoncee’s visit last week (apparently she is as hot in person but has pathetic lunge form). I was hesitant to affiliate myself with such a place, but the sales lady was shockingly totally low key, and the monthly fee was actually somewhat reasonable* for what you get at the location. So I signed away my life and got all pumped to get back in the saddle.

Two days ago, I was treated to the free “fitness evaluation” they give to each new member, where they test you for blood pressure, cardio health, body-fat percentage, flexibility, chi temperature, life color, blah blah blah. I knew it would be disappointing under the circumstances, but figured that having a measureable starting point would be a good motivator.

There are some mysteries that should just be left unsolved.

From the way my results were presented, one would think I was in danger of dropping dead or at least spontaneously becoming menopausal before I hit 30. The most pleasant surprise was the discovery that I am “average” in upper-body strength, an achievement beyond my wildest dreams given that I am as helpless as a beached whale or Ralphie’s little brother when I fall on skiis. Now I know I am just relatively out of shape, but the message was basically “start training hard now or risk keeling over on the A-train platform at any moment”. But given my enormous and unflappable ego, it is possible that I have been giving myself a teeny bit too much credit.

So this morning I had my free personal training session, and it kicked me in the groin, but was something I definitely needed and would never do myself. I know that the point of all this is to convince me that I need to start paying for a trainer, and while I don’t want to give into their reindeer games, I am also thinking that I am wholly unqualified to coach myself and would probably hit the showers or the muffin bar the second I drifted even slightly out of my comfort zone. So I’m considering helping Jamila get that much closer to buying her new Saab, even if it means going to work with a tomato for a head (because my face takes about 45 minutes to return to natural color after physical exertion, like so much drunk Asian).

Of course I say this now, but check in with me tomorrow after I’ve woken up with the rigor mortis that is bound to result from today’s weight circuit.

*given my expectations for the obscenity of midtown Manhattan, mind you

Leave a comment


  1. I hate to be all rah rah, but rah rah! Look at it this way–no workout will kick your butt quite as much as this one did, and you’re still not only alive, but also witty.
    Plus there is the great moment when you’ve been doing weights for a little while and you see yourself in a mirror and you say to yourself “Holy shit, I’m kinda hot,” and you don’t want to miss out on that. Because even when you’re still plumpish in general (as I certainly am), little spots of total hotness will start popping up randomly, and that’s pretty cool.

  2. Have you seen this ? Because go see it.

  3. Please don’t use mouthwash and tampons in the same sentence.

  4. snowy

     /  February 23, 2005

    just go with the trainer a few times until you get the routine down. then drop her like a bad habit. also? rah rah rah!

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