Monday, June 7, 2010

The Biggest Loser

So I accidentally have a personal trainer.

The first thing you need to know is that I don't work out. Like, ever. Before yesterday I hadn't owned running shoes since back when gym class was mandatory. So like, 1999? I haven't done a jumping jack since '95 and when the gym teacher suggested I do a chin up I think I told him in no uncertain terms where he could put the chin up bar. I have what they refer to as a 'bad attitude.' If laughing as the other kids dive on the ground to save a volleyball is considered a bad attitude, then sign me up. I dive for no ball.

(I am of course ommitting my brief attempt at 'running' last year which I thought might be the cure for my unemployment anxiety. Wrong. Running feels terrible and people who say otherwise are kidding themselves.)

That being said, in Korea I sit on my ever-growing ass for 40 hours a week, walk nowhere and eat a lot. When I inquired about finding dance classes in Daegu my teacher's said "No, no, no, dance class only children and professional." Of course.

Fast forward: a kid asked if I was having a baby, I freaked the freak, thought about making my own yoghurt, decided it would take too long, joined a gym. A couple of those are not related, but I just wanted to bring you along for the mental ride.

Fast forward again: after getting through the rigorous shoe on/off procedure at the gym (change into gym shoes at front door, walk through gym, take off shoes at change room, change clothes, shoes back on) I hit the treadmill. Now I'm no one's hero, I thought I'd do 30 minutes at a brisk walk and call it a win. About 20 minutes in the gym dude comes over and says, "Weight training?" to which I responded by nervously laughing and give him the 'no' signal. After 30 minutes though I was still feeling ambitious so I thought I'd do the stationary bike for a bit. Again he comes over, "15 minutes, then weight training." "Ha ha haha, no, X, X, aniyo, sorry, nooooo." Sure enough though, 15 minutes later he gestures me over to the 'heavy pully down machine' and what followed I can only remember in flashbacks like a bad dream. I pushed heavy things, I pulled heavy things, I lifted heavy things, I squated, I lunged, I nearly cried. However, because he didn't speak English I couldn't tell him I couldn't do it. He just stood there blinking until I did it. Of course I also couldn't tell him about that I have a bad shoulder or that I had a dinner to get to, but the point is I couldn't tell him I was tired (though I did mime it several times). He also couldn't say annoying things like 'feel the burn' and 'no pain, no gain' which was nice becuase then I didn't have to punch him in the nose bone.

In the end I managed to escape after about an hour to which he said 'Tomorrow?' Oh honey, nooooo. I need a couple of days to regrow the parts of me that died here today. Then on my way out of the gym the owner came over and gave me the thumbs up, which I thought was nice, and then proceeded to make a gesture like this )( with his hands accompanied by a 'whoosht' sound and says, "Gwenchanio (okay), no problem, no problem," as if to say "Don't worry, we've seen fat white ladies before. This is totally do-able."

On the bright side, for the first time in three months I'm grateful for slippers at work because it means I don't have to bend down to put my shoes on. My feet have never been further away, thanks for nothing hamstrings.

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