So I’m more than comfortable letting my freak flag fly as a general rule. Too comfortable some may say. And yes, people who are mere acquaintances have taken it upon themselves to inform me that I am loud to which I normally say “REALLY?! ARE YOU SURE?! JEEZ,  I HAD NO IDEA!! THANKS FOR CLUING ME IN! TO THINK I’VE GONE ALL THIS TIME WITH NARY A THOUGHT TO THE VOLUME OF MY VOICE!!” And usually that’s about the time that the acquaintance becomes a friend (because really, I’m adorable and how could you not love me), or a mortal enemy (because really, I’m obnoxious and how could you not hate me)!

But it’s a little different at the gym – I am not in my comfort zone at all. In fact, I’m not in my comfort zip code! It’s an alien place to me with people with toned and healthy bodies getting to a more toned and healthy place. My goals seem so insignificant – I want to slow the rate at which I am inevitably gaining weight, I want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without requiring a transfusion, and I want to do a burpee without wanting to throw up. I feel it’s really important to set attainable goals.

So at the gym I’m reining in the crazy a little. But it tends to come out in fits and bursts at the most inopportune moments which has resulted in some strange conversations with my gym friends – a subset of people who know my name but my only interaction with them is during a workout class where we are running, jumping, push-up-ing, burpee-ing, or planking together. Individuals who have never met me outside of the gym milieu but since I’ve sweated and grunted and wheezed in sync with them, I feel like we are really close…like people who survived a war close.

Example Interaction #1:

Gym Friend: I really like the Wednesday morning class, our instructor is really good!

Me: That’s nice, I’ll have to check it out!

GF: He’s really good and oh my God he’s really ….ummm

Me (because I hate pauses like nature abhors a vacuum): oooh good looking?! I like my exercise with eye candy hahahaha (maniacal chuckling)!

GF (visibly startled and slowly backing away from me): ummm…no I was going to say he’s really motivating. Really motivates me to do my best.

Me (not doing myself any favors): oh right right – that’s important too I guess.

Example Interaction #2:

Me (smiling broadly at guy in line to get a drink): Hi!! (cheeriness usually exhibited by Publisher Clearinghouse winner announcers)

Guy-who-I-think-I-know: ummm…hello?

Me (completely sure that I have met dude currently looking at me with expression suggesting he knows me about as well as he knows all the names of the Backstreet Boys): How are you?!

Guy-who-I-think-I-know: ummm…fine – and yourself?

Me: Great!! And how is….

Me (Inner monolog as I have completely forgotten his wife’s name): Michelle? No, Kristina? No, Jen? Why can’t I remember? I can picture her – she’s blonde and tall and they have two boys. And I met her at that birthday party 3 years ago and we spoke non stop for over an hour. And then I met her again last year and she spoke about her neighbors and her dog. She introduced me to her husband. I remember he did something in finance. I’m pretty sure it’s this guy – isn’t it? Oh fuuuuuuck! Isn’t it!!!? Oh god, have I just been staring at him and stopped midway through a sentence?! Bloody hell!! Quick, think of something clever and funny to get out of this situation you moron! 

Me (aloud to guy who is trying to figure out if the crazy woman staring at him unblinkingly for 30 seconds is having a mini stroke and at what point he should call 911): umm…never mind…hahaha…enjoy your workout! Cheers!

Me (to myself): phew! Nailed it!

So I guess what I’m trying to say with these illustrative examples is that there may be a few people at the gym who think I’m a bit of a moronic pervert with possibly some Tourette’s issues.


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