So, the YMCA and I have been getting re-acquainted. I've been burning through my guest passes, throwing myself on the cross-trainer (read, "torture device") since summer started, trying to stay ahead of that summer slump. I'm not sure who first decided that beer and bikinis go together. It sure as hell wasn't a female. How would you like to wear something that gives you no lee-way what-so-ever for ice cream the night before, and then drink a beverage that makes you puff up like Mr. Doughboy?
For me, the combat between fun-time carbs and jiggle and a beach body is fought on the grimy black floors of the local Y. We have a gorgeous gym at school, but since I'm not taking summer classes I am not allowed to enter the hallowed halls that contain 25+elliptical machines, a his and her weight area, and free yoga classes. But it was at the Y that I found my new gym-spiration, a man that is there every day I am, rocking the treadmill and lifting free weights. This is, of course, awesome for anyone, but this particular man is special in one respect: he has one leg. Yah. Okay. There go all my lazy excuses for not wanting to go. If this guy can haul his butt to the gym and do it one-legged, what the hell is my reason for NOT going? Plus, it is good for you, right? Something about cardiovascular health and good blood pressure? And nothing feels better than flicking a part of your body and noticing a serious decline in jiggle. That's the Lord's own truth.
On that note, I would like to thank Victoria's Secret and company for creating an environment where women constantly feel ill-at-ease with their bodies and aim to look like the emaciated, air-brushed barbies in the pages of their catalogues. "Want to buy this? You probably will NEVER look like this girl in it, but go ahead! Shove your large behind in there! That'll be $65". The young woman on the right, aside from looking like she hasn't eaten properly in a few months, is also an impossible standard to hold women to. Most women, even very thin women, will never be able to look like that. My current roommate had a former roommate who had torn out pages from their summer catalogue and taped them up (where else?) in the kitchen. Next to each one she had little post-its that read things like, " ABS!" and "just say no!". This girl, BTW, was one of the most gorgeous creatures I had ever seen. She was tall, thin, and busty, and yet she had completely bought into the whole charade. I wanted to hug her and then shake her by the shoulders and ask her what the hell was going through her mind.
Laura Croft was really my original gym-spiration. As played by Angelina Jolie, of course. She's kick-ass, has a rockin', HEALTHY body, and is absolutely gorgeous. And she looks like a real woman, which is the most important thing. Those last few minutes on the cross-trainer, when I'm exhausted and feel like I'm about to pass out, I just think, "If Angie can do it, so can I." But, not gonna lie, I'm glad the next day is all about the pool and some Bud Light Lime. I mean, that's the whole reason I'm there, right? ; )