Shape Up

Two years ago my sister and I made a pact to start exercising regularly. I was out of shape, feeling lumpy and lethargic, and needed a boost of self-esteem. I began walking on a treadmill, which gradually led into running on a treadmill, which then led to running 5K races. Getting into shape has been one of my greatest accomplishments, but it’s hard work keeping it up. There are days I just want to eat a bag of gummy bears and throw my running shoes at the wall.

My apartment complex has a “gym” that consists of one treadmill from 1975, one stationary bike that tips over if you lean the wrong way, and some Walmart weights. I go at the same time every day and I've made up nicknames for the regulars. There’s “Jeans Judy”, a teenaged girl that is constantly hogging the treadmill. She walks on jeans...while texting...and chewing gum. I use the bike on those days and just stare at the back of her head while rolling my eyes. Then there’s “Beergut Bob” who goes in just for the TV. He brings in a cup of coffee and kicks back on the weight bench, and while I’m sweating my butt off he’s watching SportsCenter while scratching his crotch. Last but not least, there’s good ol’ “Meditative Mildred”, the woman who sits on the floor with her eyes closed doing yoga. At first I would avoid the “gym” while Mildred was in there because I didn’t want to disturb her. Now I go in, sprint on the treadmill and watch ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ while she’s downward dogging.

Let me say that I am not one of those cute girls at the gym. I don’t wear a spunky ponytail, cute little pants and matching top, and the thinnest layer of makeup that I try to pull off as natural. No way, I’m strictly business in the gym. Frizzy bun with thick sweat-resistant headband, red splotches on my face, spandex shorts and ribbed tank, and a sweat rag because I do more than get a little dew on my brow.

I guess I should be nicknamed “Man-Sweat Megan” or “Rugged Redhead”.