So let’s say you are a college student. Your biggest concerns are about midterms are approaching and the fact that you might be failing three classes. But hey, at least there is a curve, right? And then you realize summer is just a few months away. You look in the mirror and think back to the last time you worked out which may or may not have been that one hike you did with your family on New Year’s day after a severe champagne hangover. But, it’s ok. You remember you have a super athletic roommate who promised she would help you if you wanted to work out with her.
You tell her you want to get swole. She agrees and she starts making a workout plan to follow until spring break starting tomorrow. You officially have a plan and are feeling the adrenaline rush just from the idea of working out. This is a great plan. You just know it.
The first step on your list is to go to the store for all sorts of protein powders and protein bars. In the checkout line you see the bill and justify that it will be worth it in the end when you have your perfect spring break bikini body.
The next day is day one at the gym. You and your roommate step in and you immediately feel out of your element. Mental note #1: you need to go shop for better athletic attire because your baggy shirt from Freshman Olympics and three-year-old Nikes are not going to cut it in this gym. Your roommate steps on the treadmill and you start running. Half a mile in to your run you stop, look at her and say “no.” She accepts your lack of enthusiasm and points out an elliptical. You think it is going to be better because your feet are resting on a platform so you agree. Well, think again. Five minutes in, you have burned almost 50 calories but you cannot breathe and seriously have to pee. As your roommate realizes you are about to give up, she says you have to get to 1.5 miles and then you can be done. Twenty-five minutes into being on the elliptical, you are almost done with your 1.5 miles so you peek over at her screen. She is peddling at 165 strides per minute at a level of 12 and altitude of 10 and has so far gone 2.6 miles. You are crushed and use the rest of your willpower just to finish this machine that was not even supposed to be that hard.
Finally, you made it through the cardio. You both get off and as you are about to grab your stuff and get out of there, she says she has not done arms yet. You look at her toned arms and see the distinct lines in her biceps and her triceps (at least that’s what you think the muscles are called). You then look at your arms and try flexing, but you realize your muscles sagged more when you flexed than when they were rested. You tell yourself you are seeing things, but who really knows?
“This is gonna be great,” you sarcastically mumble to your roommate.
You both walk over to one of the extra rooms in the gym and look at the weight rack. She grabs a 15-pound weight so you instinctively grab a 10-pound weight. Clearly she is more fit than you, but you don’t want to be a wimp. She says you are going to do two sets of 20. You mentally re-check what mumbo jumbo gym jargon you learned from a different suite mate of yours who tried to give you advice toward achieving your fitness goals. You agree with the proposed sets. Halfway through the second set, your posture is nonexistent and your hand feels like it is being yanked off by this weight and you are about to pass out, but there is no stopping yet. Your roommate then grabs a slightly larger weight and puts it above her head and does pumps with it. You officially have no idea what she is doing and laugh at how weird she looks. But then she tells you to follow her. You grab a slightly larger weight as well and attempt to follow her while clearly failing miserably, and you proceed to feel pain that is somewhere between having someone cut your arm off very, very slowly with a knife and being stabbed in the back of your arms by 20 different knives at the same time. You think to yourself, “I must be doing this right because I am hurting.” About 15 minutes passes and you know you were successful at getting more fit because picking up your keys was the hardest thing you did all day.
As you leave the gym, you feel like you want to cry, but you are too proud to feel any other emotions. Also, it hurts too much to cry and you think you are too dehydrated to produce any tear ducts. Your roommate compliments you for doing all the things she did and starts saying that today was a great beginner's day and she can’t wait to do leg day tomorrow.
You look at her as your arms drop to the floor and become speechless. Today was just a beginner’s day?
It takes you all of .02 seconds to realize that today was the last day you will ever step foot in that gym and you tell your roommate to find a new workout partner because you quit.
You eventually get back to your room, proceed to drink four cups of water, eat three packs of fruit snacks and half a bar of Godiva chocolate (because you can’t afford Ghirardelli), and finish the remnants of the protein bar you ate before you went to the gym.
Yes, you went to the gym, but never again. Goodbye, bikini body. Hello, self tanner.