The other day, while I was getting a drink at the water cooler at my Y, my little paper ice-cream-cone-shaped cup collapsed, and I spilled water down the front of my shirt. A minute later, one of the regulars there said to me, “Wow, you’re really working up a sweat! Good for you!” It took me a few seconds to realize what prompted his accolade, and I was about to set him straight, but then I got to thinking. Why not let him think I was a fitness freak? What’s the harm in that? Maybe it makes him feel good and encourages him to keep working hard because, after all, he is a young man in his thirties, and he probably needs to see an older woman who keeps moving and exercising. It prompted me to think of other ways I could help inspire people at the Y, and I’ve developed several strategies so far besides the water-down-the-shirt trick. (By the way, you need to toss a little water over your shoulder onto your back to really make it look like authentic work-out sweat.) Here are some things that seem to be working for me:
1. Know the lingo. Talk about your abs, pecs, hammies, glutes and lats, getting ripped or shredded, split body and interval training, and talk about your yogatude.
2. Walk around with a weight belt on.
3. Go over to a young man who is pressing a barbell loaded with weights so heavy you didn’t know they existed, and ask if he needs you to spot for him. Don’t worry; he will never take you up on your offer, but I love the look on his face!
4. Every time you leave one weight machine and move on to another, make sure you surreptitiously move that little peg to a heavier weight. A much heavier weight. You should see people look with amazement and adulation at me when they sit down at a machine I have just vacated and see that I had been lifting 180 pounds.
5. And no, it is not cheating to wear Spanx under your work-out clothes.
I’m still developing other techniques to promote my fitness image. For instance, I plan to become a spinhead and wear full biking gear when I go to my spin class. But for now, these five practices help me be an inspiration to the people who frequent my Y. It’s my little contribution to society, and I’m glad to do it.
Great post – but as I am a gym-phobic I wont have to follow your guidelines. Thanks anyway.
I wear yoga clothes to school when picking up the kids, especially if I haven’t showered. People think I just worked out.
Oh, I’m afraid there’s not much I could do to impress at the gym. I can, however, pick it up for short bursts on the bike trail and zip by some youngster before I turn into the park. A hearty “on your left” as I approach (but not so early that they can pick up speed) and a hearty “how ya doin'” (so they can get a good look at my gray beard) usually impresses.
I like your tactic! I’m too chicken to get on a bike here in Virginia Beach. Way too much traffic for my liking. Great place for walking, though. I can still do that without too much trouble.
Great post! Hilarious! I will definitely employ these … um, if I join a gym and go! Kudos to you for going, working out, and looking the part! All of the tips had me laughing, but I almost lost my coffee out of my nose with #4 and #5.
I think I’m going to add swimming into my routine. I’m sure I will have plenty to say about that, especially since I haven’t been in a pool in years. Expect a blog post when (or if!) that occurs.
fun post! I am truly guffawing out loud, alone, in the privacy of my own home.
Glad to make you laugh!
Hey CE, have you been watching me at the gym again? 🙂 I thought I invented moving the weight machine to a heavier setting before I leave it.
Another good tip – wear a tank top to show off your amazing guns, and carry a towel and wipe your face periodically. Personally, I just use mine to cover up the spot on the bench where I’m about to place my head, knowing that 100’s of heads have been in that spot before me. Great post.
I haven’t worked out long enough to wear a tank top. Still have old lady arms, but I’m working on it! Sounds like you and I could write a book!
Sounds like we could – maybe take turns writing chapters or something.