What Goes Through My Mind Every Time I Go To The Gym

What Goes Through My Mind Every Time I Go To The Gym

Here we are. Gymming it up! Really gonna go after it today. No more half-assing it on the stationary bike reading People Magazine. NO! Today we get serious. Work off a lifetime of snacking. But let’s not jump into the hard stuff right away. First, a little stretching. GOTTA STRETCH. Oh yeah, that’s nice. Real loose. Need to be prepared because this workout is gonna be PSYCHO. Whew, that feels good! I feel like, if there’s any area of the gym where I really shine, it’s the pre-workout stretch. I’m like an Olympic-level stretcher. Jeez, this is taking a lot out of me. Water break!

OK, nice and hydrated. Now the question is…on which machine do I begin my fitness revolution? That elliptical next to the window is free but…probably pretty drafty. Can’t get sick. Then there’s the treadmill in the corner, but I saw a guy fall on it once. Better steer clear. Once you’re known as Fall Off The Treadmill Guy you might as well just switch gyms. You know what? I’m gonna stroll around to assess my options. Five or six laps, real slowly probably, before making any hasty decisions. Right after a little more water–

HEY! Another treadmill’s open! Shit. Should I go? Do I want it? I was kinda hoping to kill more time. Fuck, the old lady’s going for it! RUN! THANK GOD I STRETCHED!

Alright, here we are, having a nice little jog. Feels pretty good actually. Refreshing. A little heat in my legs, some sweat on my brow. Whew! Look at me go. Why don’t we turn up the speed here a little and….HOLY SHIT IS THAT FAST! I think my legs are going to come off. I must be really speeding along. Let’s see what the speedometer…4.5 miles an hour?! That’s like old man slow. When I’m driving 5 miles per hour in my car it feels like I’m going back in time. I don’t feel so good. How do you know your lung has collapsed? Does it make a sound, or does it just hurt terribly? Because I’m pretty sure I just heard a sound…

Hmmm…the machine says I’ve burned 23 calories. That’s pretty good, right? So when is the absolute soonest I can eat a Snickers ice cream bar?

My God I just caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Is that really what I look like? Why hasn’t anyone called an ambulance? My face is bright red, and my expressions says “At least when the heart attack comes, I’ll be allowed to stop moving my legs.” Normally this the moment in the E.R. episode when Noah Wyle yells, “Clear!” How long I’ve been running…6 minutes?! Son of a bitch…

Why is everyone here so attractive? There’s a woman over there wearing makeup. Is there a red carpet portion of the evening I’m not aware of? I’ve had these sweatpants since 1995. Also, I’m wearing a T-shirt for a blood drive and I’m pretty sure I’ve never donated blood before. Is it possible I fished it out of the garbage? I gotta make some changes…

OK, 15 minutes in, still no sign of the Runner’s High. That thing is such horseshit. These are the highs I am aware of: “Oh Look, All The Treadmills Are Taken So Now I Have An Excuse To Go Home” High! That totally exists. Or the “I Just Got the First Movie On My Netflix Queue Even Though It Was Listed As ‘Very Long Wait’” High. That one’s the best. But a high from going for a run? No fucking way. Oh god, remember when we were just stretching?

Oh no, the guy that smells is walking over. I hate you, Guy That Smells. Why is there one of you at every gym? Someone should talk to him. I mean, I’d want to know if my gym clothes reeked so bad that no one could stand within five feet of me. OK. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna be the one that fixes this. When Guy That Smells walks by, I’ll motion him over, real friendly-like, and quietly suggest he give his gym clothes a wash. Look at me! Making changes, fixing lives. I’m like the Dr. Phil of this gym. Here comes Mr. Stink, I’ll just give a little wave and–OH GOD! He smells SO AWFUL. ABORT! He got too close! It’s burning. My nose is burning! Go away you horrible stinky bastard!…

23 minutes?!?! You’re telling me I’ve only been on this devil machine for 23 FUCKING MINUTES? I swear to god, I will kill you, treadmill computer. I will break in here in the middle of the night and stab you in your guts, and the world will applaud me for doing it. OH! I still have some water left!…

People over there are talking. That’s nice. They have extra breath for conversation, meanwhile I’m using every one of mine just to stay alive. Oh, they’re friends? Why would I want to work out with friends? I don’t want people I know to see me like this. I can barely stand to look at it myself. I’d run in a windowless room with the lights out if I could. Solitary confinement: that’s my idea of the perfect gym…

38 minutes. I’m almost there. We set this treadmill for 40 minutes, so we’re staying on the damn thing for 40 minutes. I just have to focus, bear down and—OOPS. I hit the Cool Down button. My bad! The machine is slowing. Damn, that’s unfortunate. Now we’re just at walking speed. I don’t want to hog the treadmill, should probably just get off. OK. Dismount. Good work, everybody. I think we’ve earned some french fries. Done for the day. At least I don’t have to be this miserable again for another…damn…24 hours. Fuck me. Next time I’m just reading PeopleThought Catalog Logo Mark

This is an excerpt from Chunk. Chunk is Brian Donovan’s best-selling new Kindle Single which follows him along his ridiculous journey from fat kid to slightly less fat adult. It’s a bracingly funny and delightfully uncomfortable collection of essays exploring food, fitness, and the funny things that happen when we try to slim down and grow up.

You can also buy Not A Match: My True Tales Of Online Dating Disasters, a best-selling Thought Catalog book by Brian.

About the author
Author of the best-selling Kindle Single "Not A Match." Follow Brian on Twitter or read more articles from Brian on Thought Catalog.

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