The Gym and Me

In what can only be described as a supreme stroke of irony, my husband signed us up in June for a gym membership. My book, I Hate It When Exercise Is the Answer, had gone to press the previous week. It didn’t seem possible that now, of all moments, I was about to join the throngs of treadmill walkers, exercise bikers, and lap swimmers. Hot-tub sitters, now, that was a group I could align myself with willingly. But I was skeptical about the rest.

But I really had been kind of desperate to feel less fatigued, and you know, all those women’s magazines tout exercise as the answer for that. So I decided to at least try to give it a fair shot. I climbed up onto the machine. I pushed a few buttons. And I trod.

I think I got in 20 minutes on the treadmill the first day before staggering out, my legs rubbery, my face crimson, my heart pounding wildly. (One thing about being out of shape—I can get up to my “target heart zone” just by going up the flight of stairs to where the cardio equipment sits at our gym. Our gym. I still can’t say that without cracking up.)

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