Richard Simmons on a good day


By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
The confetti settles, the resolutions resolve, and anxiously we begin the year we shall rush to bid farewell. Change is exciting, it brings about a certain energy to begin, to end, and to improve things within our lives that gave us such fits in 2011.
January 1, everyone is a winner, a saint, a fitness pro, and basically a better person all around. Each has his or her own battle. Although mine falls in line with the usual suspects; it is slightly different.
A few months ago, my favorite little escape closed its doors. It was my heaven, my sanity, my alternative to a life of crime. No matter how difficult the day, regardless the barrage of real estate rocks hurled fiercely in my direction, I found solace in Celadon. Crawling, stumbling or skipping through the doors was my bandage for a day full of scratches and scrapes. I would run on the treadmill, losing frustration with each mile, then retreat to the mat where I would become the greatest Yogi of all time. As if that weren’t enough to banish the bad, the steam shower cured whatever remained. There was one major factor that added to this simple bliss: 90% of the time, I was right by myself. In retrospect, I can see how that may have been a sign of slow business; however, I was too busy enjoying my private heaven to worry.
I can’t simply join another gym. It isn’t that easy. I am not Jane Fonda, matter of fact, my appearance in the gym more resembles Shrek, Minnie Pearl or maybe Richard Simmons on a good day. Some women leave a gym looking better than I do leaving a salon; unfair, but a reality in which I have grown accustomed. Many years I have spent in gyms, lifting weights at 5 a.m. (forced, obviously), there was even a most humiliating step aerobic phase, thankfully YouTube wasn’t quite so popular, and there was enough running to sign me up as a fill in for Forrest Gump. Therefore, I feel as though I did my time, paid my dues, and somehow avoided losing a major limb.
Going to the gym isn’t my idea of a fabulous time. I realize there are health benefits and such, but that was never my motivation. I am at least 20% less mean when I have that coveted time to myself. The physical rewards were secondary to my improved personality. After being screamed at, cursed at, blamed, and at times accused of being all that is wrong in the financial realm, being all alone to look ridiculous on a treadmill at Celadon was just what the psychiatrist ordered. Not once did I worry about my form, my outfit, or the granny bun on top of my head. There was no awkward small talk with sweat pouring away the remainder of any make up I forgot to apply. I never once had to fake listening to my iPod to avoid discussing current events while struggling through a sit up. If I wanted to scream in victory after lifting an impressive 10 pounds, well scream I did.
As a bonus, my cell phone did not work at all within the walls of this fitness fortress. Obviously, the loss has been great, the grieving continues. As tragic as it is, I must press forward. I am in search of a new gym, not a rebound, but a place I can actually begin a new relationship. The requirements are few and relatively basic in nature. I prefer to have the entire facility to myself. The absence of any type of camera or scale is preferred, and absolutely no group fitness at any time, under any circumstances. Regardless of how it may seem, I am not always anti-social. I just prefer not to have conversations during crunches, debates during dead lifts, and honestly, I just don’t want to worry if my socks don’t match. My days are full of social interaction and awkward encounters, I have that covered. Home fitness videos, although an obvious option for one as odd as myself, make almost as much sense as watching Jeopardy instead of going to college. Therefore the odds are favorable that you may see me in a gym near you. I won’t have my contacts in, so I promise I am not making a mean face at you. I can’t see you. If I am hiding behind the Stairmaster, please don’t take it personally. I just want to burn a few calories, blow off some steam, and make it home without anyone pointing out my painfully obvious flaws.

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