Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gym Rat

Just a quick update--this week is nuts because I have SO MUCH grading to do. I know I waste time when I have papers to grade, but I don't spend my time doing things I actually want to do--like blogging or reading novels--because then I would feel like I'm doing something instead of grading. I just waste time by telling myself I'm grading and then actually checking Instagram or searching for that podcast I just remembered someone recommended to me or whatever. You know how it is.

BUT I just wanted to say quickly that so far I've had a few workout sessions with my personal trainer. He's warming up to me a little bit, by which I mean he has started laughing at my jokes and actually talking to me.

It is intimidating to go into the weight room! And it's a little weird to be hanging out there with students I have or have had in class. What's funny is that they don't say hi to me! For the most part, they totally ignore me. I don't know if they are embarrassed or if they think I'm embarrassed or what. (Mutual embarrassment! Yes, probably.)

Possibly, they are intimidated by my wicked reps of bicep curls with three pound weights.

At any rate, my hamstrings are sore from my workout on Tuesday!

My trainer actually had to cancel today's session--he said he woke up with his eye swollen shut. (Note to self: Bring package of antibacterial wipes to gym next week.) So I promised to do some cardio this afternoon. My plan right now is to finish grading (HAHAHA but seriously) and then pick up Coco for a stroller walk/jog.

I'm learning how to use all the gym machines and I'm even going to (eventually) do squats with a weight bar which is hilarious to me.

While the students ignore me, I totally gawk at the guys lifting enormous amounts of weight or doing ab workouts that make me want to pass out just observing them. If only some of them would transfer the motivation they have for working out and put it toward studying...

In all seriousness, though, my discomfort there and my feeling of being somewhere where everyone around me is good at something that I don't really have figured out is actually making me feel more empathetic toward students who feel that their strength is athletic rather than academic. I imagine that my uneasiness in the gym is probably not too different from their uncertainty in the classroom, so I hope I can emphasize that we're all here to learn and improve our scores rather than prove that we're the best.

I have to say that I do feel really good in the evenings of the days I work out. I've just been holding office hours in my gym clothes and so far no one seems to mind. The students who have stopped in to talk about their schedules haven't blinked an eye.

It's definitely reminding me that making exercising a priority makes me feel better in general--and it's only been a week and a half of this business.

And the timing is great, because we have a big bowl of Halloween candy at home and the Reeses peanutbutter cups are irresistible!


  1. Good point / observation on the fear / embarrassment / awkwardness we all bring to places outside of our comfort zone.

    Few things beat the post-workout feeling. I have one late class on Wednesday nights, and when I walk back in the door Marcus also asks me how class was and I always answer "Tough. And I feel amazing."

  2. I used to swim laps on campus in grad school. A member of my committee also swam laps. In a speedo. We usually did not acknowledge each other either!

    I love what you said about empathy for the students!

  3. Squatting with a weight bar kicks ass. You'll feel so hard core when (if?) you really start lifting! So worth the weirdness. :D


    For to make you feel better: