My gym confessions

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I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions (I’m more into intentions). And I’m not trying to lose weight.

Nevertheless, I’ve stepped up my gym game for two reasons: Dancing and butt-shaking music make me FEEL great. 2. I visited a client and was so badly out of breathe on arrival, that the building security guard asked me where I was in town from (there is no worse insult for a New Yorker).

One of the relentlessly difficult things about New York is all the stairs — subways, walk-up buildings, Duane Reade, gyms. And you never notice them until you’re out of shape. Today on my way to Zumba class, I seriously debated taking the elevator to the class on the third floor. I started to chide myself for being the out-of-shape train wreck I am, but it occurred to me then that was far from my first infraction. I LIKE the gym. I really do. But we have a turbulent relationship and break up a lot. So, I’ve had more than my share of shameful moments at the gym.

I must speak my truth.

1. I’ve gone to the gym just for the wifi. #entrepreneur

2. I’ve gone to the gym just for a shower #walkofshame

3. I’ve gone to the gym just to use the bathroom. #nyc

4. I’ve eaten a donut at the gym.

5. I’ve taken a different class to avoid another flight of stairs at the gym. Oh, yoga is in this studio and Zumba’s upstairs? #namaste.

6. One of my sports bras gives me a uniboob.

7. Another one gives me 4 boobs.

8. Instructor, thanks for the extra help. But I’m not actually confused about the move, I’m just taking a break. #justsaynotoburpees

9. My feet hurt in both pair of my athletic shoes, but in my search for a new pair, I bought these $468 shoes instead. Maybe going to Barney’s for gym shoes was a bad idea. #feetstillhurt 

10. I have paid a $190 monthly gym membership and not gone. #moneyisnotamotivator

11. Sometimes, in the shower at the gym after a weights class, I just let the water run through my hair, avoiding raising my arms to shampoo.

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10 Best Things Heard During the Marathon

The New York City Marathon came back in a flash this past Sunday, November 4 after being cancelled last year due to that bitch Sandy.

My girl Patty Pion, 3 time marathoner, at the finish line

My girl Patty Pion, 3 time marathoner, at the finish line

I posted up on Bedford Avenue at Mile 11 to cheer on several friends. The conversations happening around me, were memorable, indeed. Plus, I’m an excellent eavesdropper, thus the list below. You’re at somewhat of a disadvantage not being able to hear the actual voices, but I think you’ll get a laugh out of these gems anyway.

1. 

Girl 1: What do you think they’re listening too?
Girl 2: Hip hop. Some really cheesy hip hop.
Girl 3: Or, Beyoncé.

2.

Girl 1: Who are we looking for?
Girl 2: Her name is Carlie. She has short blonde hair. She’s a lesbian.
Girl 1: OMG, then why haven’t I met her?

3.

Girl: These people are amazing. All that training! Look he’s in a wheelchair. <Pause> I feel teeeeerrible about myself.

4.

Man scampers across the street clutching a small table.
Girl: He totally just got that from the flea market.

5.

Little Kid: Cookie Monster!!
Runner dressed as Oscar the Grouch: NO, I’m not Cookie Monster. He’s blue. I’m green.

6.

Guy: I really should just run down the block or something.

7.

Man with a CitiBike walks it across Bedford Ave. cutting runners off.
Angry Man: Get off the f**king course. Angry mob scene ensues, supervised by amused NYPD officers.

8.

Fashion girl:  OMG! Amazing shorts! (She said this three times).

9.

Girl 1: Holds out hand to high five a runner.
Girl 2: OMG, he totally wanted that!

10.

Girl: Aww, she runs so pretty.

All I Want for Christmas Is a Loo

I wonder how the Virgin Mary would have fared had she been required to look for a bathroom in New York City. Finding a bathroom is like a rite of passage. One that’s only meaningful if you’re surely and truly desperate to go. On those occasions, you’d welcome a manger to squat in for a moment.

I’d picked up a cafe au lait and a sweet treat at Amy’s Bread in the Village and had already paid and taken a bite before I realized their bathroom was out of order. Nevermind that I just saw an employee come out of there.

If you’re serving coffee along with treats laden with chocolate and milk and nuts and butter, it’s an absolute sin to not have a bathroom. Moses told us so. Those words weren’t the least bit moving to the less than enthusiastic baristas, and like Mary, I was forced to move on.

I mentally clicked through my usual standbys for a public toilet above which I was willing to expose my bottom.

  • Hotels are one of my favorite options. You just stride right in and acknowledge the bellhops as if you’re a guest. The bathrooms are usually near the elevator, and are oh so nice.
  • Fitness centers — My membership had lapsed at Equinox and I wasn’t prepared to suffer the embarrassment of submitting to the fingertip scan only to be denied entry. And, I no longer have a membership or my New York Sports Club keyfob, so that wasn’t an option either.
  • Starbucks used to be acceptable in an absolute pinch. They are now the litter box of the world. Plus, I was clutching a coffee from somewhere else making that even less of an option.

The Village is one of those picturesque neighborhoods that sometimes makes you feel like you’re on a movie set. Suddenly, I realized I was on a movie set. I couldn’t make out any the names on any of the trailers and none of the trees bore the usual production or No Parking signs. I didn’t know if they were star-quality or the usual Law & Order nonsense that takes over our neighborhoods on any given day.

I did, however, spot that one of the trailers was the women’s restroom! There was no one around. Not even any clipboard-wielding PA — the bane of any movie set. These young Production Assistants typically work the hardest and are given the worse jobs in keeping the set together. To the public though, they are assholes, wielding their power like Attila the Hun; only the result of their empire may or may not make it to the cutting room floor.

“Oh come ye,” the toilet called. I wasn’t going to stand there and keep looking around. Up the stairs to the trailer I went and the door was open! It didn’t even smell like a porta-potty. Hark the herald angels sing.

Are Those Pants Taken?

There are two kinds of people — those who ask if the seat is taken and those who just take the seat. Each group seems somewhat annoyed at the behavior of the other.

  • If at a coffee shop and you spot an empty seat next to someone, do you ask that person if the seat is available?
  • If at the movies you see two seats in the middle of the row where you prefer to sit, do you head toward the seats or ask the neighboring people if the seats are taken?
  • If you’re at Chipotle and there’s a group of tourists looking confused about the menu, do you go in front of them and begin placing your order or wait patiently behind them?
  • If you’re at the yoga studio and it’s crowded, do you ask your fellow practitioners if you can squeeze into the sliver of space between them or just roll out your mat?
  • If while driving you need to get over, do you wait until others pass or just get over?

I believe in being polite, but if no one has laid claim to something, I’m not asking questions.

One day at a coffee shop, I was deep in thought until someone tapped me on the shoulder. I took off my headphones and after some stammering on his part, the coffee drinker asked whether the seat next to me was taken. A complete interruption for nonsense! And he wasn’t even cute.

My friend recently described in her blog, Reflections of a Partly-Southern Belle, feeling guilty for cutting in front of other drivers in order to shorten her commute. That’s called smart driving in my book. Maybe it’s because I’m conditioned to driving in NYC where it’s like a video game — cabs stopping suddenly to discharge or pick up passengers, skateboarders weaving in and out, bikers whizzing by, buses lurching in your lane, cars weaving in and out — it’s just a way of life to be able to react quickly. In fact, if I can tell that someone is trying to cut in front of me but they’re being too tentative about it, I shout (while in my car, of course), “What are you waiting for, a red carpet? Get in already!”

When I drive in Texas (where the Partly-Southern Belle lives), people have gotten irrationally angry at me for merging in front of them. I’ve been honked at, tailgaited and followed alongside while the driver mouths or gestures obscenities. It doesn’t shake me, but Texas is a state where you can legally carry a concealed handgun, so I don’t get all Brooklyn with them.

I was at a two-hour sale at Norma Kavali’s New York boutique. With it being a flash sale, the place was packed. The downstairs sales area was a makeshift dressing room filled with women trying on clothes. When I came back from checking out an outfit in the mirror, a pair of cargo leggings I’ d selected had disappeared. I shouted, “Who took my pants?” Nobody fessed up. The saleswoman scurried to find another pair and came back with the remaining size small into which I wouldn’t be able to get one leg.

Ten minutes later, I spot my pants on a woman with no hips. I step to her and she admits that she took them but said she didn’t know they were mine (She is a bad thief! Why would she try them on while I’m still there?). I pointed to my jacket, hanging in front of the pants; and, my purse and shoes, sitting below the pants. Then I told her to take my pants off.

It dawned on me at that moment, that what I was that feeling might be similar to how someone feels when I merge in front of them in traffic, or take their husband’s seat, or squeeze between them and their friend in yoga class.

So, I decided not to stay mad at Hipless. Instead, I helped her find a great jacket that flattered her body WAY more than MY foil cargo leggings.

Four Women in a Whitewashed NYC. Again HBO?

First, there was Sex and the City, a show about four women living and dating in New York City. The characters were all white except for the occasional one-episode boyfriend, assistant or passerby. And now HBO has done it again with Girls. Another four women living in an NYC  that appears to have lost its diversity.

And yet, just like SATC, as much as I want to be mad for their lack of diversity, I’ve got to give them a pass. Girls is PHENOMENALLY good show. And beyond there being four white women and NYC as a character, there’s really no comparison to SATC. So I will not be mentioning SATC any more in this post.

I find it believable that these four girls wouldn’t know any people of color. I could see Charlie, or even Adam, having a black friend. But Hannah and the other girls, no way. Of course there are some entitled, insecure, whiny, self-centered 20-something black girls out there, but I just can’t imagine them being let into this circle.

Aside from Shoshanna, who is just undeniably adorable and hilarious, the real interesting people on this show are the men. I could become a cougar for Charlie. And you just know that strange Adam has to be bi-polar. And the gay guy hooked me when he slapped the boring pretty girl.

This shown is telling Lena Dunham’s story. It’s cool that HBO is giving her the license to do that. Has there ever been a more unattractive lead character? And all of the characters wear terrible clothes and  several appear as if they haven’t pulled a comb through their hair in years. Yet, the bad clothes — and godforbid boots — are a part of the genius of the show. And even though I can’t relate to any of these characters, the show resonates.

Hollywood isn’t exactly eager to give an unattractive, badly dressed group of black people a show like this. Well, there’s an exception: Madea. Tyler Perry’s stories involve cross-dressing, and sassy  black talk, so people watch. Would people line up to watch a show about a quirky group of non-white women? Or a diverse group of women?

I’m pulling for the black or Latina or Asian writer who’s going to break through that and make the world want to watch her story in a legitimately great show with excellent writing, phenomenal acting, an interesting backdrop AND backing by a powerhouse like HBO. In the meantime, I’m going to rewatch this season of Girls. I’ve got to hear some of those great one-liners again.