Editor's Note: You've seen my brain fueled by M&M's and Diet Coke, but have you ever seen my brain fueled by exercise? This, dear friends, is my brain on NATURAL endorphins.
6:30: I leave the office, a vicious war wagering in my brain. The bad side of my brain says: "Go home, little one. You've had a long* day and you only ate two slices of pizza for lunch. You don't need to work out." The good side of my brain says: "You are such a fatass. Think of all the ziti you ate last night! Not to mention the bagel, the bread and the brownies. AND YOU DRANK WHOLE MILK, YOU DISGUSTING SWINE."
7:00: After much deliberating, I reluctantly walk into my new gym, the Chinatown YMCA. The smell of gym mats and healthy people make me sick to my stomach, but I soldier on. I enter the locker room, only to be flashed by half a dozen Asian grandmothers. Looking good, ladies. Loo-ooking good.
7:10: I force myself into my too small Nike one piece bathing suit that I bought during my brief stint as YMCA coach during freshman year of college. I must have gotten taller, right? That's why this doesn't fit, RIGHT?
7:12: I fumble around the locker room, trying to find the showers. I walk in on a mother and a daughter who both yell at me and act like I'm a pedophile. GOD, I'M SUCH A ROOKIE.
7:14: I "shower". By shower, I mean I unsuccessfully attempt to put on hot water and screech as I get blasted by a stream of ice cold "peasant" water.
7:17: One last look in the locker room mirror confirms that I do in fact look like Michael Phelps with boobs and a gut...and less defined biceps.
7:18: I grab my hand towel and head to the pool, where I pull out half my hair in an attempt to get my bathing cap on. I then nearly break my brand new goggles and slip in the hallway connecting the locker room and pool.
7:20: I make it to the pool deck, where I see that a group of beautiful Australian swimmers are stretching before diving into the "fast lane". They call each other "mate" and ooze sex appeal. I pass them on the way to the loser lane, sucking in my stomach so hard that I hear my ribs crack. Self-loathing reaches an all time high.
7:22: I stick my feet into the slow lane, still out of breath from sucking (in my stomach. and at life). Three arthritic grandmothers are practicing their backstroke and judge me as I dive under the water and immediately get my few remaining strands of hair caught in the duct.
7:22:30: Screeching for the second of many times that evening, I pull my hair free. Most of my fellow swimmers are staring at me. Tears streaming down my face, I duck back under and focus on finding my inner Nemo.
7:23: I make it a few strokes before coming up for air. The AARP have swam past me, laughing at me as I choke on the chlorinated water.
7:33: After several*** vigorous laps, I look eagerly up at the clock, thinking that at least an hour has passed. Sadly, it has only been ten minutes.
7:45: I swim back and forth with the energy and stamina of my fellow lanies (I hope by making up nicknames, they will accept me as their own. I really want to learn bridge.)
7:50: Deciding that I've had enough of this exercise crap for one day, I emerge from the pool, hoisting myself up like a goddess. People stare as I exit the pool, obviously taking in my exquisite form and exceptional looks.
7:52: I enter the locker room and shriek at my reflection in the mirror. Apparently I was not wearing waterproof mascara and I resemble a drowned raccoon.
7:54: Defeated by my post-swim ugliness, I shower quickly, accidentally soaking my bag and jeans. Note to future self: the bench outside the shower is not protected from the stream.
8: I leave the gym, uglified but feeling oddly successful and pleased with myself.
8:20: I eat ziti and the icing from a stale black and white cookie. Gym again tomorrow, I swear.