Tag Archives: workout

Mile 587: An Introvert’s Guide to the Gym

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“I spent my life becoming invisible.
It’s hard to maintain, and it’s hard to get by.”
–Neko Case, “Nothing to Remember”

Miles last week: 51
Total miles: 587

One of the good things about the Internet (that seems like an oxymoron) is that I feel like people generally better understand the difference between introverts and extroverts. That, or the Internet really only exists so that you can validate yourself and I frequently peruse the geek board on Pinterest, which sometimes has pins that tell you it’s okay be an introvert–pins like this one:

Basically, introverts are introspective, watchful, quiet, and need alone time to recharge. This, of course, causes a whole host of problems and assumptions that are slightly beside the point right now. What we’re talking about today is how being an introvert can affect your gym time.

That’s right. There, unfortunately, can be a social aspect to working out. There are people there. And sometimes they try to talk to you when you’re huffing and puffing and generally being a disgusting, sweaty mess. It’s madness.

If you’re an introvert like me (I know–you’re completely shocked to discover this personal detail about myself), then social interaction takes a bit more energy than it does for extroverts, whether you realize it or not. At the gym, though, you need every bit of energy you have to concentrate on burning those calories and not dropping weights on your foot. You’re going to have to take some steps to make sure no one else there does anything annoying, like talk to you.

As an introvert who frequents the gym, I am prepared to share my wisdom with you. Just follow these tips to ensure that you have plenty of fortitude to make it through a workout without collapsing from conversation-induced exhaustion.

Buy noise-cancelling headphones.
Nothing says “unapproachable” like completely covering your ears with technology specifically designed to muffle all sound around you. The only bad thing is that they’ll make your ears sweat. It’s also not very fun when you break them and have to duct tape them back together, but your hair keeps getting stuck in the adhesive when you wear them. I heard that from a friend…who is definitely not me…

Pick one machine and stick with it.
If you’re getting up and moving around to different areas of the gym, there is a chance that you will accidentally make eye contact with someone. And we all know what eye contact leads to: acknowledgement of another person that you may have to speak to. Whether it’s a quiet hello or a mumbled apology for almost crashing into him or her, this is a needless expense of energy that you will undoubtedly need if you have any hope of being able to move after a few sets of squats. If you ever squat and fall over, just know it’s because you nodded at that person when he or she walked past you on the way to the water fountain.

If you must move around, make sure you have your phone.
Your phone is a vital tool in evading social interaction. I tend to wait until after I’m off the elliptical or treadmill and on my way to the paper towels (because I’m sanitary and clean off any machine I touch) before I tell MyFitnessPal how many calories I’ve burned so that I can avoid looking at any people–or, you know, where I’m going. I only SOMETIMES run into things, okay?

Just pretend you know what you’re doing.
Whatever you do, DON’T ASK ANYONE HOW ANYTHING WORKS. There are diagrams on the machines for a reason, y’all.

Close your eyes when using equipment.
This will make it look like you are concentrating and working hard on muscle definition when you’re really just trying to stop yourself from glancing around the room and looking like a creeper. On a side note–don’t close your eyes when using the elliptical or treadmill, as this may result in vertigo or personal injury. I also heard that from a friend…

So there you have it. The key to surviving at the gym as an introvert is essentially to avoid eye contact and act like you belong.

Good luck out there, introvs*.

*I’m so sorry. I was trying to make “introvert” cool and abbreviated. I see now that it was a bad idea and deeply regret my attempt at colloquialism.

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Mile 856: Peaches and Buttered Popcorn

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“If I had my little way,
I’d eat peaches every day.”
–Presidents of the U.S.A., “Peaches”

Miles Last Week: 50.25
Total Miles: 856

I wasn’t really sure what to write about today, so I thought I would share three big things that have been on my mind this week.

Mmmm... Source

Mmmm…
Source

I could eat peaches every day, much like Presidents of the U.S.A. I’ve had a lot of good peaches in the last few weeks, but this week I bit into TWO bad ones, and I’m still recovering emotionally.

Movie theatres are safe zones, right? Because I usually write these on Saturday and set them to post later, about the time this goes up I will be sitting in an IMAX movie theatre with my sister eagerly waiting for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones to start. Of course, during this outing, I plan to consume obscene amounts of buttered popcorn. It’s really pretty essential for sister movie dates. My big worry is that there is a hidden feature of the MyFitnessPal app that reaches through your phone’s screen and slaps you in the face when you have buttered popcorn. It probably won’t do that, right? I’m reasonably certain that it won’t.

I eat a lot of high-calorie dinners. A few weeks ago, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app so that I could start to keep track of what I eat. Here’s how my food intake goes on a typical day during the week:

Breakfast: A meal shake (Oh, shoot. I’ll just say it–SLIM-FAST. I HAVE SLIM-FAST FOR BREAKFAST. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY–IT’S LIKE YUMMY CHOCOLATE MILK THAT WON’T KILL YOU.) and sometimes a piece of fruit. Like a banana. Or a peach.
Total: 200-300 calories.

Lunch: Some kind of Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers microwave meal. They are perfect at work.
Total: 200-350 calories.

Post-work snack: Usually another Slim-Fast or a piece of fruit. Gotta get those vitamins before working out!
Total: About 200 calories.

Dinner: Whatever the hell I want. Pizza, pasta, Mexican, takeout–I don’t pull any punches. It’s usually very delicious.
Total: Basically a gazillion calories.

Part of the high calorie intake at the end of the day may be that I go to the gym after getting home from work. By the time I get back home again, I’m really hungry. I’ve always known that my dinners were a bit bigger than my breakfasts or lunches. However, keeping a food diary has helped me realize how out of balance they are, which is probably something to work on this week. Thanks, MyFitnessPal! I only mean that a little bit sarcastically. Please don’t slap me for having buttered popcorn.

On to the worries of this week. They have yet to be determined. I just hope I don’t have any bad peaches.

You wouldn’t like me when I’ve had bad peaches…

Mile 562.75: New Rule

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“I’m leaving you for the last time, baby.
You think you’re loving, but you don’t love me.”
–Duffy, “Warwick Avenue”

Miles in the last two weeks: 71.5
Total Miles: 562.75

Here’s a simple observation I’ve made: The bicycle machine is the easiest way to rack up the miles.

Bicycle Machine

Not me, obviously.
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Seriously, that little odometer moves about three times faster than it does on the treadmill or elliptical.

Here’s the drawback: You burn calories at about half the pace.

Here’s another bad thing: I can already feel myself relying on the bike’s enhanced distance capabilities.  In the last two weeks, I’ve had to miss a few days because of the holiday and a visit to see some family.  So, in order to make my miles, I used the bike a little bit every day in addition to the elliptical.

For some reason, this makes me feel guilty–like I didn’t work as hard to get those miles crossed.  I mean, I’m still counting them, obviously.  But I have some mixed feelings about the whole thing.

It’s all a bit of exercise give-and-take, I suppose. More miles, but few calories/pints of sweat.

To alleviate my guilt, I’m making a new rule: I can only use the bike machine for one hour a week. I can do it all in one day, or a little bit everyday, but I’m limiting myself to one hour.

It’s still good exercise, of course, but I don’t want the bike and those mega-miles to the only reason I get to 1,500. I have to make sure I’m not a one-workout-machine gal.  I definitely maybe have more dimension than that.

Well, right now I definitely do–and by that, I mean a pretty deep third dimension.

Get it?  It’s a lame fat joke.

No pity laughter, please.

Unless that’s all I can get, in which case I will absolutely take it.