My Journey to the Dreaded Gym

Kristen Key


Guest Blogger Kristen Key

CRACK. POP. CRUNCH. Those weren’t the sounds of me breaking into a delicious chocolate candy bar, in case you were wondering. Those were the sounds my body made as I, a woman of pleasant plumpness, tried to exercise.

My body ached as I attempted to recreate a scene from Flashdance, except slower and with heavier breathing. My hair had nearly fallen completely out of my attempt at an adorable messy bun, and the strays found themselves flying through the air and slapping me across the face. Several strands worked their way into my mouth as I was forced to swipe them away before they choked me to death.  Luckily, I survived, with only the strong taste of Suave conditioner to remind me of the near death experience.

I had only been stretching the entire time, and the thought of actually having to start real exercise frightened me. Light glinted off of the shiny black elliptical, hitting me in the eye. For a moment, I entertained the idea of not working out due to temporary blindness. I thought about leaving. Who would know? It would be a secret.

I’ll know,” the elliptical whispered to me, in a very Voldemort type manner. It was then that I knew the elliptical was evil, and that it was trying to kill me. I knew not why, as I had never lived underneath a staircase, nor had I spent an excessive amount of time with best friends named Ron and Hermione.

“It was the Hot Cheetos…” the elliptical hissed, reminding me of my possible addiction to the red spicy chips. I recalled eating an entire bag in one sitting; not because I wanted to, but because I knew as soon as I stopped eating them, the fires of Mordor would erupt in my mouth. I was only trying to put off the inevitable.

“You will not beat me,” I declared to the elliptical. The raised eyebrows and confused expressions of my neighboring ellipticalist brought to my attention that I had been speaking out loud. My soul cried in shame.

Sighing determinedly, I forced myself onto the beat I now nicknamed El Chupacabra. Pushing the buttons I only assumed I was supposed to push, I began my descent into the Underworld, also known as Exercise. My legs began to burn, as if El Chupacabra had lit a match underneath my skin. I lost control of myself, pushing my legs faster and faster, like I was running from someone… or something. My arms swiveled back and forth wildly, pushing me to keep going. I could feel my heart beating in my chest and wondered if this was the monster’s plan all along: death by heart explosion.

I continued on though, huffing and puffing. A waterfall of sweat poured over my eyes. I shook my face and hair so I could see. Little did I know that my sweat could be used as a weapon, hitting and possibly drowning my neighboring exerciser.

But I couldn’t think about that now. It seemed as though hours went by. My legs felt like tapioca pudding, which made me really hungry. I mean, tapioca pudding is really good. Seriously. Have you tried tapioca pudding?

Anyways, I soon realized I had exerted myself as much as humanly possible. Stepping off El Chupacabra, I felt my pudding legs wobble as I fell to the ground into a pile of sweat, soreness, and regret. I’d like to think I glided to the floor, like a graceful and majestic swan. By the look on people’s faces, however, I knew it had been more like an unopened bag of flour falling off the counter.

“Are you okay?” the voice of an angel called down to me. I glanced up to see a tall, muscled man looking at me, concern etched on his face.

“I … I …” I stuttered, wondering if I should lie and say I had dropped something onto the floor. My mind raced to think of things I could have in my bag … lip gloss, receipts from a year ago … a half-eaten drumstick from KFC …

“Here, let me help you,” the angel said: Han to my Leia, Mulder to my Scully. He took my hand in his and effortlessly heaved me from the floor.

“Better?” he asked me, smiling.

“Uh-huh …” I grinned widely, then closed my mouth and hoped he hadn’t noticed the dribble of drool fall to the floor. It always happened at the worst times.

“Okay, good,” he smiled again, winked, and walked away.

I held in the urge to jump up and down. With elation, I turned my gaze back to El Chupacabra, “I win this round,” I said, again taking note of the now very uncomfortable person exercising mere feet away, and discovering I had spoken aloud to the elliptical twice now. I smiled at them awkwardly, my face contorted in a half smile, half grimace. They turned away in fear.

Reaching to grab my water bottle, I heard another all too familiar CRACK, POP, CRUNCH from my body. I knew that I would have to come back and face El Chupacabra again if I wanted to see a change. The battle had been fought, and I had won — but the war was far from over.

Follow Kristen on Twitter: @KristanKey

Leave a Comment