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1:19 p.m. - 2010-01-21
It's my birthday and I'll snark if I want to.

Today's gym story.

Got there in good time. Received a nice birthday hug from MIL. Stashed our stuff in a locker and got right to it. Place was astonishingly crowded for mid-morning on a weekday. Doesn't anyone work? I honestly thought MIL and I would have the run of the joint, but it was busier than I've ever seen it. Weird. Anyhoodle we scoped out the machines we wanted to use and hopped up on this odd contraption that works your abs and legs and did a bazillion ab crunch/leg lifts while we waited for the idlers to go find other machines to sit on. Though I never have to wait for my favorite machine, it's a killer and ain't nobody but me crazy enough to use it. MIL gave it a try this morning and about died. So we did our rounds through the various exercise stations, sometimes near each other or spotting for the other, sometimes not.

Her favorite machine scares me to bits so while she did pull-ups on the scary machine I went over to the bad ass section. This is where the more traditional muscle head equipment is. Various set-ups of Universal equipment- steel grips, big weight, major macho. The uber-buff and the uber-buff wannabes spend most of their time here, the other muscle-group specific and ergonomic machines and aerobic stuff like cross-trainers and treadmills being too sissified for the buff boys. Only the patrons in the free weight pit sport more jailhouse tattoos than the guys in the muscle head section. And here came the PTA Mom invading their space. Too bad. The posing, peacocking, and imaginary work-outs were in full swing when I got there. 8 or 9 guys were standing around flexing, boasting and admiring themselves in the big wall mirrors, a few were actually touching the equipment, but of course not actually using it. I plunked myself down on the seated cable pull machine, slipped the peg into the 90lb slot (In the muscle head section the stacks are always pegged to the max, why not? It's not like anyone really uses the equipment.) Got my feet situated, grabbed the V-grip and proceeded to haul. 3 super sets of 45 reps per. Total weight? 12,150 pounds. That is correct, boys and girls, LA pulled over 6 TONS this morning, and that's not even the machine that works me the hardest. That one's over in the 'sissy' section. Heh.

PF may bill itself as 'The No Judgment Zone', but one PTA mom kicking ass amongst the buff-wannabes made for some serious consternation. After some initial smirking and confusion all of a sudden the buffs were working. They had to. Lose face in front of a middle aged chick pulling actual tonnage? Not good. Heck, I don't even have any tattoos. And my glasses are pink with little sparkly rhinestones on the hinges.

One of the cool things about being a professional observer is you learn to do your thing without letting on you're collecting stories. So to the buff boys I was some aberrant flobby mom who was somehow managing not to disgrace herself on one of their machines, just doing her hauling and paying no nevermind to them, when in reality I had a huge inner smirk going on and saw every bit of their ridiculous posturing and their sudden need to show me up. I did my workout my way and then left. Which made them even more confused. I didn't flutter, I didn't coquette, I didn't suck up and flatter. Why should I? I got what I came for- a good bit of exercise and a hearty (if silent) laugh at their expense. And a story. Always a story.

Good deal.

Tonight there will be a feast of Chinese take-out and birthday cake. Specific requests of the birthday girl. The folks are coming over to help us eat it. MIL slipped me a C-note in a card and when I protested that she'd already gotten me my birthday gift (the gym membership) she just grinned and said spoiling her loved ones was her big pleasure in life. So I thanked her with another squeezy hug. Already today I've gotten a ton of e-cards, snail mail cards, gifties, and best wishes of the day from friends all over the world.

So far 47 isn't too bad. Thanks, guys. I love you too.


Amazed and grateful I got this far, ~LA

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