Tuesday, April 27, 2010


What do I consider a decent work-out? A good 50-80 rounds of the staircase by the canal done at an even, brisk pace. Walking, not running. It may take longer - if you have the stamina to run - but it still works up a respectable sweat and leaves your legs (or at least mine) in the Jell-O-like state I mentioned earlier. So what standard did Sebastian set when he climbed the stairs with me the other day? He ran. And managed to do 80 reps during the time it took me to finish 50.

It would have been impressive if I hadn't been slightly jealous at his frightening ability to speed through climb after climb. Or if I hadn't had the impression that it got harder for me to make each ascent every time I watched him come blazing past me. But do I get the last laugh? He's definitely *far* more tired than I am afterwards...in spite of a 3-day respite from all exercise thanks to some *very* sore back muscles (I think I pulled them in a vicious self-punishing attempt to deadlift 50 lbs.), I still bounced back from my gruelling match with the stairs faster than Sebastian has. Maybe it's because I'm used to it. Maybe it's because I didn't push myself to sprint up 280 flights of stairs. Maybe it's both. Either way, I'm both impressed and pitying. Never has the phrase "I told you not to!" held so little joy. At least today will afford him a chance to recuperate, sitting in a chair at the office.

Speaking of differing standards, I know this is a repeat from my current Facebook status, but what is so appealing about someone who's sweaty, with no make-up on, and wearing sneakers, jeans, and a faded t-shirt that's a size too big?

Just who is the unattractive specimen I'm describing? None other than Yours Truly, post-gym session today. Having sweated it out, quite literally, for about 2 hours doing cardio, *heavy* weights, and - masochist that I am - more cardio, I was not in a fit state to be seen in a public place. That said, public was just where I had to wander through in my salty, stinky state in order to get home and enjoy the Elysium that is a shower. I make my apologies in advance for anyone who sits next to me on the Tube in such a condition for the next few months.

My hair was sweaty (gross), curly (not a problem when it isn't sweat-soaked), and unbrushed; tied back in an efficient knot atop my head. My headband was barely helping matters as it, too, was soaked through thanks to the exertions of the previous two hours. I had changed into my jeans and t-shirt to avoid the sweaty lycra-spandex affair that is me at the gym when walking down the street. There are only so many places where sweat-stained skin-tights are appropriate: outside on the Southbank is not one of them. My lovely sports bra was still on: a useful, yet medieval affair that I swear leaves me looking like Madonna in her "Like a Virgin" cone bra...if Madonna had chaired the Itty Bitty Cone Bra Committee. Summary: entirely unappealing - Paris Hilton sunglasses not withstanding.

So why, then, was I followed by a succession of teenage boys, clearly just out of school for the day, trying to catch my name, whistle at me, and inform me that I was incredibly good-looking? Did these simple, acne-covered youth not realise how disgusting I was? I wasn't even wearing cute shoes! My jeans had stretched out from too long without going through the dryer to reshrink them! I had on no make-up and my hair was only "done" in the sense that it wasn't let loose to hang limp and dishevelled in damp waves and curls. If that look - the "I've-just-lifted-weights-in-a-room-full-of-sweaty-men" look - is what gets it going for teenage boys, I see clearly what I was doing wrong in high school. Apparently if I'd just rolled out of bed and gone for a run before seminary without bothering to shower after, I could have had my pick of boys! My Friday nights would have been booked through graduation.

However, I did get to use - if pre-emtpively - my latest response to unwanted attention from members of the opposite sex who seem to have crawled out of the shallower end of the gene pool. After walking away without stopping from the first pubescent cat-caller, another one, encouraged by his friends, jogged to catch up to me. My attention remained fixed solidly on my iPod in selecting a song. So he ran up to walk beside me and asked, "What's your name?" I asked, "why?" though I said it politely and with a smile. His answer: "Because I think you're really attractive." Without taking my eyes off my iPod, I responded to him, "Well, I thank you, but my husband thinks so, too." And with that, I continued walking away. Needless to say, I think their tiny little pubescent hearts were crushed.

This is one of many reasons why you don't try to pull a girl who walks past you on the sidewalk. That's what bars, pubs, clubs, the hallways at school, and dances are for. Sidewalks are, officially, NOT an appropriate venue for date-hunting. Officially.

No comments:

Post a Comment