Janet Urquhart: Avoidance is key to any workout
There are women who have never been swimming at the new Aspen Recreation Center because they might be seen in a swimsuit by someone they know.
I’m one of them.
I’ll take the relative anonymity of the vast Hot Springs Pool in Glenwood Springs anytime, thank you. I don’t care if it is 40-plus miles away.
There, in the unlikely event of a chance encounter with an acquaintance, I dash into the vicinity of any of the many beefy tourists who frequent those waters, looking downright skinny by comparison.
Working out in Aspen can be intimidating, if only because no one who lives here is getting in shape. They’re all in shape. For them, going to the gym is just a way to show it off.
I, on the other hand, have been getting in shape for eight years and haven’t made it there yet. I grumbled recently to a friend on the chairlift as the conversation turned to our never-ending quests to drop a few pounds.
“You’re not fat,” she said.
“In Milwaukee, I’m not fat,” I clarified.
But, here … well, you know. Aspenites would rather have shinsplints than body fat.
My lift companion said she heads to New Orleans when she wants to feel svelte. I guess we all have our favorite Fat City destinations ” places where we like to be seen, unlike the local swimming pool.
The I-don’t-want-to-be-seen factor hit home recently when I joined a new gym. Well, actually, it’s more of a club, and a spa.
The first thing I noticed there is that I’m the only one wearing a pair of baggy sweatpants and a T-shirt, at least among the women. Everyone else is clad in skin-tight stretchy stuff. If I could wear that, I wouldn’t need to go to the gym.
The second thing I’ve noticed is, I run into far too many acquaintances there, forcing me to boost the amount of weight I’m lifting. It’s bad enough that people I encounter in my professional life are watching me squeeze my thighs together on some contraption without them noting my wussy weight stack, too.
Many of my co-workers are also members of this club, and spa. I should say they’re allegedly members. I never see any of them there. Apparently, the most strenuous aspect of our workouts lies in the great lengths to which we go in order to avoid each other.
One has already confided that she has paid the price of admission, but refuses to go because she dreads revealing encounters with co-workers in the locker room.
I know how she feels. I change into my workout clothes at home, then go to the club. I’ve never once used the showers there, or the Jacuzzi.
Needless to say, I’ve never ventured near the swimming pool, either.
[Janet Urquhart actually prefers the odds of anonymity at the hot springs pool in Ouray. Her column appears on Fridays.]
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My first step onto the natural lake ice is tentative as I launch off on a thin, stainless-steel blade. Will the ice support me? Will I go plummeting through into a hypothermic bath?