***Editor’s Note: This article was published as part of the satirical April 1, 2015
Rewind one week back to spring break. If you weren’t somewhere warm, you were fantasizing about it, and all that imagination led to some pretty ambitious post-spring break resolutions. You realized that you have five weeks to fix your grades, five weeks to find a summer job and five weeks to get that beach body. Books could be written about how fixing your grades and finding a job or an internship suck, but we’ll stick with the last one. With the warming temperatures, finding the energy to workout should be easier and the longer days with more sunlight will reduce the temptation to eat like a hibernating bear. You got this.
As with any new endeavor, the first step is getting the right clothes. You don’t want to look like a noob at the gym, so after some online shopping, you gear up with a pair of 5.0 Nike Frees, Beats earbuds, a flashy sports bra that only you will know is flashy and some Lululemon yoga pants for that post-workout compression.
Before you know it, you’re back at school and the time to implement your new wardrobe has finally come. You walk over towards the Dreadmills and at the last second veer right for the bikes. Easier on the joints.
People usually use the example of cell phones when they talk about how technology is ruining the human experience and prying too far into our lives. Our generation, sometimes called “the lonely generation,” is attached to our phones, and even at the gym it’s hard to find someone exercising that isn’t plugged into their iPod. Maybe that is a little sad, but not as sad as the screen on the bike machine telling you how many calories you’ve burned, which increases so slowly that the number is displayed to the hundreds place. Yeah, I’m pretty sure technology is too invasive. The amount of calories you burn, like your weight. (another value the machine asks you to input), is an arbitrary number that is subject only to individual discretion. You’re supposed to be able to eat as many calories as you think you burned after your workout. So needless to say, I could have done without that advancement.
Nevertheless, it’s time for some post-workout nourishment. As a true gym rat and autodidactic nutritionist, you know that food is fuel. Eating is not just an activity or a social break anymore; you need to replenish your fluids, flush out the lactic acid and repair those muscle fibers. That doesn’t mean eating only healthy things, it means eating every healthy thing. Walking into the dining hall, you grab a chicken breast with one hand, add some hard boiled eggs with the other and pick up a bowl of yogurt on your way to the drinks – got to hit the protein to get those gains. You need electrolytes right now, so you opt for the Powerade instead of water at the drink dispenser. On your way out, you grab a bowl of pasta because you’re a planner and it’s already time to carb load for tomorrow’s workout. After you put your plates down, you turn around and go back because you know what, you did burn 57 calories — that warrants a brownie.
The next morning, you have to pick up your legs and heave them over the side of your bed to hop down. Despite the fact that you’re limping from soreness, you’ve never felt so strong. No pain, no gain, right? However, taking the stairs is not an option, and it would be reckless to try to work out today. Those muscle fibers need to repair. Either way, you’re wearing the comfortable new workout clothes because fitness isn’t just what you do, it’s who you are. This identity breakthrough brings you to a profound question: if you’re wearing exercise clothes, are you exercising? Did your walk to the science center just become cardio recovery? If so, you just found your new workout routine, which brings us back to today.
So here you are, a poorer, sorer, plumper and wiser version of yourself, and you have the gym to thank for it.
Photo Courtesy of Assistant Sports Editor Ivy Jiang ’18