Let me explain…
Several years ago, before moving to a new residence, I lived in an area of Los Angeles surrounded by shiny, happy gyms – meaning the type of workout facilities that were as much about socializing and being seen as they were about burning the fat. And yes, in that order.
For me, working out has always meant convenience. So when given a choice, I would choose the gym closest to me in proximity. One that I might even be able to (gasp!) walk to. I add the ‘Gasp!’ because here in LA, no one walks. Not even from one block to the next. But I was a rebel. Still am. Always will be.
The gym I belonged to and worked out at was quite amusing. In between spinning, yoga-ing and deciding what shade of purple the carpets actually were, I could observe lots of flirting going on – as well as showbiz wheeling and dealing. There were even celebrity sightings to be had here and there. More when the gym first opened. Then it shifted to more D-Level celebs when a bigger, shinier gym that opened a little further down the Sunset Strip eclipsed the gym I belonged to.
While many of my fellow workout junkies fled the current digs and joined the newer gym, I was content with this older model – now a little less trendy, with a carpet that was a little less purple. But again, I could walk to the gym. That was key.
Cut to me moving to a new place about two years ago. I could have driven 20-30 minutes to my then-current gym. But knowing what I know (that the less convenient the gym’s proximity was, the less likely I would go), I set out to find a new gym – a place that I could ideally walk to. And find a gym within blocks of my new place, I did. Emphasis on ‘gym.’
You see, this ‘new’ gym is actually more of an old school one – the kind you might see in the original “Rocky” movie. This is a gym where boxers workout constantly, the equipment is old and often in disrepair and there’s nary an aerobics class or smoothie bar to be found. What’s more, the few TVs are always tuned to ESPN and the ‘music playing’ is from a local A.M. Radio Station, as opposed to a mix by some Eurocentric DJ. And there’s no purple carpet. Heck, there’s no carpet at all. Just a rubber-esque floor, on which the occasional cockroach can be seen scurrying from under one piece of elliptical equipment to another. Yep! This was a hardcore gym with hardcore members who would never set foot in one of the shiny, happy gyms that many of LA’s flirtiest trendsetters insist upon.
I was initially hesitant to join such a gym. For even though I’m not one to socialize while working out (my goal is to get my sweat sessions over with as quickly as possible), I did like semi bright surroundings, brand new equipment and being able to ogle the occasional celeb (A, D or otherwise). And yet, this gym had something that no other gym in my new area offered – being accessible by foot. Thus, I took the plunge and signed up (even as the theme from “Rocky” played in my head).
Look at me! Gregg McBride – working out in a boxing gym with real, live cockroaches!
I’m a little afraid. And not just because of the cockroaches.
Again, this gym is populated by hardcore boxers who seem to be training for their next big appearance in the ring and/or some kind of street rumble that wouldn’t resemble anything like the rumbles seen during a staging of “West Side Story.”
Lucky for me, I can keep a low profile (no, seriously, I can). And despite the initial ‘getting used to it’ factor, I’m proud to say I’ve assimilated rather nicely. But one thing still frightens me to this day. Something that, if revealed, would absolutely get me into trouble with my current gym’s hardcore clientele. And that, my friends, is what I’m about to confess…
My iPod (which I listen to every time I’m at the gym) has many Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana tunes on it.
Now before you make fun of me, let me assure you that I’m a lover of all types of music. All types. And when at the gym, I’m a fan of anything that puts a little pep in my step. And I’m telling you, Hannah Montana can rock the workout when she sets her mind to it. Don’t believe me? Check out this tune and tell me it doesn’t get your pulse pounding (for whatever reason – LOL!):
If anyone at my gym knew that I was listening to this kind of bubble gum pop, I’m worried they would wander away from the punching bags and over to me. I have no desire to be a bruised shade of purple similar to that of the carpeting at my older, shinier, happier gym. So please, let’s keep this iPod-related secret between you and me, okay?
And before you click away, wondering “Why is Gregg going on about this?,” let me sum it up for you: Whatever gets you moving (whatever gym, whatever song) is a good thing. Because we all need to keep moving. Daily. Even if we’re doing so just to put more distance between ourselves and the mean looking boxer-types who could kick our asses.
Okay. Your turn. What dirty little secret is on your iPod? Or, better yet, what song gets you pumped up for your workout? Please share by commenting below. I promise… Your secret is safe with me. And the cockroaches.