Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gym Thoughts

Some Things I Just Have To Say

I joined a gym, a 24 Hour Fitness about 10 minutes away. It is a really nice gym, I think, with lots of good classes, a spin room, and a pool. "Ah! A pool!" you say. This is significant information pertaining to the rest of my post. I like to shower at the gym for several reasons, the biggest one being I can shower in peace and quiet there without Jude opening and closing my shower curtain repeatedly. He goes to the Kids' Klub while I exercise and take a shower. Also, I have overactive sweat glands, and I think showers are the most cleansing when you still have wet sweat on your body. Also, free shampoo and soap and it saves Robin and Briton from having to pay for my shower water.

Here's the thing. . . I think there is a generational disconnect about nudity in the locker room. I would NEVER NEVER EVER be seen nude in the open in front of a bunch of strangers. I have noticed that other younger women are also careful about their modesty in the locker room. Then there are the water aerobics ladies. . . SHAMELESS!! These are women, all over 55 years old walking all over the locker room, not just in the shower, as naked as the day they were born! Varicose veins and cellulite and everything! I am amazed that they seem completely unaware of how large they are. And they will sit, bare-bottomed on the locker room benches with their panises (a medical term for large flap of abdominal fat) hanging down between their legs, leaving some nice hepatitis A there for the next person. And they just sit around and talk to each other that way, without a hurry or care in the world! It is somewhat unsettling when I'm getting my stuff out of my locker, pretending not to notice the 250 pound naked lady standing next to me, and suddenly her clothed bosom buddy walks in from outside with her gym bag, also planning to attend the water aerobics class.

"Oh hi Melba!" She says, making perfect eye contact and touching the shoulder of her naked friend.
"Oh hi Ethel, I'm glad you're here. I brought you that recipe you asked for. Let's see. I've just got it in my bag here. . . " *bends over to rifle through the clothes in her bag--me averting my gaze, trying not to notice that the person standing next to me is completely flesh colored* "Oh! here it is!"
Ethel: Thank you. I'm just dying to try your hot buns recipe. Mine always come out dough-y.
Melba: No trouble at all! Say, have you heard how Maureen's surgery went? *Ethel begins disrobing*
Ethel: No, but if it was anything like mine *points to 5-inch scar on bare abdomen* she has quite a recovery ahead of her!

Then they waddle off chattering all the way to the pool in their swimsuits with the single ruffle that is intended to cover much more than it actually does. It is a strange phenomenon how these women can throw off any social pressure to wear clothes while conversing with another human being. I mean, I even feel a little on-edge if I'm just talking on the phone in my underwear, or while taking a dookie.

Here is another weird thing that happened at my gym just today. I was diddling around the house getting a job application together this morning, and missed the spin class I was planning on attending. So, I went into the empty spin room to ride by myself. I had been on the bike for about 10 minutes when this girl, probably my age or a little younger, walked in wearing a LOW-cut tank top and SHORT shorts. I just kind of noticed it, and kept going with my intervals. Then she pushed a couple bikes out of the way to clear a space on the floor, took out these chain things with weighted pom-poms on the ends (one in each hand) and started twirling them so the pom-poms were making circles in the air at her sides. Thinking this was some sort of new sport, I started watching a little more intently, trying to grasp the physical benefits of such an exercise. I quickly realized this was not an exercise routine, but more of an exotic dance routine. She would dip down low swinging those chains and stare at her cleavage in the mirror, making sure it was all showing. There were also several moves involving the inner thighs. Needless to say, I started getting really uncomfortable. But she seemed very comfortable, and my workout was just starting to get effective, so I tucked my chin and stayed put for an entire hour, getting little glimpses of her dance every now and again when I had to look up at the clock.

I found myself wondering who she really was. Why was she choosing to get good at this skill? I feel pretty confident that she works at a club or something, because she seemed very intent on keeping those spinning chains moving like clockwork and not getting tangled up while undulating her body. She couldn't make any mistakes. There was this one move, in particular that almost made me cry. She would put the chains together and hold her hands right up to her throat and then whip her head and shoulders so the chains wrapped around her neck in kind of a violent motion. I think something happened to her in her childhood, and she has become a slave to sex. I saw those chains choking her, and I just felt so bad for her. I wanted to yell, "There's another way!! You don't have to dance for men!" I saw her in the locker room later, and she had changed into jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt. Then I saw her again in line when she went to pick up her son at the Kids' Klub. How hard for that little boy, to one day find out what his mama does for a living, and perhaps on another day find out why she does it.

Am I being dramatic? Sometimes I'm that way. I also go to a Zumba class every once in a while. I love Zumba! I am SO uncoordinated and I feel so pathetic, but the cool thing about this particular class is that most of the women are just as uncoordinated as I am, but we are all just smiling and having fun. It makes me feel so connected to the people in our class. It's just a place where progress, not perfection, is the goal.

In closing, I would like to leave a remark made by my dear cousin Robin tonight:
"Naked people have little or no influence in society"

And here is a really cool picture I found on Google

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some random stuff

Sometimes I let Jude play with the camera and just follow his artistic instincts. Here is one example of his work. Hint: he was wearing a yellow shirt when he took this picture.
Another masterpiece!
Yesterday me and Robin (mostly Robin) watched a total of 8 children at Robin's house. Two of them were twin baby boys. I think this picture accurately depicts how those 3 hours went.
I am writing another blog about Laura, but here is a sneak-peak at her visit. Laura is my incredible sister-in-law who, even during her extremely busy graphic design program at BYU, took the time to come to Oregon and help me heal. She also happens to be the most talented artist I know. Here we are at the Rose Garden in Portland.
Jude and Talmage

Sydney cooking something up ;)

Jude and the "spooky pumpkin"
After a failed attempt while Laura was here, I took Jude and Talmage back to the Japanese Gardens in Portland. I don't know why the colors are so weird. Jude is hugging Talmage's arm in this one.
Talmage with a lion and the bookmark he won for finishing the children's scavenger hunt
Jude's picture with a lion did not go so smoothly

I hope it is apparent I am just having a lot of fun here. I'm still waiting for my Oregon nursing license to come, so I don't have to work yet, and I have all this time to just play and host people who want to come visit me (hint, hint). I am more in tune with my spirit and body than I have been since my mission. Every day is basically joyful with those sudden and unexpected moments of shock when I realize what a toxic environment I'm coming out of. It really is a beautiful life. I am happy and grateful.

Seaside, Oregon

Well, I have been dying to get to the ocean ever since we moved to Portland, and finally, neither my brother nor I had anything planned on a Saturday. It was a cold, rainy, overcast day (oh wait, that's like every day in the winter) but we just bundled up and played anyway! I am so glad we went!

The back seat

Here is Jude in his spider rain jacket. He keeps a little car in that pocket at all times, in case of a boredom emergency

Mein Bruder with his boys, Isaac and Joseph
Joseph wrote his name in the sand. You read it right, "Toseph"

Isaac before he took his boots off
crab shells are all the rage

Seagulls and children begging for food
Joseph made this train track in the sand, and the little boys were going CRAZY pretending to be trains


Joseph's sandcastle. It was largely made up of crab shells and no one dared step on it for fear of cutting their foot open and getting sand in their wound.

So, there it is folks! A successful and sandy trip to the beach.