Venturing into the outside world can be overwhelming for a geek. However, with the proper guidance, any geek can learn the language and customs of Ordinary People in order to function, flourish and possibly even get some. So get up off the couch. Go beyond the front door! My name is Faye. I’m a fellow geek and I’m here to help you.
As you may have noticed, many popular Ordinary Person activities involve a great deal of eating and drinking. On top of the typical geek’s existing diet of starch and soda, this can result in a gradual shift in body type, including the formation of beer bellies, love handles, muffin tops, chipmunk cheeks and bubble butts. Because many geeks tend to be slightly rotund or squishy to begin with, it may become necessary to adjust your activity levels to keep some of those excess calories from settling in your adipose tissue zones. There are many forms of exercise available, from jumping up and down to cat aerobics. But none has been more widely publicized and encouraged in the Ordinary World as joining a gym.
A gym is a space outfitted with various pieces of specialty equipment designed to make you feel a burning sensation in specific muscle areas and/or generally sweat like a corrupt cop in Gotham. Why subject yourself to that humiliation in public, you ask? For some Ordinary People, there is a specific event coming up in their lives (i.e. wedding, class reunion, trying to show an ex what they’re missing) that requires winding back the body clock. For most Ordinary People, though, working out in the company of others forces them to strive harder. Jealousy and shame are the world’s greatest motivating forces, and seeing other people who look good charges that competitive battery. Just like how watching that Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders show causes me to break into spontaneous sit-ups.
Choosing a Gym
There are various types of gyms, each catering to different levels of self-consciousness and the getting on of one’s swerve. Many modern gyms are specially designed so that everyone using the equipment can see everyone else, thereby facilitating blatant ogling of asses. This type of gym is great if you’re already a buff-bodied beefcake on the pull, but might be a bit overwhelming for the beginner geek.
Some gyms are smaller and more intimate, offering more specialized (or at least less publicized) workout advice and windows that don’t face busy streets. If initial slimming and toning is your primary goal, this might be a better option than a larger, meat market style gym. Some gyms even specialize in pandering to certain ages, genders or body types. These are ideal for geeks who don’t necessarily want to be seen sweating out their morning Lucky Charms. Choose wisely. You can always move to another gym once you are a chiseled God-like creature.
What to Expect
Regardless of which type of gym you chose, there are several things common to all gyms.
Equipment: At first glance, a gym is really no different than a medieval torture chamber. Both contain a series of complicated, metal machines with various levers and pulley systems. Both are designed to test the limits of your body and bring you to the brink of pain-induced insanity. The differences will become clearer after you receive the instructional tour of the equipment.
Background Noise. Most gyms will have music pumping through the building at all times, typically of the Juniors Department House or Inoffensive Tripe Pop varieties. There are also usually televisions kept on at the gym in an effort to hypnotize patrons into burning more calories. They tend to be tuned in to news channels or sports, so prepare to get involuntarily caught up on current events and NASCAR rankings.
Smells. No matter how well ventilated or spacious a gym is, the fact of the matter remains that it is place of profuse sweating. Over time this creates a stale, mildly pungent odor similar to what you would experience when sniffing a Basset Hound. To minimize your contribution to this living history, please remember to wear deodorant. Also, always bring a towel with you when using a piece of equipment in order to wipe it and yourself down. You might not think you will need it when you’re climbing onto an exercise bike dry-faced and starry-eyed, but trust me. After about 10 minutes you’ll look and feel like Pizza the Hut.
The hope of meeting that special someone at the gym is another key reason to start slowly and learn your limits. Exercising raises your heart rate and causes you to sweat and breathe faster, otherwise known as huffing and puffing. A geek new to exercising is likely to reach the huffing and puffing threshold much faster, not to mention developing a face the color of a monkey butt. Only continual training and strengthening can get you to the point where you will be able to finish a pickup line without gasping for air and flying off the treadmill. It’s just like your mama always said: “Practice makes not making a complete fool of yourself at the very least.”
Once your level of huffing and puffing has been decreased, finding love at the gym might still be a challenge. In this age of “iPods” and “standards,” many hot-bodied Ordinary gym-goers might be either too distracted or too closed minded to spare a second glance at a humble geek. Eff those people. Try to find a nice, normal-looking person to talk to, or at least look at. Just try not to let the pressure of potential socialization cause you strain yourself. Don’t stay on one piece of equipment for too long, even if someone is watching you. Stopping after 20 minutes on the elliptical is far preferable than busting an artery in front of a girl.
Before you rush out and sign a year lease on getting the body you’ve always wanted, keep in mind that joining a gym is not right for everyone. It’s a commitment, like marriage or a guinea pig. If after all you’ve read it still feels in your heart of hearts like going to a gym is not for you, there are several other ways to maintain your womanly shape.
- Get a dog. Dogs are a wonderful and loveable excuse to get exercise. Try to match the energy level of your dog. If they jump around, you jump around. If they wiggle their butts, wiggle your own butt. Take them for a walk, play fetch, sprawl belly up on the couch after a hard day’s playing. Just, please, draw the line at pooping in the yard.
- Tiny Gym Equipment. You can create a mini gym in your own living room with shrunken gym equipment such as a mini stair stepper. This will allow you to geek out while you work out, since you can tune the television to whatever you choose. For an added boost, tape your remote to a hand weight and feel the channel changing burn!
- Dance It Out. There are many examples of spontaneous yet suspiciously choreographed dance bringing people happiness, from the dance-laden musicals of yesteryear to She’s All That. But for a true workout, you gotta dance angry. I’m talking full on, Kevin-Bacon-in-a-barn-style Emo dancing. Think of something that really pisses you off, put on the Karate Kid soundtrack and let the rhythm get you. It’s gonna get you, anyway, eventually.
Exercising can decrease your weight, increase your confidence and help you live longer. What say you, geeks? Still not interested? Then let me put it this way: The Behemoth only puts out a new game every 4 years, so you’ll need to make sure you’re set to live as long as possible. Now stop reading this and hit the weights!