Monday, June 2, 2008

Westside Workout Woes

So I've just moved to the West Side.  I don't know the area that well, and when I left the house tonight to go for my nightly run, it was a little too dark for me to be venturing down unfamiliar streets without feeling uncomfortable.   So, I opted to do a little Crossfit workout called "The Susan" (all Crossfit workouts are named after chicks): Run 300 metres, 10 squats, 10 pushups, 10 rounds.  I sprinted to the end of my block and back to my lawn for the squats and pushups. 

I had just finished a round of squats and was basically on all fours on the grass about to do my pushups when a cute guy, about my age, approached, with a box of cider under his arm.   

"Those are some good squats," he observed.  I laughed uncomfortably, and he hastily added, "No, no-I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.  Those really are good squats! You didn't let your knees get over your toes, that's good!  Most people do squats wrong."   I tried to be polite, and got up from all fours.  He introduced himself and I begrudgingly shook his hand.  I don't usually introduce myself to people while working out and clad from head to toe in running gear, with no makeup on and my hair pulled back, so I was a little reluctant to continue the conversation, but Trainer Guy would not be deterred.  

"Err, thanks," I said.  "I really have been working on them" (Which is true. I have).   "I'm doing a Crossfit workout at the moment," I added, hoping he'd get the metaphorical "do not disturb" sign I was hanging and vamoose.  

"Oh yeah, like interval training?  So what's next?"  He shifted his cider box under his other arm.  
I gave up at that point.  He wasn't going away.  

"Ummm, pushups," I said.  

Trainer Guy then proceeded to get down on the grass beside me and give me a lesson in keeping my wrists in the "neutral" position.   He also said that, as a recently certified trainer, he really wanted to "practice his client interaction" and would I be interested in doing a workout with him, no charge of course.  He just needed to practice with "real" clients.  Of course.  He just needed my phone number.  So he could call me.  To set up the workout time.   Of course. 

After winkling my number out of me, Trainer Guy insisted I do a couple of pushups for him before he left so he could comment on my technique.  At this point I was giggling uncontrollably out of sheer discomfort.  Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, it did.  

ANOTHER guy, cute, mid 30's, who had just parked his car and was walking into my building, stopped to see what all the laughing was about. 

"I just met this guy and he wants me to do pushups for him," I muttered.  

"Oh really?" said the Friendly Neighbour, intrigued.  "Well, let's see you do one!"

Hope makes us do crazy things.  And I fervently hoped that if I did a couple of pushups, both Trainer Guy and the Friendly Neighbour would be satisfied.   I really, deep down, in the bottom of my heart, wished for this.  So I got down on all fours again to attempt another few pushups, Trainer Guy barking instructions on wrist placement at me and lecturing on the perils of stress fractures.  Friendly Neighbour stood and watched and said, "Oh, good for you! Way to go!"  After about three pushups, I snapped.  

"This is really weird, guys, I don't know you and you're sitting here watching me do pushups!  I need you to let me get back to my workout now!"  Trainer Guy backed off immediately, but not before handing me a cold cider from his case, for "after the workout."

Friendly Neighbour continued to be friendly.  

"I'm going to work out now," he said.  "At Fitness World.  You should come with me.  We should workout together.  If your boyfriend or husband doesn't mind.  Did you just move into the building? What's your name? What floor are you living on?  How do you like it so far?"

At this point, I'd really had enough.  

"I have to get back to my workout," I said firmly, and ran down the block.  I literally ran away from the man.  

It's don't know whether it's alarming or satisfying to say I actually had to run away to fend off gentleman callers.  All I know is maybe I should do pushups in public more often.  

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