Tag Archives: exercise

Smiley Face, Smiley Face, Kiss-y Face

12 Apr

Okay so just as a disclaimer, I am not someone who goes on dates and then totally talks shit about the person I went out with on the internet. For example, I went on this really awful date years ago after some guy essentially stalked me on Facebook and then spent an entire dinner staring at my chest and also thought it was funny that he went home with some girl who spelled her name the same way as me who was so plastered that she could hardly walk and I didn’t write about that. Could have but didn’t. Mostly because that guy scared me. But still. This one is funny though because it involves too many emojis and some good, old fashioned in person body-shaming. Every date needs a good dose of body-shaming, right? Wrong.

Anyway, I went on a date. That’s right. I did it. And it wasn’t even really my idea. I blame Jessy. (I don’t blame you Jessy, I swear! I love you!) So here’s the thing. I do not give my number out at work. Work for me is a professional place and not a place to get a date. Okay fine, fine, that’s not entirely accurate. So in the interest of full disclosure let me tell you this: my last boyfriend was a customer turned friend turned boyfriend and my boyfriend before him was my bartender. But he asked me out and I wasn’t working so I feel like maybe that one doesn’t even count. Right? Right. Anyway so now I have decided that work is a professional place and not a place to get a date. So now that we have that all sorted, it’s story time.

So there I was, at work. As an aside, I feel like I am basically always at work. In fact I am just getting dressed right now and my bra smells like the bar. Not like booze, but like whatever the bar is cleaned with and so now I am sitting at home at my desk smelling bar. So not only do I feel like I am always at work but now I take work home with me! It is in my clothes! Shit is insidious. As I was saying, there I was, at work. It was busy. I was running around, mixing things, giving people drinks and food, making the occasional wise crack. There were two dudes sitting at the end of the bar. One of them had been there drinking for hours. His friend had come only recently but that means nothing – unless someone tells me otherwise I generally figure they are coming from somewhere else. Hard and fast rule: never assume sobriety. Time passed and then as the two dudes were getting ready to leave the newer one – who oddly looked like the Hispanic version of an ex-boyfriend of mine from below the eyes and also had very well-kempt eyebrows which is a total red flag for me because my hair maintenance is, shall we say, lacking – looked over at me

Eyebrows: Can I have your number?
Me: I don’t give out my number at work.
Eyebrows: Well, what if I come back on your shift in two weeks and ask you again?
Me: I will tell you that I don’t give my number out at work.

I then smiled and walked away. Okay so here is the thing every once in a while I make the mistake of giving my number to someone when I am at work and it always ends up being a stupid decision. Seriously, no one has my number. I mean, some people do obviously but only people who need to have it. I don’t like having my number out there in the hands of The Public. Plus the dudes that ask for the bartender’s number are dudes I generally want nothing to do with. I made the mistake of giving my number to some guy in the fall because he was polite and sort of shocked me into it and I regretted it immediately. We went out one time. He tried to get me to take him home with me an hour into our date. I mean he was cute but not that cute and, obviously, was seriously lacking in charm. I not-so-nicely declined. (Sort of wrote about it here but only sort of. Shameless plug.)

When I came back to their area to check and see if they needed anything he had written his name, his number and a little smiley face (the first sign of things to come!) on a napkin and told me I should call. I shoved it into my pocket and forgot about it until the next day when I was sitting at my desk and felt this weird balled up thing poking me in the ass. I pulled it out. Phone number. I was chatting with my girl Jessy at the time and told her about it. She said something along the lines of

Text him! You need to get out there. Seriously. Stop being a hermit.

I don’t think she actually called me a hermit. I called myself a hermit. I told her I would think about it. And I did for long enough to put it somewhere where I wouldn’t throw it away and where my cats wouldn’t turn it into their newest toy. That somewhere was in the pocket of my backpack where I keep my favorite rock.

Fast forward a few eventful and not-so-sleep-filled nights. I worked a Friday night shift, woke up early the next morning to drive to Connecticut for a Bachelorette party, woke up the following morning for the bridal shower and a drive to Boston where I met my sister to give her my car, Jose, and then took a Lyft to Logan Airport for my flight to Iceland. I was sitting at the airport bar, drinking an overpriced glass of red wine and eating a veggie burger. It was not delicious. I went through my backpack in search of my journal and my rock. I came out with the phone number and decided that 25 minutes before boarding an international flight was the perfect time to send a text message to some dude I don’t know. We texted. It was stupid. I got on my plane.

ICELAND WAS AWESOME! We saw horses…I mean ponies…I mean horses; we walked behind one waterfall and climbed above another; we took a photo with a rainbow; we almost got washed to sea by an incredibly aggressive wave; we got caught in all the rain ever; we almost burned someone’s house down.Then we left.

I arrived back in Boston and was staying with my friend Emily. I decided that unless I heard from dude I was just going to let sleeping dogs lie. (I am not entirely sure that is the idiom that I was going for but whatever, I’m committing.) No sooner did I make this decision then I received the following text from Eyebrows:

Smiley face, smiley face, kiss-y face.

Obviously these were emojis and not words but I find it funnier to dictate them. So let’s just recap: I don’t know anything about this dude, we have never hung out and pretty much never really spoken, I wouldn’t have been able to pick him out in a line up if he hadn’t sent me a weird headshot and yet he sent me

Smiley face, smiley face, kiss-y face.

I didn’t know how to respond to that so I sent a question mark. Words are a thing I like. Words, the pile of poop emoji and that random salsa dancing lady. The occasional smiley face is okay but not until you know someone or if you say something you think might sound sort of dick and you feel the need to be clear about that fact that it wasn’t dick, it was actually smiley. Then you send a smiley. That way everyone is on the same page. Anyway this went on for a few days. Him sending me things I didn’t really understand, me asking him to elaborate, him thinking I was being funny, me being very frustrated and confused. My favorite part of it all was this following interaction (keep in mind that I know I was being an asshole and I felt really bad about it until I actually went on the date and then I didn’t feel bad at all so please hold on and you’ll understand):

Eyebrows (this said completely randomly): The sun is nice
Me: I’ve been in the car all day.
Me (upon realizing that I was probably being a dick for no reason at all): But it’s strong, that’s for sure
Eyebrows: Like me (strong arm emoji thing)

I just….yeah. I mean, he is a personal trainer so I had already used my powers of deductive reasoning to assume that he was strong before he sent me the strong arm emoji. But, you know, I guess some people don’t like to leave things to chance. Instead, they leave things to emojis. That is their prerogative. I decided right then and there that I was done. There were far too many emojis! But I am a pushover and a girl and am incapable of saying no to people and so when, like a week later, he texted to say he was going to be in my neighborhood and would I like to meet for a drink I said fine. I picked a spot I never go to that was in walking distance of my house. I walked over there, got a beer and sat down to read my magazine while I waited. He eventually showed up. And this is when shit got awesome.

Eyebrows: You know, sometimes when girls go out with personal trainers they think that they need to get in shape. (Meaningful eye contact.) But, you know, that’s not necessary. I mean, if you want to that’s cool but whatever. I don’t mind.

So keep in mind I had come from work. I was wearing disgustingly dirty shoes, a pair of jeans that are in a long, drawn-out process of disintegration and a sweatshirt. I could have had the most slamming body ever under my sweatshirt. I mean, I don’t, but I could. But he couldn’t know that. Unless he has x-ray vision which is unlikely but now the thought of it is making me rethink the entire interaction. I stared at him blankly. Basically the in-person look of what I had been doing over text message for the better part of the last week or so. But he wasn’t done! No! He had more!

Eyebrows: I want to get married. Do you want to get married?
Me: I mean, that’s kind of a weighty question but, I don’t know. It’s not really a priority of mine but I guess if it makes itself necessary I’m not opposed to it. Or if it is important to the person I end up with. So I guess I’m really neither here nor there on it.
Eyebrows: No, you want to get married. I can read you. I know your type.

Okay, so I have been told over and over again for my entire life that I am hard to read. I have also been told that I am in my head a lot. Both of these things are true. I over think everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. So obviously I have given all kinds of deep thought about marriage, what it means, what it represents, how it can empower and disempower, and how a lot of times getting married is more about fitting within a socially accepted construct than anything else. That sometimes we don’t actually think through the things that we do because they are just the things that we do. We were raised to think they fit within a definition of success. No, the definition of success. Marriage represents the success of a relationship. No questions asked. That isn’t to say there is anything wrong with getting married. I am so excited for my friends who do it! Some of them are doing it in a few weeks and I get to officiate it and I cannot wait! The point is just that when I answer a question like that it isn’t just like some bullshit answer because I am in my 30s and not married so obviously I have to trick myself into not feeling like a failure at life in general by pretending it is a personal choice. I don’t have to pretend anything. I feel weird and complicated things about myself + marriage. But apparently he knew my type. I laughed. He asked what I was laughing about. I wanted to send him a pile of shit emoji with my eyes but I haven’t mastered that skill quite yet so instead I said

It’s just that you seem to know a lot about me for someone who doesn’t know me. And who claims to be listening but hasn’t heard a word I said.

More or less pleasant conversation followed. And then! Before we left he asked me to open my YouTube and search for this video he made. I felt nervous and was hoping it wasn’t porn-y but I obliged and looked for the video. It was an ab workout video.

Eyebrows: You should try out that video. (Looks me up and down.) I think it will really help you.
Me: Wow, dude! You know how to make a girl feel gooooooooood!

And I laughed and laughed and laughed my entire walk home. And then I cried myself to sleep. No just kidding I didn’t. I actually laughed. And felt really good that I have a positive body image (most of the time). And it’s true, I don’t have the best abs but whatever. You know what doesn’t make me want to hang out with a person again? Him telling me that he knows my type, can read me like a book, and PS has x-ray vision and therefore can totally tell I haven’t been doing my planks and is going to point it out rather than be cool and realize that having x-ray vision, even fake x-ray vision, is a thing only characters in comic books should have. I thought I had seen the last of him but then, the next morning:

Smiley face, smiley face, kiss-y face.

I didn’t respond.

The end.

No Room of Glass

2 May

Sometimes you just have to run.  Or, well, sometimes I do. I discovered running when I was a freshman in college.  My college didn’t really suit me so well.  It ended up being fine but sometimes I do think that if I had it to do again I would have done it differently.  I would have taken my mother’s sage advice to take a year off between high school and undergrad and gone and worked on a farm.  I would have used the time to really think about what I wanted out of my college experience rather than just going along with something that was expected of me.  It’s not that I regret it, really, because had I chosen differently I wouldn’t be here now and I wouldn’t have done the things I’ve done, met the people I’ve met and learned the things I’ve learned.  Sure, I would have done different things, met different people and learned different things but I guess I am happy with the end result.  I am happy, generally, with who I am.  The process, though, could have been fine-tuned.  Even still I feel, overall, thankful and content.

But then there are those other days.

There are those other days when all I want is this thing that I have daydreamed about for as long as I can remember.  This might sound insane but I have always wanted a spare room with brick walls, no windows and lots of glass items.  I have wanted some safety goggles and maybe some sort of a suit that would protect me from flying shards.  And then I have wanted to take those glass items and hurl them as hard as I possibly could across the room and just watch them shatter everywhere.  I don’t want to hurt anyone.  I just want to break shit.  I just want to have 10 minutes every once in a while, when the build-up of impatience and let down and frustration and confusion becomes so intense that I just want to scream but instead I could lock myself in my brick-walled room and just fuck shit up.  And then I would take a deep breath, call in a cleaning crew (because in this daydream I would have them on speed dial and I would be able to afford their services) and I would go back to my normal life as if nothing happened.  No tears.  No pillow punching.  Just a lot of broken glass, a sore arm from the force behind the throw and a better outlook.

Unfortunately that is not in the cards for me at the moment and so instead I run.

I have been, over the past few weeks, nearing that breaking point where I need the glass.  I have been maybe not taking the best care of myself.  Eating too many omelets and scrambled eggs because I am too lazy too cook something legit.  Watching too many episodes of Gossip Girl.  Today I hit sort of an apex of frustration with stuff and thought that maybe what I needed was to just go out, have a bunch of drinks, pass out like a sad sack and worry about it all tomorrow.  But I did the thing that I do, which is that I thought about how that would make me feel in the morning so instead I went for a run.  I ran by the water and there was, at that moment, nothing that could have been better than feeling the sun on my skin after a long and cold winter, feeling the cool breeze coming off the water and smelling the wonderful smell of salt water.  I couldn’t help but smile as I ran by the men with their fishing rods set up to catch whatever it is that swims there.  I didn’t even have an ill-fantasy about one of them casting without looking properly and accidentally snaring my eyeball which was, I have to say, a first for me.  I had one of those moments where I honestly felt like I could run forever.  My legs felt, I don’t know, springy.  It was like they just knew that they had to shut down the exhaustion and the soreness and the heaviness that sometimes aflicts them when I hit the double digit miles and just go with it because there is no room of glass (yet) and there are not enough drinks in the world to calm me the way a run can when everything is just right.

In those moments when I think about the decisions I made in the past and maybe start slipping towards regret, I try to think about some of the positive things that happened as a result of those decisions that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  There is always something.  Always.  On top of the friends I made, the abroad trip I never would have gone on otherwise, my decision to move to the city and into an apartment with my best friend in the world, and all the other things that I just don’t want to bore you with, I found running.  And honestly, had I not I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.  And I would be a hell of a lot drunker.

A Letter to a Smoker on Seventh Avenue

24 Mar

Dear Smoking Man,*

Hello, remember me?  I actually ate dinner at your house about 5 years ago with my then-boyfriend.  And about a month and a half ago I served you a drink.  I thought about reminding you of that long-past meal we shared but decided that perhaps that would be too much.  It was only that one time, after all, and I don’t even remember your name, your wife’s name, or the undoubtedly pleasant, yet slightly bizarre, dinner conversation.

Here we are now, another chance encounter.  You walking, in a light trench coat, me running up to the park.  You smoking your cigarette, me breathing in air too cold for mid-March.  The fact that you smoke doesn’t bother me, it’s your right and besides, it can’t be any worse for me than the exhaust fumes I suck into my lungs mile after mile.  You take one final drag and, as I approach, you fling your cigarette to the right using your thumb and forefinger as a sort of butt-launcher, missing my by inches.

I imagine you are someone who does not simply discard his empty coffee cups on the side of the road rather than wait for the appearance of a trash can.  I think it likely that you bring your own reusable bags to the supermarket.  Maybe I’ve got you all wrong but, I have to ask, why is it that people who are otherwise responsible inhabitants of an overly shared space feel it is okay to drop their cigarette butts on the ground?  Why is this one form of litter still acceptable?  But even more importantly than that, can you do us all a favor and at least look before you flick a still burning object through the air?  Because, you know, I don’t care if you smoke, I don’t mind breathing the smoke in, but I don’t really care to be burned by your cigarette.

I’m glad we had this little chat, Smoking Man.  And, honestly, it was lovely seeing you again.  Maybe next time I will even say hello.

To future encounters


*The one smoking on Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn, not the creepy one from The X-Files.  By the way did I ever tell you guys I have limited edition Mulder and Skully Barbie and Ken dolls?  Well, I do.  But I won’t tell you where they live for fear you will try and steal them.

A Different Beefcake Ruined my Workout

29 Jul

Maybe you all remember back in October when I wrote about how a trainer at my gym ruined my workout.  No?  Well, you can read it here.  To recap, I was in a place I hate being (the gym) doing something I hate doing (lifting weights) and I was forced to talk to someone I had no interest in talking to.  There was no escape and I was pretty sure I would see him around every time I convinced myself to go to the gym so being overtly dismissive was out of the question.  I do not like having unnecessary bad blood if I can avoid it.  Anyway, I pretty much pretend like I don’t recognize him whenever I see him which is, obviously, the mature way to handle the situation.  I just carry along with my day, doing squats the way I am supposed to do squats and ignoring his looks as he does like 50 kabillion pull-ups because he is so strong.  I’m just glad he doesn’t talk to me anymore.  Or, well, I was glad he didn’t talk to me anymore before a new trainer decided to give me advice.  Now I would take the old beefcake over the new one any day.

So there I was, post-run, doing some ab things on one of those big balls.  He was in the midst of training this other woman when he caught a glimpse of me doing my workout and said under his breath, in a voice that was way too excited for the circumstance,

“Ooh! Tucked ab rolls!”

Unfortunately I didn’t have my music, making it harder for me to pretend like I hadn’t heard him. Whatever, I pretended anyway.  Then he leaned over and said

“Miss? If you want I can show you a variation to do on those that will really engage a whole other part of your core.”

I hope those words are never said to me again.  Anyway, against my better judgement I agreed to hear him out.  So he showed me something that I guess was maybe a little bit better and I thought the whole thing was over and I would just go along with my life, avoiding his glance when I walked through the gym.  Pretty much I like to think when I am at the gym I am invisible. But no, of course he wasn’t done.  He then wanted to watch me do the weird, new, obviously very exciting tucked ab rolls.  Then he said that, if I wanted, he would do some sort of movement and flexibility test which comes with my membership.  It felt like a strange thing to turn down so I acquiesced. I mean, how do you turn down free!  He asked for my number or email, I opted for the latter.  Last Thursday afternoon, at 12 o’clock, was my 45 minute appointment.  It was the most uncomfortable 45 minutes of my life.

After running through a few normal questions, he told me he wanted me to do this stepping exercise to try and figure out my vo2 max.  While gathering all the necessary equipment, he told me that he had scored an audition (a role? a place?) on this show Fit or Flop which, he informed me, is a show to try and find the next Jillian Michaels.  Personally, I don’t know why anyone would want to be the next Jillian Michaels because, as far as I can tell, she is a bitch who yells all the time.  But whatever, to each his/her own.  In informing me of this opportunity which I cared oh-so-much about, he told me about another trainer with the same gym company who is on the current season of Fit or Flop and had created a workout class called “coregasm” which was designed, surprise surprise, for women because women have orgasms while doing core exercises.  I thought of informing him that if this were the case then basically all women everywhere would have really awesome abs but thought better of it and instead told him that I was sick of this obsession with sexualizing everything.  I figured this would be a clear sign that I am was not interested in discussing sex or sex-related topics with him.  Apparently not clear enough.

No more than 5 minutes later he was on about this woman he works with at another location who makes and markets all these cute workout tops with fun sayings on them.  Every Friday the trainers at this other gym wear her t-shirts to try and drum up some interest.  I thought that was nice.  He then informed me that he got the shirt that said “fitgasm” on it. Of course. He promptly launched into a whole story about how one of the members at the gym told him about his own fitgasm and said that he thinks women have them more than men and that if he were a woman he would work out all the time.  Seriously, dude.  Let’s go through this again:  if women had an orgasm every time they worked out two things would happen.  One, the gym would be more crowded with women and two, the gym would be louder.  We’re not stupid.  We know a good thing when we experience it.  But again I didn’t say any of these things.  Instead, I looked at him blankly and said “yea, people say really inappropriate things all the time” hoping that he would read that comment as “you say really inappropriate things all the time.”  Obviously he didn’t.

Fast forward 4 awkward comments later to when we were wrapping up the longest 45 minutes of my life.  He started explaining to me why he had asked me lots of questions at the beginning of the session including “what do you do to unwind.”  He then said to me, “you know how you said you like to hang out with friends?  Well, this other client I have told me she likes to” –he looked around the gym suspiciously and lowered his voice to a whisper — “have sex.”  Dude!  I said the only thing I could think of to say which was “um…I’m sure her partner is very happy about that?”  He nodded his head enthusiastically.  Ew.

So that was pretty awesome.  And by pretty awesome I mean incredibly awkward.  I have been left over the last few days wondering if this is his chosen behavior all the time or if there is something about me that screams “yes, please talk to me about sex and sex-related things at every possible opportunity.”  If that is the case then I need to change that thing because trainer, I do not want to talk to you about sex ever at all.  And now, after this incredibly weird experience, I am left with two responsibilities.  One, I have to hope that you don’t realize that the link at the bottom of my email is to this blog because it would be uncomfortable if you read it and two, I have to avoid you every time I go to the gym from now until eternity.

Yes, Skeevy Cycler, That was Me who Called you an Asshole in the Park Today

25 Mar

So there I was blissfully* running during the late March weather event when, after topping the Prospect Park Hill (which I maintain is much harder than Cat Hill that all the Central Park runners are always griping about), I heard two men behind me, rapidly approaching.  I figured they must be on bikes.  I figured correctly.  Given that it was windy, and they were on the move, some of what they were saying was a little garbled but what I heard was something along the lines of

…blah, blah, blah…I would love that ass for Christmas…blah, blah, blah…so hot.

Obviously, I was annoyed.  Also, my ass happened to be the only ass in their line of vision and it was, at that moment, safely nestled inside a pair of CW-X compression pants.**   Anyway, it was only for a split second that I thought they might have been addressing their comments my way.  More than likely, they were just talking bullshit (albeit offensive bullshit) and my presence was completely coincidental.  Either way, I wasn’t planning on saying  anything at all and instead had resigned myself to just rolling my eyes aggressively and angrily mumbling to myself when I saw who one of the cyclers was.  It was the Skeezy Cycler.  I have intended to write about this guy forever because he has been pissing me off for years, literally.  I bet other women who make a habit of running in Prospect Park know who I am talking about.  He rides around with big groups of other cyclers, wears a red and black tri-suit, has longish brown-grey hair and looks to me like he might be Argentinian, of the Italian variety.  Skeezy Cycler checks out nearly every female runner he sees looping the park, multiple times if you are out there long enough and he happens to lap you.  He has been doing this to me for-fucking-ever and I have been holding a grudge.  Well, when I noticed that one of the dudes was none other than Skeezy Cycler (which I knew because he obviously checked me out for the millionth time), I literally could not help myself.  My mouth went off before I knew what was happening and I said, somewhat loudly,

You guys are assholes.

They then slowed down their bikes, looked over at me and exchanged a perplexed

What did she just say? Did you hear that?

and then, thankfully, rode on.  I was not really up for an altercation right then seeing as how it was snowing and I was cold, but I would have finished what I started had it been necessary.  Anyway, once it became clear they weren’t coming back I came to the realization that the man who had secretly been my nemesis for like half a decade, was now actually my real life nemesis, like, out in the open.  And he would know it was me in the future because I, like him, am hard to miss.  I am not distinguished by my leering but, instead, by the hair that goes down to my ass. Not common.  So I thought to myself why not go stealth and get a hair cut?  But then I was like, why let the Skeezy Cycler win?  Don’t cut your hair to hide from the likes of him.  But then I thought, yeah but what if he calls me a bitch next time he sees me.  Or, worse yet, what if he spits on my when he passes me by!  This might seem an outlandish fear except that it has happened to me before.  Not by him but still. Once you’ve been spit on (twice, in my case, and by the same guy) you are never really the same.  Anyway, ultimately I decided, no, maybe he would be an adult about it and ride up alongside me and say, kindly,

Was that you who called me an asshole the other day?

And then I would say the following:

Yes, it was me who called you an asshole the other day and here’s why.  I have been seeing you for years around the park and I have noticed that you skeezily check out most female runners as you ride by and you know what?  That is not flattering.  That is rude.  We are not out here to impress you.  We are out here clearing our minds, getting in shape, training for a race.  We are working hard on our bodies to feel good and to look good, mostly for ourselves but also for our partners.  Maybe you think it is harmless what you are doing, over and over again, but let me tell you it isn’t.  Some women might not notice, but for others of us, it pisses is off and insults us and makes us feel slightly less human.  We deal with it out on the streets all day, every day, so let us have the park as a zone of safety.  So yes, that was me that called you an asshole and I meant it, I just feel a little bad I caught your buddy in the crossfire.  So, next time you see me, you can wave, or say “hey Rebekah” or “nice pace” or whatever encouraging comment you come up with and I will wave back and return the favor, but for crying out loud stop making me refer to you in my non-running life as the Skeezy Cycler.  Stop making me dread seeing you.  In short, stop being such a dick.  For crying out loud, stop staring.  Staring is rude.

*Actually, it was hailing so not-so-blissfully

**That picture is provided so you can understand why I might have felt slightly uncomfortable about their comments. Furthermore, at this time I would like to point out that I bought my pair of these pants on sale and they were worth every penny.  I would even pay full price for them!  To be honest, I used look sideways at people who wore them but they are oh so awesome for cold weather running.

Protected: One Lawyer, One Gym Goer, Both Assholes.

13 Nov

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