Monday, September 12, 2011

walkman and sweatpant

i have never been a big fan of gym's. i hate working out where people can see me. i just don't think anyone should be subjected to seeing me running(jiggling) about and having to wrench my shorts out of my crotch after they've been gobbled up by my massive thighs, which happens about every ten strides and the resulting skin on skin contact has formed a chafing nightmare. no one should have to see me huffing and puffing during my treadmill warm-up, or see my hand constantly whipping around to my lower back to make sure my v-tee is still in place and no one is getting a crack attack. if i ever want to work out i usually do it in the privacy of my own home, or in a heavily wooded area.
when i moved out here i joined a gym GULP. on the first day i went in with a mission, i walked around looking like i had a purpose. chest out, head up, eyes straight ahead, only ever so slightly distracted by the swedish polo team walking by in their speedos. i located my basic necessities, the locker room and the cardio equipment. it was after walking into the cardio room that i made several observations.
1) i was on average at least twenty years younger than everyone else
2) considering the massive exterior to the building i expected the gym's cardio section to be significantly larger than it was
3) there were no heavily tattooed douche bags, who were so steroid infused that their every move seems to defy gravity.
i was perplexed. there had to be some explanation for this oddity. on my second encounter with the gym, and that's exactly what it was, an encounter. something i feel as if i fell into unexpectedly, kind of like bumping into an old childhood friend that you could care less if you ever see again, but you feel the mutual need to make awkward banter. on my stroll from the locker room to the gym i noticed a large blue sign above a staircase that is directly to the right of the the staircase i take to go down to the cardio equipment. the sign read 'LEVELS 2-6' with an arrow pointing up. DUH! there was more than one level, what a newb!
i have now been going to this gym for about three weeks and today i added up some more clues. level one, my level, is the senior level. even now after knowing the truth about the multi-layered gym i think i will stick with it. i like being surrounded by people of equal fitness levels, who aren't coated in skin clinging brightly coloured lululemon apparel. i like to be accompanied by sweat soaked cotton tee's and gym pants that were picked up at a value village in the 90's, by people who don't worry that they are on a zero incline, and speed level three, people who sign up for the machines with tv's built into them so that they can catch up on missed episodes of 'say yes to the dress' and 'the view', people who wear headphones with an extendable headband and foam ear pieces that are no doubt plugged into walkman's not ipods, and people who take the elevator down the seven step staircase to get to the first floor gym.
the first floor has my kind of people and here i shall stay. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


when i realized i was moving to calgary, i first was thrilled to have a job...then i thought, enh it's calgary.
i have been here almost two weeks now. my first weekend here was spent with the potters at their cottage in invermere, BC. it was a great way to transition myself into their family life. when we returned to calgary, the house was a little chaotic because of the looming back to school date of september 1st. it has settled down a bit now, but i am definitely enjoying the routine. on my first day off, i borrowed the family truck and headed off to do some errands. i like exploring the city, and it was this day that changed my mind about my previous notion of calgary...well somewhat.
first i parked the beast of a vehicle and then, with my google map print out of downtown in hand, i made my way through kensington and over a bridge to the downtown core. my first stop was the husky oil building, where one of my best friends from nova scotia now works. i was meeting her for lunch. she had asked me where i wanted to go, i replied 'somewhere cheap'. so we ended up at this vietnamese restaurant that was packed with people in suits. i stuck out like a sore thumb. i was still sweaty from my google map lead power walk, and sporting my classic mens vneck tee with black gym capris and, what i believe really tipped the scales of my sticking backpack. i was starving by this point, so i just sat down, ignored the oddity that was me, and picked out something good. and holy crap it was delish! and huge portions! mmmm :)
after departing from the asian goodness, i made my way to sport check for a helmet and a bike lock. the section of calgary that i live in is very flat, and has tons of bike trails, so i figured buying a bike of some kind was a must! when purchasing my helmet i was saddened by the fact that there is very little to choose from in the way of womens helmets. the selection included various shades of purple, white and grey with different artistic flower patterns on them, i wasn't looking to make a fashion statement, i just wanted to protect me head. which i soon discovered was not the thought of most calgarians over the age of 15. in calgary it is mandatory for children up to 15 to wear helmets, but it is optional after they turn 16. so now when i ride my bike here i look like safety sally, cause apparently its not cool to contain your cranium. i left the store with an all black men's helmet.
not exactly like mine, but you get the idea
next stop was the bike. chris (pseudo dad) and jordan (nanny #2) had both recommened a bike shop in eau clair. so i headed there, with my men's all black helmet in tow. when i got there i found out a little more about it. it is called the community bike shop. they rent and sell used bikes for reasonable prices. the concept is that with your membership fee/donation of $10 you get access to their bike repair section of the store, and all its tools and misc. parts. they also give free tutorials for members, so you can learn to fix your own bike. when i arrived i explained that i needed a new bike, and needed to ride it out that day. so the lady helped me pick one out (a neon orange beaut!), and then another guy took me over to the bike lifts, hooked mine up and proceeded to change my brake cables, cap frayed wires, grease my chain, replace my handle bars, straighten my tire, and pump my tires; all the while teaching me how to do these things myself. it was such a cool experience, i would definitely recommend it. after purchasing a 90 dollar neon bike and gaining priceless practical bike fixing experience i found myself peddling back to kensington. when i was biking back up through i passed so many cute little cafes with people sitting inside or out on the street patio. students on their laptops, a grandma with blunt bangs and bold blue glasses reading the newspaper. i could totally see myself there on my days off reading or writing away.
after successfully locating the truck (sans google map print-out) i chucked my bike in the back and drove to the gym to get a membership.
first thing i noticed when i walked in the front doors, after the zing of chlorine, was the beyond dreamy reception guy. he alone will inspire my early morning visits. after nabbing the post secondary price on my membership, even though i am way post post secondary i had another smile on my face, i love me a bargain!
that night i was supposed to go to a CS event. there was a group of about twelve cs'ers who decided to get together and share travels stories, upcoming adventures, and get to know new people in the area. i was wrapped up in a couple kids bedtime stories that made me a little late for the event, and i didn't want to ask to borrow the truck again. so i missed out. but even knowing that get togethers like that happen here makes me excited for the next one. in halifax they happen too, but just not as often, and i lived an hour away, so i probably wouldn't have driven up for one anyway. so i'm looking at these events as a way to stay active in the CS community without actually hosting anyone, well for the time being anyway.
i thought calgary was going to be dull...yeah there are mountains, but what fun can you really have surrounded by rock. but now i know. now there are bikes paths, a cute gym reception guy, a sweet as neon orange bike, a cafe where i can write my first novel and a hippy chic bike shop.