When you exercise...
Now, when you go to a gym, what do you encounter in the way of sound environment?
I once went to a gym that never had any music playing. You were welcome to bring a Walkman, but after ripping the headphones off at least 3 times while working on one machine, I got sick of that pretty quickly. And I can't work out in a gym where the acoustics are bad, and the only sounds are the machines and grunting. If I wanted that noise while I sweat, I'd go work on a receiving dock.
So then I tried out this other place. It was pretty good... there were a couple of televisions (with captioning enabled), there was music, good acoustics, carpet on the floor, free weights in another room away from the machines. I don't know about you, but hearing someone grunt while they're trying to press more weight than they can handle and then exhaling as if they've not drawn a breath in a week isn't exactly inspiring to my exercise experience.
So, I lasted at this gym for about 2 years. And then I got pregnant with A. And I continued to pay my membership even though my doc said don't go to the gym. I think I paid that membership for another year or so before I finally cancelled it. I'd never gone back. In fact, I hadn't been in so long that the people behind the desk had no clue who I was and why I had an old card since they'd changed the membership cards about 18 months earlier and these folks hadn't worked there that long. It was another member who mentioned the cards...
So then I didn't go to the gym anymore. I was stressed out enough from a bad boss and an evil commute that I wasn't gaining any weight anyway. Running up and down stairs in a large office building was keeping me going too.
Then I started working where I am now. And I moved inventory around a lot. That was a workout in and of itself, until I hit a period where I was sitting for long periods of time crunching numbers. My weight quickly went up, and my rear end spread. Then I started walking with a couple of other people and I dropped that weight quick. Then I started moving inventory around again regularly.... I made sure that that was part of the routine.
Now I've switched jobs again within the same company, and here I find myself tied to a desk when I'm not in meetings. When I switched, I signed up for Curves. That has to be one of the smartest things I ever have done for myself (11.5 inches lost and still shrinking). But my gripe is the music.
Now, don't get me wrong - they play some really up music to keep the mood going and you motivated to move around (as you should). But really, there are drawbacks to attending a gym that was started by a born-again Christian. It makes the music very interesting. No, they're not playing gospel rock... here's a sampling...
Remember Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac" (which was redone quite nicely by Natalie Cole in the early 90s)? Imagine it sung by a woman - who doesn't have the chops that Cole does - with lyrics edited out from the chorus. Most specificially the "ride in the back" part of the chorus. In fact, I think they drop most of the chorus and substitute "ooo ooo ooo" in it's place. It's not pretty.
Chicago's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" (a most wonderful orchestrated SLOW song) Imagine this one jazzed up. More than it should be. Also sung by a woman. They didn't edit any lyrics as far as I could tell, but then it hurt to listen to that one. I figured there would be some salvation if they had played through to the end of the piece with the rocking "Get Away" ending, but they didn't. Sad, too - that's a great piece to exercise to. But the song... well, it wasn't pretty.
But I notice that none of the country songs played were edited... even the ones that mentioned the backseat of a car. Verrrrrry interes-tink, I think... not that I'm griping that other music is being treated under a double-standard. I just find that interesting.
Oh well, it could be worse. It could be dead silent and I would have only the voices of a couple of yammering shrill-voiced women who are very clique-y and condescending to listen to.