I went to the gym this morning, but I wasn’t really into it. I’ve got some health issues that are making it kinda painful and crappy and not any fun at all to work out… BUT, I’m getting those issues sorted out, and in the meantime, I’m still going to the gym (usually) because it’s better than not going, even if I can’t do much, so I’m establishing a pattern for when I’m better.
After I’d finished my cardio I was stretching on the floor and getting increasingly grumpy over the ways in which my “workout” has come resemble the physical therapy routine for a post hip surgery octogenarian.
I stand up to do some calve stretches, and that song comes on my iPod. You know the one, everyone has one. The one song that just makes every cell in your body cry out to dance. I’ve listened to this song during every workout for the past month while on the treadmill or the elliptical and I always imagine myself dancing around an empty room singing with heart. Which really doesn’t take much imagination because I was introduced to this song by a 6-year-old during a kitchen dance party.
The song is Loser Like Me, Glee version. Don’t you judge me. Not until you’ve put it on at top volume and seen what it can do for you.
So I’m standing at the back of the empty gym in my office building. I’m not stranger to making a fool of myself in this space. I feel my hips moving as the song worms through my ears to take over my brain. I’m about 90% sure that old guy who just lifts weights for an hour every morning is still in the locker room but… my hips are moving a little more. My arms are now in rhythm to my hips.
My head might be bobbing a bit.
I immediately feel my mood start to improve. I realize that from my vantage point I can see if someone comes in the door or out of the locker room.
So I let go a little more.
There’s some swaying.
A little more bobbing.
Maybe a butt wiggle and chest thrust or two.
I might have hit the backward button on my iPod at some point so the song would start again.
I’m smiling. I’m realizing how long its been since I danced for no reason.
My confidence that I won’t be discovered is increasing, and my dancing starts to get a little freer.
Which is when I see that old guy – that I knew was in the locker room – come out.
I quickly stop dancing and after a second’s hesitation, throw a leg up on a bench in an attempt to try to make it look like he has simply caught me – awkwardly and somewhat spastically- transitioning from one stretch to another.
I’m pretty sure he bought it.
But he’s kinda ruined my groove.
So I hit back on my iPod again, telling myself, as one might a toddler, “This is the LAST TIME.”
I’m 99% sure there’s no one left in either locker room, and I have a good view of the door.
I resume dancing and feel my mood kick up a notch.
There might be some singing happening, but there is definitely some serious, if still slightly reserved, dancing happening in the back corner of this gym.
I find myself wishing this could be my workout every morning, and I know that as soon as I’m able, there is a Zumba class in my future.
The song ends, and I obey my direction that this was the last time, and pick up my water bottle, put the mat away and head into the locker room.
Which is when I realize.
The locker room is the perfect place for a solo dance party: back where the showers are I’d have plenty of warning if someone came in. But no one ever comes in at this time of morning. My smile is wide as I scroll through my Power Workout playlist. I decide that my Glee friends will be how I close.
I decide to open with Switch by Will Smith (Seriously, stop it with the judging) as I undress and step into the tiny shower stall. While shampooing and conditioning my hair I shake my money-maker to The Time (Dirty Bit) Workout Remix by the Black Eyed Peas, and I get dressed to Kanye West’s Stronger (Workout Remix), and right after I put my shoes on my jam comes on.
And its on. Right there in the locker room of my office gym. I hit my full on, club worthy groove as I sing, at full volume, the chorus:
Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth
So everyone can hear
Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down
Baby, I don’t care
Keep it up, and soon enough you’ll figure out
You wanna be
You wanna be
A loser like me
A loser like me
I face myself in the mirror as Finn’s voice takes over from Rachel, and even though I’ve never been bullied or made to feel like loser by anyone other than myself, I feel vindicated as I sing, and vaguely act out the lyrics as I dance:
Push me up against the locker
And hey, all I do is shake it off
I’ll get you back when I’m your boss
I’m not thinkin’ ’bout you haters
‘Cause hey, I could be a superstar
I’ll see you when you wash my car
I wonder if my voice might carry through the vents of the building as I sing out the lyrics with gusto. But then I decide that I don’t care, because much like when I’m singing at top volume in the car, my voice is amazing. I’m starting to think I could actually be ON Glee.
The song ends and I resist the urge to play it again, knowing I’m on the verge of burning this song and I don’t have a replacement yet. And probably won’t until my next kitchen dance party with a 6-year-old with great musical taste.
But I think going to the gym before work just got a lot more fun.