Tuesday, September 18, 2007
If I ever ask you to go to the gym with me, don't. I will embarrass you, especially among the free weights.
I like to stretch, between each and every set of reps. And I don't stretch "like a guy," either, that is, bent over double with a rounded back, hands dangling just past the knees. No, I stretch like a big ol' girly ballet dancer. Well, maybe not to that extreme, but I do employ actual stretches learned in dance training.
Luckily, no one has ever kicked my ass in all the years and in all of the gyms that I've done my girly stretching. I used to worry about it, at first, but not so much anymore. But still, to this day, whenever I bend over to touch my toes, or squat in a wide second stretch, I don't want to look as if I'm "presenting," so I'll try to stretch in front of any out-of-the-way wall or any broken equipment awaiting repairs. I generally try to avoid bending over in front of mirrors to stretch.
At first, I started stretching between sets as a way to calm my heart rate and my breathing. It was also a good way to avoid wasting time, instead of just sitting there like a big lunkhead taking up space and hogging equipment, the way so many gym dorks do. Stretching is also a good way to maintain my lower back, though, especially since a lot of weight lifting involves the lower back muscles, which are easily strained.
When I do go to the designated stretching area of a gym, I like to do my pseudo-yoga. I like the pose where you lie on your back and throw your feet over your head, your body folded over in half. I'm especially conscious of people looking at me when I'm in this position, my butt to the wind. I can't help wondering if people ever wonder if I'm flexible enough to gratify myself ("Look, Ma, no hands!") in this position.
If I ever do get my ass kicked, at least I'll be warmed up enough to kick high and hard, in self defense.