By NATALIA HAWK
There’s this woman at my gym who I’ve nicknamed Exercise Barbie.
Not in a mean way – I’ve got nothing against Barbie. Spent my childhood with her. We had many a lovely time together, driving to her Dream House with Ken in the passenger seat of the convertible.
But this woman always looks immaculate, regardless of what she’s doing. She could be on the treadmill, or doing really heavy weights on one of the machines, or smashing her way through a body attack class, or just doing stretches in really unflattering positions on the floor – but she always looks nothing less than absolutely one-thousand-percent amazing.
You know the type. Perfectly straight, smooth hair in an elegant ponytail. Perfect outfit – the latest neon shades of neon, of course – with matching socks and a glass water bottle. No sweat. No grimace of pain. Elegantly strolling from one end of the gym to another, looking like she owns the world.
As for me? At the gym?
I am that awkward person that takes longer than everyone else to set up their bike for spin, or put their weights on for pump. I am that person that wears dorky socks and a singlet that’s mostly wrinkled because who irons exercise clothes anyway.
I am that person who can never hold her balance during the tree pose at yoga. I am that person who can’t hold a plank for longer than ten seconds before my elbows and feet start sliding in odd directions. I am that person that looks really unattractive when doing push-ups or sit-ups or any kind of weight machine or strength exercise – just because, you know, it’s hard work and my facial expression generally indicates how much fun I’m having. (Hint: Not much.)
Most importantly, I am that person that goes bright red. A shade that princess Merida from Brave would be proud of. And it’s not just in the face – red splotches also tend to appear all down my arms and on my chest.
This attractive red shade sticks around forever. Long after I’ve cooled down and can actually feel the breath returning to my chest.
This red face is accompanied by sweat. Plenty of it. And wet hair. By the time I’m finished at the gym, I look more like I’ve just come home from a dip in the ocean, during which I got incredibly sunburned.