Exercise Your Right to ……Whatever

As you may or may not know, I’ve started an exercise program. It was one of the things that I committed to on my 45th birthday. I really wanted to start taking better care of myself now so I don’t have a lot of ailments to blurt to total strangers when I’m older.

We have a really nice workout facility in our city that we joined a couple of years ago. My husband has been working out pretty regularly since we joined, but I really hadn’t until recently.

I’ve really adopted a “tude” recently. I am fed up with being a slave to my family’s schedule – that was my biggest excuse for not working out. Now, I’ve adopted a “screw’em” attitude! If we have to eat dinner at 7:00-7:30pm in order for me to get a half hour of exercise into my day, then so be it! If that means that my oldest who is now driving “gets” to take her brother and sister to piano lessons, then too bad for her! I don’t care if that means she is inconvenienced a bit.

Maybe this sounds harsh, but I feel like I have the right to be a little selfish so I can do something good for myself, right? I actually felt good enough to go out and buy myself my first pair of “skinny” jeans. You may be thinking, “Big whoop!” (Do people say that any more? It was big in the 80s). But it was a “big whoop” for me. I don’t think I’ve actually lost any weight, but it seems things are migrating back to where they originated. I consider that an accomplishment.

I try to get some kind of work out completed about 5 days a week – that seems to be all I can realistically accomplish (which is fine). I have been working out at our gym for these 5 days – I run 3x a week and swim 2x a week. So, that means exercising with others which also means some interesting people-watching opportunities are available.

This workout place has the usual array of exercise bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, weight machines, free weights and an indoor track. Below I’ve listed some interesting things I’ve seen over the last couple of months. I wish I could take pictures, but that would be wildly creepy.

60-70 year old men in Speedos. Really? Some nice regular swim trunks won’t do? Are you going for a speed record?

One interesting man (mid-40s) with black sheer hose on under some really tight black small shorts – see pic. I know this is a woman in the picture, but imagine these on a man with sheer black hose underneath the shorts. Then he had a regular t-shirt on (tucked into the shorts). I just couldn’t imagine a scenario where you would look in the mirror and say to yourself, “Yep, Perfect!”. Were the hose medically necessary? I do know that some people have to wear special knee-high type socks for circulation purposes. So if there were a full version of circulation hosiery available, then wouldn’t you wear sweats over those? I’m just sayin’.

Women, probably 70+, wearing their Sunday Best to walk around the track (I mean dangley earrings – the works). I don’t even have a Sunday Best outfit now, so I can’t imagine wearing this as my exercise garb (at any age).

Women (I’ve never seen a man doing this) talking on their cell phones while sauntering (barely walking) around the track. I don’t think that I’ve seen these women break a sweat. I thought exercise was for getting away from your daily grind for 30-45 minutes.

Young sweethearts holding hands while walking around the track – how nice! Since I’m getting older, anyone 22 or younger just look like babies to me, but I would guess an age range of 17-22 yrs old for the lovebirds. As I was thinking, “How sweet!”, I noticed that he had those huge ear gauges in his ear lobes, his running shorts were sagging (if he hadn’t had undies on, I would have seen his butt crack) and a lovely saying tattooed on the back of both calves (like a bumper sticker). Instead of saying something like ” I brake for skateboarders”, it said, “STAY F*CKED” in capital block letters. It was hard NOT to see it. How nice, right? What does that even mean? It’s so clever that all of the various people on the track that were fortunate enough to see it were left scratching their heads. Of course, I started thinking that by the time he snapped out of his rebellious stage and retired at age 70 from his 9-5 daily grind, that he would be hit on the golf course. There with his golf shirt, khaki shorts and awesome saying on his legs (if it’s even legible at that point in his life). Also, his ear lobes would surely be large enough now that he could use them as beer caddies. How convenient!

An impressive 70ish woman using the 4 ft railing as a ballet barre – she put her leg right up on that railing and put her nose to her knee for a good stretch! Holy cow! She did all kinds of amazing stretches using the railing so I was expecting to get my doors blown off running around the track with her (which would have been pretty deflating). She takes off and boom! No running, just a nice leisurely saunter. I have to say that I was a little disappointed after watching the huge warm-up.

These are the highlights of just some of my workout sessions. My dress code? Baggy shirt, shorts – that’s it. I’m not comfortable wearing skin-tight workout gear to run in. I don’t think people are quite ready for that.

These interesting sights do entice me to go back and see what’s on the people-watching menu for that day!

A Tribute to the State Fair

One of our MANY family traditions is the annual trek to our State Fair.  We know a lot people who avoid the State Fair,  but our family is weird and we love it!  It’s a fusion of awesome “bad-for-you” food and compelling people-watching.

This is a pictorial of how we ate our way through the State Fair – our motto is “Eat ’til you Puke!”  We usually have a list of must-eats and then add anything else we can fit in.  However, this year, we did not get in two of our mainstays – corn on the cob and lemon shake-ups.  I think this happened because we added too many new things – what were we thinking?

Okay, here we go:

Cheesy Beef on a Stick (2 shared), Sno-Cone (1 for each kid), Kettle Corn ( 1 shared), Gyro (Jen), Jumbo Smoked Turkey Leg (Jack), Stuffed Baked Potato (Rachel), Corn Dog (1 each for Mike & Maddie), Deep Fried Cookie Dough (1 ordered shared), Elephant Ear (1 shared), Chocolate Milkshake (1 for each), Deep Fried Veggies (1 order shared), Cotton Candy (1 bag shared).  All of this was over a span of time from 2:30 pm until 8:00pm.

The Elephant Ear and Stuffed Potato are not actual pictures of our State Fair food – my son almost single-handedly scarfed down the elephant ear and it was gone before I could take the picture (the rest of us had to do defensive eating on the Ear)!  And, the stuffed potato?  I was too busy eating my Gyro and forgot to take the picture!

Now, people-watching at the Fair is awesome and I wish I could have taken pictures of some of the patrons of the Fair.  It just would have been too intrusive and awkward, so you will just have to picture the People of Walmart – VERY similar imagery.  I have to say that my stint at the State Fair has inspired me to get off of my fat ass and do some exercise.  My next self-improvement project is jogging – that is a subject of another post.

We love all of the sights at the Fair – the animal barns, Our Land Pavilion, Horticulture Building, Home and Family Arts Building, etc.

In the Our Land Pavilion, they have the Cockroach Roach Races (see the picture of the “fans” – they are cockroaches, too), Cheese Sculpture, and the Sand/Clay Sculpture.  Our Fair is celebrating the “Year of the Pig”, so everything is themed around the Pig.

In the Horticulture Building, they show all of the award-winning vegetables like the State’s largest pumpkin (see pic below), you can buy honey ice cream, you can sign up to be a member of the Gourd Society (woohoo!), and this year it’s also the site of CANstruction.   CANstruction is a fundraiser for local food banks.  Businesses team up and create sculptures out of canned food cans which are  then donated to a local food bank.  It’s pretty cool.  My husband’s firm participated this year and below is their project (remember the theme is Year of the Pig).


In the Home & Family Arts building, they have pies, cakes, cookies, cake decorating, sewing, quilting, painting, etc.  See the painting below?  This is the painting of a classmate of mine from my oil painting classes – this is her second painting EVER and she won 2nd place.  Please see the painting next to it – its MY second painting ever.  Maybe I need to take up another hobby!



 As we do every year, we enjoyed our day at the State Fair 2010!  A lot of giggling, eating, oohing, aahing, and sore feet!


Here are some other various pictures from our trip to the State Fair.  Enjoy!