Since Mike and I joined a new gym in an effort to regain our pre-baby bodies, I find I’m using the membership exponentially more than I did at Ballard Health Club. And while I let him think it’s all about sweat and yoga and the human goddam spirit, the truth is more about two of my very favoritest words that, when aligned together, form Mommy Crack: FREE. CHILDCARE.
Not to imply that I’m “dumping” Eliot on Michaela and the other fine staffers of Kids Korner (shaping bad spellers from birth!), because you just say “gym” and Ellie’s flying into her shoes and coat and yelling, “BYE-BYE! BYE-BYE!” like a methhead macaw. But “gym,” it turns out, is so very much more than the land of lycra and toil and locker-room reminders of our slack, wrinkled destinies.
Not to put too fine a point on it, I ABUSE the gym. Oh sure, I work out every now and then (if you define a workout as doing a few Nautilus sets in between dicking with your iPod set list and wondering if Nelly actually peaked at “Country Grammar”). But most days, I start by taking a loooong, uninterrupted shower. I sit in the whirlpool, pumice my feet, work in a little eucalyptical training in the steam room during a deep condition. I lather up with gym body lotion, do hair and makeup, take my sweet-ass time getting dressed. Later, I’ll head to the sitting room, check Amazon stock on the CNBC ticker, then read magazines, do crosswords and, god help me, blog. Basically, I do everything a person can do by themselves at the gym short of masturbation and staging a dolly tea party on one of the sport courts.
So mostly, it’s an hour or two of unbridled selfishness, after which Mommy comes home clean (you’re welcome, Michael), purty and revived, and Ellie is funned-out and nap-ready. Everybody wins!
(This perspective may need to be readjusted should our gym ever offer free internet access, at which point I’ll be setting up a 24-hour camp in the sitting room and gluttonously surfing without fear of sticky little-girl fingers trying to pry the Powerbook from my jealous paws. But honestly, would it KILL YOU PEOPLE to invest in a little Wi-Fi?)
(Addendum: Michael read and asked, “So basically, the gym would be livable with Wi-Fi and a bar?”
And YES — if they could construct a skywalk from the gym to Hattie’s Hat, I would LIVE on Ballard Ave. )