How to Boycott Your Gym and Still Be Awesome & Fit

Preparing for a DIY Mold Attack via the Environmental Safety Standards ~ Nashville, TN Summer 2012

Preparing for a DIY Mold Attack via the Environmental Safety Standards ~ Nashville, TN Summer 2012

Admit it.  The dashboard in your car is as dusty as a mummy in Egypt and there is gunk linking the bases of the cleaning potions you have stored under your cluttered sink cabinet.  But after trolling Dr. Mercola online in the wee hours of the night like a baller who doesn't have to work the next morning, you finally become inspired to take that positive step and incorporate physical activity in your life.  It's that or save up for a facelift, you read in dismay.

But think twice before you jump at the latest sales campaign by your local gym, championed by the provocative woman in pink spandex that you are supposed to want to look like.  Gyms are really rotten places.  Not only are the machinery in heavily-used gyms a glorified petri dish for all sorts of dangerously ugly germs, but your self-esteem may be at stake.  The first unspoken rule of a gym is that it serves those who are seeking to show off their already-fit bodies without being judged for showing off their already-fit bodies.  That titillating woman in the hot pink spandex was already a lot more toned than the majority of the world population before she modeled for said gym.  This 'aint no success story, folks, it's psychological marketing.  Let the big dogs tell you what you want to look like, and then let them graciously accept your money--with no guarantees attached--in return for their promise to help you get there.  The truth is, if you are a normal human being attending a local gym, the chances are high that you will feel like Barney the chunky purple dinosaur on a treadmill surrounded by Carmen Electras in pink spandex.

But this doesn't mean you should give up on your goal to live a fit and active life.  It just means you need to stop buying into the stupid marketing of what may be the dumbest invention of the twentieth century.  Think about how pointless a gym is.  Why in the world would you jump into your car and waste the earth's natural resources, mill around the lot for a half hour like a CIA detective on "Muslim" terrorist watch (you know you were thinking it too) just to find parking near the door, and then finally use a gym machine that makes you run without getting anywhere like your pet hamster does on its squeaky wheel while you're trying to catch some shut-eye after stalking Dr. Mercola all night?  Newsflash: You're more intelligent than a furry little hamster on a squeaky wheel (and I bet you're even cuter, too!).  You aren't locked in a cage.  You don't need a gym membership to be in shape.  If you ditched the car and walked to the gym, you'd probably be sweating more by the time you got there than you would have on the stupid elliptical machine anyway.  

The key to truly leading an active life is to think of one word: productivity.  If the form of physical exertion you are spending isn't reaping any results besides the promise that it will build the body you are exerting then as far as I am concerned, you're wasting your time (and honey, your time is worth good money).  

God did not create you to run on an elliptical machine.  He did, however, create you to be active and awesome and healthy, and do you know why?  It's to be a productive and valuable teammate in your community and on this beautiful earth (and to model that hot pink spandex in privacy of your own home, tiger).  Here is a list of things you can do that are way worth more your time and money than joining bacteria-riddled, empty-promise gyms.  Let's get in shape, and get crap load done in the process!

  1. Wash Your Dang Car: You know the birds leave you regular love via pooing on your windshield and if you live in any climate resembling Florida's, your front bender is adorned with the guts of smushed mosquitos and love-bugs.  Inside your car there is an air-freshener that expired before Justin Bieber became legal and you could open your own recycle factory with all the empty cans on the backseat floor.  Clean that isht up.  Once a week, the new active you will bust out some H2O and soapies, Rain-X (awesome stuff, by the way), and, yes, some wax, and get to work.  Organize your trunk; clear the clutter from inside of the car.  Dust, clean, repeat.  Wash the outside, and buffer it and wax it like it's new.  You will be working every muscle group in your body, tiger, and sparing yourself the money and humiliation and MRSA virus.  Go show the birds what you really think of 'em!
     
  2. Clean Your Own Dang House: Shame on the one who lets his or her cleaning potions themselves collect dust (think of the irony in that, seriously).  Your house should be spotless from ceiling to floor at all times before you even think of exerting your energy on a useless piece of equipment.  Put those muscles to good use, grasshopper, and keep up your personal space.  I promise you, there will never be a time when there is nothing to clean or work on inside and outside of your house (and let's not forget the lawn).  From now on, the awesomely productive and fit you will be getting your heart into its maximum exertion rate on an almost-daily basis via cleaning the gutters outside your house and deep-cleaning and re-organizing everything inside your house.  Move over that couch and say good-bye to the cobwebs!
     
  3. Do Your Own Dang Renovations: I'm all about DIY.  It's the absolute best way to tone muscles, feel good about yourself, and make the neighbors jealous (just kidding, kind of).  Want a new paint job?  Dollar store gloves will protect your lovely manicure, and nothing can give you better posture for a week than painting a ceiling.  Interested in building a patio?  I built my own out of recycled granite (click here to see my $5 masterpiece).  Even if the DIY project turns into a total disaster (like my fence failure, shamelessly exposed here), you will still feel proud that you tried, and the next one will be that much better.  Forget expensive laborers, and roll up those sleeves!  It's time to lead your body into productive new dimensions!
     
  4. Help Your Dang Neighbors: Let's pretend everything that could possibly be done with your own personal space is done and you are still craving some physical exertion.  I routinely work out via simply helping my sister, Hanah Banana, who has four children and studies full-time.  In the above photo, I was actually on her side of our duplex and we were getting ready to battle some mold that was present downstairs when we purchased the property (there's a reason why real estate bargains are actually bargains).  We help each other out, and the physical, social, and emotional benefits truly speak for themselves.  To inspire you to help your neighbors, I have included a photo of Hanah at the end of this article, graciously lending you some of her Banana Power.  Good luck, you wonderful neighbor you!  Mr. Rogers would be so proud.
     
  5. Get a Dang Hobby: Normally people list this first but it gets on my nerves when people who don't make their beds in the morning go out for a jog (call it one of my many pet peeves).  But yeah--go running, hiking, dancing, buy a power yoga DVD, or whatever.  Just figure it out, have fun, soak up some vitamin D, and get active with family and friends!  In order to not be a hypocrite after I post this I will trek around in my neighborhood in the lovely heat of Riyadh with my dusty sneakers, which I will then wash.  So there.

I hope these suggestions helped, and I can't wait to hear feedback!  Feel free to comment by adding items to the above list on ways to effectively boycott the gym while still being super active and happy.  Thanks for reading!  And now, without further ado, I give you Banana-Power:



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