Back to the Grind

I’ve been away forever, it seems, and not just in the sense that my last post of any substance is dated Dec 8. Traveling for Christmas and spending most of my time at home with my parents trying to relax and forget all my responsibilities made the nine days in Montana more like a winter quarter away on exchange, and I’ve returned feeling like a foreigner in my own country. Coming home to a new house that’s piled high with unopened boxes and half-started moving-in projects has left me longing to go home *for real*, to the apartment I left behind in November where things were put away and I could walk in the dark without shin guards.

Christmas at home was great, full of amazing meals and happy family moments, an endless feast for the body and soul. I’m very lucky to have a family that is as supportive, as joyful and as appreciative of each other as mine is. We focused less on gift-giving this year and more on just enjoying each other and our time together free of duties and deadlines. I highly recommend it.

Mom arrived last night and Dad is due in Wednesday to help us paint this weekend and otherwise do some fixup work. They were excited to see my first real estate purchase so they’re here in Seattle only a week after we were home in Montana. It’s great to have them, though, and their help and ideas. I can’t wait to paint over the peach walls, it’s going to totally transform the place. Goodbye Barbie dream house, hello my dream house.

I had my first 6am appointment with Austin, my personal trainer at the gym, and feel great afterward even though I had trouble even getting out of my truck in the parking lot because I couldn’t sit up. I’m excited for the goals he and I have set together, and so begins yet another January remodeling project – here’s to the new year and no one recognizing me on the lake this summer.

Don’t go to the gym with me. Seriously.

I’m trying this new thing as of today, where i get up at 5.30am and go to the gym before work. I joined a downtown gym friday for that express purpose (and also, because i found something about a pool on the 14th floor of a skyscraper appealing) and i suppose i am committed to this new thing, as to quote the girl who signed me up, “the only way you can get out of your year contract is if you move away.” I did pretty well today, only snoozed the alarm twice, and was still wandering my way around a jungle of ominously-named machinery (the Abductor!) by 6.30, bearing an undoubtedly confused expression and mounting at least one such device backwards before figuring things out and laughing quietly at myself. The real beauty of this plan is that, due to the time-shift, although i’m only roused from peaceful slumber 30 minutes earlier than usual, an hour and a half of gym time, shower time and walking the 4 blocks back to work time still puts me to work just before 8, and all because i’m making a 15 minute drive at 6am instead of a 1 hour drive at 7. Apparently i’m the only person in snohomish county who goes to the gym.

The only real downside of this genius plan is that, while you can take the fat out of the man (hopefully), you can’t do anything about the idiot. I am accompanied daily by the worst workout partner ever – myself – and just between you and me i think the guy’s enough to make me switch gyms… except i think he’d just follow me anyway. He thinks we’re friends like that.

I’ll allow that it was my first day with a new morning routine, and that i’m not at my most alert in those first few upright moments each day – there is a reason why i fold my socks with their matching partners when they come out of the laundry – but i still can’t believe i managed to remember shaving cream (which the gym provides anyway) but forgot the razor (which the gym does not provide, likely to avoid towel-clad men re-enacting their own Gillette commercials in the large mirrors), especially when i purchased a bag of disposable ones for that express purpose. I’m not surprised at myself for forgetting that handful of horse-suppository-sized pills and vitamins that usually accompany breakfast when i’m eating it at home, but i was disappointed that i neglected to bring more than half of said breakfast with me for a post-workout recharge. I thought about that banana all morning, chilled and just green enough to be a bit crisp, sitting in the fridge at home… sigh. I also managed to embarrass myself publicly, just enough to feel at home in a new place. Perhaps all those college years of every group activity beginning with an “ice-breaker” have somehow brainwashed this behavior into me, as when i’m presented with a roomful of strangers and no organized tension-dissipating plan i apparently fill that void with self-deprecating humor and physical slapstick. In this case, it was a nice flying skid across the locker room floor – if Diesel does perchance certify their shoes for use on wet tile, i suggest they reconsider that guarantee – that ended in a dramatic flailing move that could most certainly not be mistaken for a rollicking Irish jig and which nearly led me into an intimate discussion with the unsuspecting backside of a very large, very naked black man. Off to such an encouraging start, I am sure you can understand how i’ll be returning to this place tomorrow of my own free will.