It’s 2:00 p.m. and I’ve just finished my only class of the day. I dutifully unpack my backpack, taking great care to gently extract my laptop, notebook, and chargers. I sit down on my couch and scroll through Twitter for far too long. I’m going through these typical actions in slow motion, because I’m dreading what comes next on the agenda.
Eventually, I can’t put it off for any longer—there’s just not enough things to unpack from my bag and not enough tweets to read. I change into the clothes I picked out in the morning before class (laid out knowing the hesitation I would feel later), fill up my water bottle, and lace up my running shoes. I head out the door and set off towards the gym.
Contrary to what it may seem like so far, I actually enjoy going to the gym. However, I still have a creeping desire for doing anything else (read: rewatching Riverdale in preparation for the second season to air). I dismiss the other things I could possibly be doing as I take the escalator up to the second floor of the MAC. Who decided that the escalator only goes up, by the way? It’s miserable to take the stairs down after working out. I think of that literally every time I go to the gym. But I digress.
At the top of the escalator, I get my OneCard ready. Despite the fact that I’ve been going to the gym at Ryerson for over a year now, I still always swipe my card wrong. If you’ve never been in that position, let me tell you: it is the epitome of awkward to stand there, swiping your card every way possible and never hearing that “ding” that grants you entry. Usually if I can’t open it, one of the staff members takes pity on me and opens the gates.
Now I’m in. Can I leave yet? Kidding. Kind of. After dropping my bag and coat in a locker, I head for the treadmill. I hook up my headphones to my phone through the magic of Bluetooth and start running (well, OK, walking quickly. I work my way up to running). I shuffle a pop playlist on Spotify, prompting a lot of “What is this song?!” I also try to turn on the TV, but it doesn’t work. Whatever. I’ll watch CNN on my own time, I guess.
Part way through running, those feel-good exercise endorphins kick in. I surprise myself by running for longer than I planned to. When I’m finished I grab a mat and some weights and find a spot to plank, lift the weights and do whatever other exercises I can think of. I’ll admit that some of this time involves me lying on the mat scrolling on my phone—but it’s important to take breaks and not over exert yourself. That’s what I tell myself, at least.
When I’m finished exercising (i.e., when I deem myself sufficiently sweaty) I head back to the change room and gather my things. I head down the stairs, gazing longingly at the escalator travelling upwards and wishing, for the upteempth time, that there was another one going down.
On the ground level, I open the door, smiling as the cool October air hits my face. I walk home, take a quick shower and carry on with my day. Despite my initial dread, I’m glad I went to the gym, just like I knew I would be. Waking up tomorrow morning and feeling my sore limbs as I climb out of bed, though… that’s a different story.