#804 Gym pain

10 pounds of pain

Believe it, folks: I went to the gym last Saturday. Yes, flabby belly, spaghetti-thin arms, bright white sneakers and all.

Though it may surprise you, I am not a walking talking hulk of a man. No, I’m a scrawny knee-pushups kind of guy who spends more time taking sips of water, talking to the maintenance folks, and figuring out how the machines work than I do actually working out. I don’t tone my pecs, blast my quads, or crush my delts. If my trip to the gym was a short film it would be called Stretching In Trackpants.

But anyway, last Saturday.

Hungry for life

It was 8:45am and I was sipping some water, trying to figure out how the benchpress worked, when a steady stream of spandex-clad seniors suddenly brisked by me with stern brows and towels draped over their shoulders. Honestly, you might have thought there was a sale on oatmeal or a Wheel of Fortune marathon about the start at the back of the gym, because these grannies and granpies were on a mission. When I asked a couple maintenance guys what was going on, they told me Boot Camp was about to start.

My mind immediately flashed to visions of crawling through muddy trenches in baggy camo, swinging over frothy rapids on jungle vines, and standing on the roof of a rusty, beat-up car firing a machine gun into the sky with one hand. I can’t explain these images, but they compelled me to follow the Wrinkle March into the aerobics room.

And I know I don’t need to tell you all what happened next.

She wore this while she screamed

Large, adult-sized Fisher Price plastic and foam bits were strewn all over the floor, thumping dance music started bumping over the speakers, and a headband-clad Drill Sergeant screamed the sweat out of us. Adrenaline racing, I stepped-out, stepped-down, and moved barbells all around. I pushed up, pushed back, and prayed softly. After about fifteen minutes, most of the old folks were barely sweating, while I keeled over, my mouth sucking back dry, sweaty air while a sharp, knife-like pain quietly stabbed into my gut. And the whole time Sergeant Purple Leg Warmers was barking at me to keeping going, don’t stop, two more minutes, one more minute, and rotate!

It was intense.

By the end, I was a Jello-blob of hot muscles and shin splints. I felt like I’d fallen down a hundred flights of stairs and landed on a cactus patch. I was in pain and agony … but you know what?

It felt good.

I felt like I made it. I felt like I did something. There was a tingling buzz of satisfaction burning in my shredded calves, a lingering ache of pride in the dirtbike tracks riding up my stomach for three days, and a quiet happiness with the gym pain I’d inflicted upon myself.

When you reach up higher than you’ve reached before, give a little more than you gave before, or dig deep to your core to end up sprained and sore, well around here we say that’s a little something called


jello-legsPhotos from: here, here, here, and here

39 thoughts on “#804 Gym pain

  1. That truly is AWESOME! I love gym pain. Waking up the next day with sore muscles is so satisfying.

  2. I don’t know how you do it. Not only are your 1000 Awesome Things right on point, they’re strangely timely. This is the second or third time when you’ve posted something Awesome right after I’ve thought or experienced the exact same thing!

    I came back from the gym on Thursday feeling good, but come late Friday and into Saturday, I was so sore in my legs I could barely walk! Now things are back to normal, and I feel great.

  3. Gym pain is kind of funny because for me I don’t really feel it until 2 days after. Yeah, that pain is rewarding, though. For some reason that soreness just feels great.

  4. My boyfriend had crazy sore muscles after doing a workout that require you to lift weights for a certain amount of time, take only a 10 second break and go at it again. (I don’t quite remember what it was called.) Anyway, after a few days he had really buff arms. It was quite nice, to say the least. :P

  5. I love watching the digits on the calories column rise, it’s satisfying and distracts me from the muscle pains.

    I love gym pain too. :)

  6. I just recently found your blog and I LOVE it. It truly is awesome. Gym pain is fantastic… I look forward to having some tomorrow.

  7. My fellow on Orkut shared this link and I’m not dissapointed that I came to your blog.

  8. I listened to you on Chum this morning and it was quite nice – had me smiling and thinking to myself -yes..those little things are true..my 5 year old thought I was going nuts – as its strange to find his mommy smiling in the morning…
    great site and good luck with the book!

    but about the gym pain…for sure – I feel as if I have accomplished something once the pain kicks in…

  9. I hate gym pain. Hate hate hate it. It’s what’s keeping me slightly chubby. I’ll work out and feel all awesome, then when I wake up in gym pain and I can’t even bend my knees to walk down the stairs b/c of the thigh ache I lift my hands to the sky and curse the piece of cheesecake that made me want to go to the gym in the first place.

    -end rant-

  10. im not so sure on this one, usually i wake up to good nicely worked muscles after a visit to the gym but after not going to the gym in about a year and finally heading over to work my arms with my day, well it was my own personal hell for the next three days. i felt like a T-rex because i couldn’t move my arms any lower than about nipple height but obviously i overworked under prepared arms and i learned my lesson

  11. I love gym pain, but that may have to do with the fact that it’s never too terrible and I go to gym every other day.

  12. This is truly awesome. I recently joined a gym and even though I don’t feel up to it, when I go and I leave the room sweating like mad hardly able to control my legs, it feels great!

    So worth it.

  13. Very well written. I can clearly imagine what happened. Truly dynamic…
    I love the adrenaline rush it boosts up the endorphins.

  14. I love gym pain i was on the tredmill and did 3km in 14:50 minuets that is what made me feel good!

    Love this site cant wait for your next good thing tomorrow!

  15. I’m quite familiar with this, mostly with running. I never want to actually get out and go, but once i did, i felt so great afterwards

  16. Thanks for the top notch information enclosed within your website, here is a little test for your weblog viewers. What person stated the following quotation? . . . .A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

  17. I’m going training 3 or 4 times in a week to the gym.
    After I went to the gym, I have always pain in my muscles.
    It gives me a good feeling.
    When I have pain in my muscles, I feel me stronger than before.
    By the pain you know you have trained well.
    For my it’s necessary there is pain after training so that you at least feel you have trained.
    No pain no game

  18. At first I thought,
    “What’s Jello got to do, got to do with this, what’s Jello…”
    then it dawned on me and,
    “I Second that Emotion!!!”

  19. I’ve been surfing on-line more than three hours nowadays, but I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It is lovely value sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  20. love the gym pain….but the love went too far and m with 40% of destroyed body…. with many injuries and pains…. be safe for sure…
    life is life…..

  21. Does anyone follow this blog anymore? I love this blog. Gym pain is amazing. Can barely walk as my calves feel like they got some sort of sulphuric acid injection and can barely grab my beer without these jerky movements and my biceps feel like i could be the hulk and am the envy of my drink buddies. Have to sleep early though, its the only way muscles get repaired and grow, of course after a nice high protein meal… TOTTALLY AWESOME!!

  22. In my opinion, the pain is opition. Yes you can feel the pain and keep complaining, or you can just ignore the pain and do what you have to do.
    Of course, you must have a professional following you and do the way he is telling you to do and everything is going to be just fine.

  23. I’m a serious swimmer/skier/gymnast so every night I get this wonderful experience. After a about a month, it gets less awesome and more annoying. As I write this, my quads are aching from the 120 squats we did last night for conditioning.

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