My Black Friday Deal, and How it Did Not End up in Divorce…. Yet.



I did the dumb thing and went out on Black Friday to shop – but not normal shopping…  I headed to the gym.

I held a membership at this place for years at one time, and loved it and the people there, but toward the end of my membership, there was a couple of ladies who would bad mouth me while I was on the treadmill running (And it got to be as bad as being at work, and being bad-mouthed for “running too much” and not “doing real workouts”).


I’d like to say that parting with the gym was difficult, but when I joined my running group and always had friends to go out with, the weather stopped mattering and I no longer found my way to the gym – letting go was easy.

And then regret fell from the sky. White, cold regret

Then it snowed a couple of feet and I nearly broke myself running in it.  I decided I still needed that gym.  But to get my membership back it would cost nearly triple per month to what I paid before.  It was too much.

I was without a gym for nearly three years.

A day before the holiday, a friend who still worked at the gym, posted a deal for the holiday.  Something about deals on personal training sessions – and I thought I could at least take up that… I just needed someplace to workout, even if it was in half hour increments with a trainer.  I could use a trainer too.  Trainers are expensive…

I didn’t realize the deal was for anything at the gym!  So when the lady said it would cost barely more than $500 for the year for both my husband and me to join, I didn’t even let her finish talking.
For both of us?”
“We renew at that?”
“As long as you pay the year in advance….  We also off….”
“…  Really?”
“Hell yes.  Can I pay with a bank card?”

And so I announced to my husband that we had a gym membership for way less than what trying to work with a personal trainer had cost me earlier this year.
Me:  “We’re doing spin classes.”
Him:  “We are?”
Me:  “Yes.  Three times a week.  We are doing them.  I need a cross train after I’m finished with the final marathon distance of this year, you need cardio.”
Him:  “Okay.”

In retrospect, he probably had no idea what he was agree to….since he was kind of in the middle of working on a project and really, really focused…on that.

I had the plan.  I would run my last marathon distance the first weekend of December, and then I would just cross train the rest of the month.  Do weights and start running easy in a few weeks.  Get a real break.

Gawd I wanted a break.

I was meant to finish my marathon a month a couple weeks ago – running the Jackson 50/50 (50k) – but the IT band was very inflamed, still, from the marathon in Tulsa, and the downhills of the route were too much.  I broke into sobs.  The pain was intense.  (I also probably should not have run the Thanksgiving Day 10k right after the marathon either).

I DNF’ed.


I did this last December on a trail race.  I was pretty sick then.  This time, I couldn’t bend my knee and the pain was sharp and strong.

Honestly.  My legs feel beat.  My quads shake if I stand still too long…hell, if I stand after walking some times.  My calves are perpetually tight.  And on occasion I can feel a flare up of some plantar pain or top of foot pain…  I am ready to cross-train and take a break.  And I cannot.  And I am so mad at myself for it.

Still.   I did tell my Husband we were starting spinning classes.

After two false starts (“Nevermind, I’m too tired, lets sleep in“), and a threat that he better pick me up from the office on time or we’ll have to run (He has already taken a stance on me “taking a break” until I shoot for the next marathon), we made it to our first class yesterday night.

I entered the women’s locker room, and immediately noticed the crowd.  I’m quite body-shy, given that I’m also super self conscious about my weight right now too.  The idea of getting changed among other people was bothersome…but the dressing rooms were occupied, and I was in a hurry.  Class would start soon and we needed to get on bikes.

Standing near the only open locker in the whole room was a little toddler-ish boy, his mom ignoring him in the practiced way of parents.  I awkwardly moved to try and change in the far corner of that locker group, away from the kid.  I put my back to him and decided I could change my pants to bike shorts first…that way my over-long sweater would hide my underwear from this little boy who. Just. Wouldn’t. Stop. Staring.

As soon as my butt was bared, however, I felt a cold hand tap my thigh.  I straightened in a hot second and glared down…. at a little girl wrapped in a towel and staring up at me.
“Are you going swimming?”  She asked me as though she didn’t just break like a million privacy laws for women’s locker rooms.  I hustled into my bike shorts and looked down at her.
She continued to stare at me.  Her toddler-ish brother continued to stare at me.  Mom continued to stare at her phone as she muttered, “No baby, we’re going home.”
“What are you doing then?” She asked me.
“Going to ride a bike.”
“Why are you wearing shorts?”
“Because the bike is indoors….and it gets hot in the room.”
“Not swimming?”
“How do you bike indoors.”
“It’s a spin bike.  It doesn’t have wheels, but it has pedals, and you and a group of people listen to loud music and ride it really fast for a while and that’s a workout.”
“I’m going swimming.”
“Have fun.”
“I.  Will.”
I looked up to see Mom staring at me now, her son trying to run off with my shoe.
“That was a great way to describe that to her.”
“Uh?  Thanks.”
Mom tracked down the kid with my shoe and they all left, but not without the girl giving me an awkward wave and skipping off and Mom telling her that they were going home now, not to the pool again.

I hurried to pull on the rest of my clothes – noticed that I forgot to bring along a sport bra, and committed to hoping that the dressy bra I had on would survive the workout.  (I know.  Girl problems.  Rookie gym rat mistakes.  I also showed up one day without running shoes and had to lift weights while wearing hiking boots…so…yeah… I am not winning at this whole “prep for the gym” thing…)

My husband took longer to get ready than I did – even with the distraction of talking to “swim kid”.

We managed to get into the spin class room and there were a ton of bikes available.  I wanted to stick to the back of the room – you know – because bra stuff.

Look.  Sport bras support and hold back.  Dressy bras push up and bounce.  I mentioned that to my Husband and suggested he might enjoy this class more than he expects if he’s able to see beyond the blur of workout.

“You’re on the old bikes.”
Some woman beside me used this as a way of saying “Hi, welcome to the class.”  I looked at the nearly identical bikes throughout the room, then at the two my Husband and I opted for in the back.
“Is there a big difference?”  I asked as I watched my Husband and the instructor struggle to figure out how to set up his seat.
“No.  They’re just not the new ones.”

Then the class started.

Spinning classes, to me, always just seem like an uphill bike ride…the whole time.  As the instructor commanded us through “Add a quarter!” (Meaning add resistance) and “Sprint!” I kept glancing over to check on my Husband.  He was still in it, though the standing stuff was hard for him…
He made some comment at me, but I couldn’t hear him.  Then he made a face and started wiggling his butt like he was doing a sexy dance.
I confess.  I was confused.  The dance was sexy, the face was not.
So I made a sexy face at him and he stopped doing the dance thing and glared at me before plopping back onto the seat to pedal faster.
I don’t think he meant sexy things, guys.
Lady on the bike next to me was giving us a weird look.

My attention span for the hour-long spin class was exactly a half-hour.  Then I located the clock in the room and stared at it more than the instructor.  My quads protested a lot of the work-out.  I even did a cycle through of calf, ankle, plantar, and top of foot aches during the class.  I needed to cross-train, but this might have been too similar to running motion and work to count as a “break”.  I wouldn’t say the work out was all that hard…but it certainly wasn’t easy for me either.

Afterward, the lady who told me we were on old bikes tried to hold a conversation with me, but I couldn’t hear her over the music.  I did hear her say that this instructor was the “hard one”.

As we left, I noted that my Husband did really well through the workout, and didn’t utter the word “divorce” once.  Though.  In retrospect, he could have and I wouldn’t have heard it.  It doesn’t count if you can’t hear it right?

I commented that my legs felt all wobbly.  My husband started walking like he was in Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks….  As my husband embarrassed me enough to think that we were probably never going back to that gym again …. I uttered the word divorce.  He responded by remarking that the class was a good idea.

He took that sentiment back a short while later as we looped up and down the aisles of the store, grabbing all the foods, while our hanger raged on.
“We need to not shop after these classes.”  He commented paying for our weird-ass collection of foods.
“We did okay!” I encouraged cheerfully. “Look!  I didn’t buy a single thing that is remotely cookie-like.”
“Ture.  But you bought a billion things for breakfast.  We don’t need breakfast.  We need dinner.”
“You bought steak.”
“It’s for dinner!”
“We’re having soup for dinner.”
“It’s about to be better soup…”


It’s the day after, and he still hasn’t made any remarks about regretting the spin class.  Which is cool…because we go again tomorrow.




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