How Much Do You Weigh?

You'll have to jump in the middle of this story. I turned 30 this year. I joined a gym. My friends call it "bringing sexy back."

I'd settle for a lot less.

Every time I go to the gym I do the same thing. I walk into the women's restroom, check to make sure my hair is tied down well and that there is nothing conspicuous on my clothing from 2 grubby children and a messy car, and I weigh in. Then I walk up the stairs and choose a cardio machine to assault for 30 minutes or so.

Last week I arrived at a busy time, and the only machines open were a stair-stepping machine which usually reduces me to a sweating, quivering, crying husk within 5 minutes, and an elliptical sandwiched between a woman with a hacking cough (I have worked out near her a dozen times and always HACK COUGH SPIT) and a man too handsome for his own good.

Anyway, I figured awkward and annoyed had to be better than being carried out to my car on a stretcher. So I wiped down my machine, and pushed Quick Start. "Target Heart Rate" Still pumping. "How much do you weigh?" Nobody's business. "How old are you?" ... Can you believe I looked over my shoulder to see if Mr. Handsome was looking?

29. I typed 29! I may as well be 15 for all the maturity I felt.

I don't know what happened. I stuffed myself into pants that are older than my children and a slightly used tshirt of M's, drove my mom car, wrangled my two wild monkeys into the nursery, faced the humiliation of publicly entering my weight, and then could not bring myself to tell a machine and a random man that I was 30 years old.

As I walked in place for 30 minutes working up a sweat and trying to ignore the ads for pizza delivery flashing across the screens, I contemplated what all this said about me. Am I too old for what little I've accomplished? Am I too concerned with what others think? Maybe not enough?

In a way I felt a solidarity with most other women. I turned 30 with a fair amount of dread and had now taken up lying about it. Perhaps there is a somewhat secret desire to not drop pounds as I work out, but to peel back years of my life.

In any case, I have plenty of time left at the gym to ruminate on my odd behavior.

Say a prayer for the lady with the hacking cough. Seriously. I don't know if my patience will outlast her cough.