Friday, July 8, 2011

Hello...I Joined A Gym

Well, I did it….I signed up for a gym membership. I gave in. It was time. I had been huffing and puffing for too long and looking like I needed a crash cart available when I walked from the couch to the refrigerator.

But I signed up to do something else: I’m going to blog about my experience in this arena, among other things.

I asked the opinions of some of my friends on whether to do this, and I received a good number of positive responses in person, on the phone and on Facebook, and I received positive comments from people, along with a few "Likes" and some positive posts on my Facebook wall when I asked if I should start a blog. Comments such as "Go for it!" "Yes, I definitely would read it!" "Yeah! What are you waiting for?" were encouraging, and just about all were excited for me to begin this. I did get one person who said 'no." In capital letters: NO. Nothing else written - just NO. Not a problem though, as I just accepted it as a lesson on how nothing is unanimous in this world. I am glad I got that NO, because it'll give me something to write about in the future. Maybe that person will read about it.

Based on the positive response - and mostly because I really want to do this - I’m taking the first steps in blogging and my first step is to call this blog "PLAIN BROWN RAPPER" because, I always thought that would be my name if I ever became a rap artist (they're called artists?), and it just sounded better than just "BLOG" (I named a cat "Cat" once) or some cutesy name like "JOHN'S PLACE" (which sounds like a bar), and definitely better than "SWEATY GUY." The title fits me pretty well because I'm rather plain/average, I'm brown (Hispanic), and I like to talk/write. So I qualify for the moniker. As well, I really can't think of anything else that's clever right now, other then "THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD," but I'm pretty sure that one's taken.

As you can see, this is a rather primitive-appearing blog, mostly because I didn’t go all out on my layout, font, widgets, gidgets, midgets, or stuff like that. I just wanted to get started and see where it goes. I don’t have a working computer either, so I’m using my daughter Lindsey’s laptop for now (whom you’ll read about below) or any other keyboard I can get my hands on.

One thing about writing is that I really have fun doing it. I've always enjoyed it. It's therapeutic for me. I've never really had much time to do it to get really good at it. I have no formal training; I hated English in high school and I didn't enjoy it in college either. I still can't tell you what a dangling participle is or what a gerund is good for. Plus, I just ended the previous sentence with a preposition. I can type pretty fast, though, and I do know how to spell correctly. As a matter of fact, while in 8th grade I finished second in my junior high spelling bee; that's another story that I may share at a later time (BTW - the word I spelled incorrectly was “catastrophe”).

As I mentioned above, this blog will be about my journey to better health, but it'll be more than that. It'll be also be about God and what He is doing in my life through this time, as all future victories will be to glorify Him, and to acknowledge Him because He is the one who makes my path straight (Psalm 3:6). I also want to make people laugh and inspire them at the same time, because if this bonehead can do it, they can as well. I’ll make notes along the journey and update this blog as often as I can, at least weekly, and perhaps sooner if I can get my desktop working or just replace it all together. The thought of my own laptop sounds good, though. I always wanted to be like those wild-eyed coffeehouse zombies, sitting at their laptops for hours in a catatonic state.

Future posts will definitely be shorter, so don't despair. Wish me well...and prayers are appreciated. And now my first entry (from 06/30/2011, posted on Facebook):


Earlier this month, my daughter Lindsey had been talking to me about this great deal that the GB3 Club had for HER and that it would only cost ME $25 a month…for HER. Needless to say I didn’t see the benefit in that. She did say, however, that there were family memberships available for us if I thought it would be a good idea. I thought, “that’s a good idea.” Actually I said it out aloud. Now I was stuck, or so I thought. Anxious about the prospect of sweating on purpose, I figured out that maybe I could stall the momentum by telling her that it may be worth it to check on a family membership for all of us and maybe, just maybe, I’d be interested in taking a stab at it. I sweated just thinking about it. I sweat just from thinking, period. But, with my brilliant scheme in motion, I figured it would take a couple of weeks for Lindsey to get around to it. She finally got around to it… within 10 minutes. It’s amazing what your kids will do when they’re motivated. So, I told her that I need to check the budget and see where we were at before committing to this type of expenditure. She agreed and began prodding me every day, and I gave her the same lame excuses – “budget, checkbook…TV…arg” – but I then noticed her persistence began to wane, to the point that she wasn’t asking me about it any more. Sometimes that’s the best motivation for me. Just disappoint your kids. Ugh. Finally, with the end of the promotion looming, combined with the fact that I really did want to do something, but frankly was kind of hesitant to try (change does that to you), and hearing nothing from my daughter, I told Lindsey this week that we would get around to it by the last day of the month.

I called Lindsey today and we took a drive on my lunch break to head over to GB3. During the drive, anxiety was setting in. I told Lindsey that I was kind of apprehensive about going. When she asked why, I told her that it was because I was fat. With a knee-jerk reaction she said, “you’re not fat!” and I looked at her like, “Are you crazy?” She started laughing and said, “Sorry, that just came out! That’s what you say to someone when they call themselves fat!” We started laughing. That eased the anxiety. Now, I don’t know why, but as we were laughing I noticed that we were driving past a pancake place. Timing is so important sometimes, because if I wasn’t laughing at that moment I’d be crying about the upcoming pancake drought.

We arrived and entered the hallowed halls of GB3. The girls at the reception counter were nice. They asked us if we would like to take a quick tour of the place. I agreed and a nice girl showed us around. It’s a pretty big place. Nice too. Lots of machines. I have no clue how they work. But I did see the dumbbells. They were working out with the free weights and grunting to each other. Unfortunately while taking the tour, I really couldn’t understand a word of what the girl was saying to me. She really didn’t use her lips while talking, and my discriminatory hearing is not quite what it used to be. In addition, the gym was loud, and I was too focused on how, for the life of me, I was going to be able to get on those funny-looking contraptions (treadmills and ellipticals), without hurting myself. However, I did manage to hear that the club has towels for a dollar if I forget my own. And there is also a soda machine by the locker room. That fired me up. That pretty much was the tour. For me, it was an actual workout. I began sweating.

We then sat down with the manager (I needed to sit) and we FINALLY signed up…today…the last day of the month. Of course, it’s always more money than you’re anticipating. Pay the initiation fee, and your in right? Great! Uh….dang, I always forget about the first and last month. Still, it’s a good deal. He gave us a little more information, and I still couldn’t hear anything. I just signed where he pointed for me to sign and I said “THANK YOU!!!” as if he were deaf.

It was getting kind of late and I had to get back to work. As I was leaving the gym, I stopped and gave the place a once-over and thought “this is going to change my life.” It was one of those Michael Scott moments…which was interruped with Lindsey asking me, “what are you doing?” I said, “uh, nothing, just looking. Let’s go eat.”

Here’s to good health….


  1. Great blog entry! Keep it up!

  2. John,
    Great first blog! Keep blogging and keep going to the gym. I know we are two different body types all together, but motivation to exercise is a mental thing and small or large, we all deal with it. I am not anti-exercise but consistency is not my best quality (unlike my husband). So the hardest part for me was staying in the game, so to speak. I'd have a couple of good days then not exercise for a few days and feel discouraged because I struggle with consistency and want to just quit all together. But nine years ago I started walking and jogging (more walking than jogging) and I told myself that if I fell off the wagon I would just get going again, no matter how long it had been. It seemed to work for me. It took off the pressure of "perfect attendance" for me. I started looking at it like my walk with the Lord...never give up and never stop talking to the Lord, because He said He would never leave me. So, now I have great days or weeks and I have so-so weeks, but I get right back out there and keep looking forward. You can do this. I will be praying for you!

  3. John, the Bible says laughter is good medicine...thanks for the meds! You are hilarious!(I needed a good laugh!) The way you say things are so clever and funny. At any rate, when Rich first told me what you were doing my spirit did a flip!(Since I can't physically do one!) I look forward to reading your blog! God bless you my Brown Brother!

  4. so the plain brown rapper "unwraps" - go for it bro! will be reading your blog with avid interest.

  5. Read them all to the family over dinner. A laptop in the middle of the dining room table is a rare thing here. It was a fun time, and we enjoyed hearing your stories. We will be praying for you. Three cheers from the Esaus.