After years of spending money on an overpriced gym membership, I have finally made the decision to quit. This has taken me a lot of thought and is heartbreaking news to the local gym, where I was paying nearly one hundred dollars a month to run on a treadmill for thirty minutes three times a week and stare at the local celebrity bodybuilder. Frankly, the reason I am quitting is one that I cannot change. It’s very hard for me to say, but I’m quitting the gym because of my taste in music. They say that music gets you motivated to work out. Sure, maybe if you’re listening to good music. But my playlist is trapped in the early 2000’s and is constantly bringing back anxiety riddling moments from my tween years.
While doing bicep curls one day, Flo Rida’s song “Low” came on, causing me to immediately freeze at the thought that my crush from junior year of high school would pop out from behind an elliptical, see that I have a serious case of visible panty lines and send a group chat out to all of his volleyball teammates. Of course, this immediately led to me dropping a fifteen pound weight directly on my left pinky toe. Do you know how ridiculous it is to try and find a brace for the smallest of the toes?
Weeks later at the gym, I found myself doing a series of chest presses and suddenly out of my earbuds, Fall Out Boy’s song “Sugar, We’re Going Down” queued on. Great, now all I can think about is that time freshman year when some chick named Nancy and I got in a fight over the last seat at the lunch table with the boys soccer team. She grabbed my ponytail, tried to pour chocolate milk down my white GAP hoodie and stole my bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Yes. Nancy works as a 7-11 clerk now, has four kids and smokes a pack a day; but who’s to say that I came out the winner. After all, I am the one currently writing this article.
At this point it’s fairly clear that maybe the gym is not the place for me. But with high waisted jeans and crop tops being the new look; it can go without saying that I returned to the gym, because I desperately wanted those upper abs and tight glutes. So of course, I was on the stairmaster when Muse’s song “Super Massive Black Hole” switched on. This immediately caused me to trip over my own feet and come tumbling down hard onto the gym’s sweaty floor. See, I made the mistake of being a fan of the Twilight movies in the early 2000s. So when that song came on, I started thinking about all the unanswered questions I had about Twilight. Am I Team Jacob or Team Edward? Do vampires exist? Why aren’t Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattison trying to work things out? Whatever happened to the guy who played Edward’s dad? Why did I quote the Twilight Saga in my high school yearbook…twice? My mind was so full of questions that I forgot to think about my own feet and nearly ended up on the nightly news as the “local girl who got her arm lodged in a StairMaster.”
Deciding to switch over to just stationary cardio equipment seemed like a safer option. Until I was on a spin bike and Gwen Stefani’s song “Hollaback Girl” came on. In a moment of panic, I was desperately trying to peddle away from my deepest middle school fears. Here’s the thing, I’m not a great speller and hearing the word BANANAS spelled out over and over again sent me spinning back to when I went to reading class once a week and had to sound out fake multi syllable words in front of my classmates. Yes, it made me a better speller in the long run and helped me get out of PE class, but I still can’t spell the words restaurant or definitely right on the first try.
I know that all of this could be easily fixed. I could just change a few songs on my gym playlist or download a premade gym playlist. I could even get rid of music all together and just start listening to podcasts. Although, all of these are feasible options, I am just too far gone. My early 2000’s playlist has made me quit the gym and there’s no going back. At least I’ll be able to save money. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally be able to go to that Fall Out Boy concert I’ve been saving for since 2005.