Tomorrow will be my sixth day, and so far so good. Each outing I add another element; perhaps a few lat-pulldowns or a new leg exercise. I always start with 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer, breaking a good sweat to my gym-friendly iTunes playlist (Madonna-heavy, if you must know). I've been getting there between 9 and 10AM, when it's less busy and the odds of total intimidation are diminished. There tend to be a dozen or so spread out all over the place, most of which are quickly becoming familiar faces. I am gaining confidence with every strained muscle.
There's a regular cast of characters; a tattooed dude with nerdy glasses, a gay Mediterranean couple who seem resentful of each other, and the cute woman who works reception. She started recognizing me on Day Two, letting me in with a smile when I couldn't find my little card. She's exactly the kind of person who should be behind that desk: she's nice but she doesn't have expectations. It's early, we all know that, so let's not feel pressured into pleasant conversation. She makes me feel at-ease, and for that I want to dive over the desk and kiss her on the mouth. I wish I knew her Starbucks order, I'd bring her something! That would be nice, no?
I like to watch others, to see how each machine works, but really hoping I'll catch them feeling awkward or out of their element, struggling with something, looking like me. It gives me great satisfaction to see a pair of calves skinnier than my own, and even better when they're attached to a man. These things encourage me to get up early tomorrow, another day, another added muscle group.