Tag Archives: health

Resolutions.

23 Jan

So, dear readers, the last you heard from me I was bracing for life as a 25-year-old. Now it has been almost one month & let me say, not a whole lot has changed (except I can’t believe I’m saying that number when anyone asks me how old I am)!

What has changed for now though, is a few parts of my lifestyle.

Backing up a bit, 2016 will mark my fourth year of writing in the Czech It Out Blog! To sum it up: You have watched me graduate from college, prepare to move to Prague for a year, move there, freak out, find a job, find the BEST friends, hate my job, fall in love, quit my job, come home, sink into a depression, find my dream job, break up, climb out of the depression, get political, then travel back to Prague & beyond!

Haven’t we grown so much together? I know I have–I mean my writing is proof of that. I went into this blog thinking I would just write some fun wanderlust-inspiring posts for friends back home. Little did I know that this blog would soon become a vault for writing done during the most prominent metamorphosis of my life. 

Honestly! I have a new friend who has begun reading from the beginning of Czech It Out & is a little shocked at how different of a person I am NOW compared to who I was in June 2013 when I published my first post!

And then there are you, my dear readers. You are the family, friends, acquaintances & strangers who have been tuning in from the beginning. Thank you again for your constant support!

And you know how I look at the beginning of each new year; how I structure my ‘resolution’. You know I don’t believe in giving something up or adding something new, but instead ask: what do I want to get out of this year? 

Some of the past few years were very successful:

2013: I Want To Find Adventure- I moved to Prague alone in July 2013, just two months after my college graduation. I had no friends, no job & couldn’t speak the language!

2014: I Want To Find Love- I met Filip in January who was one of my greatest love stories to date. Later that year in September I realized just how loved I truly was while healing from my dog bite.

2015: I Want To Find Success- Towards the end of 2014 I got my dream job working at EF with exchange students. The following year (after a ton of hard work) I received a pay raise & two mini promotions & now feel more successful & content than ever.

So you’re noticing there is kind of a theme with my resolutions–they are not very black & white. True to my poetic soul, each year I give myself a resolution that can be interpreted many different ways.

I determine what I want & need based on my current state going into the year, what am I craving the most & a goal I hope to achieve? After a little deliberation about what my current values are, I have decided…

2016: I Want To Find Health For The Mindy, Body & Soul 

Once again, this is not as black & white as “go to the gym more” or “cut out sweets”. This resolution will probably be the most challenging of all, because where my previous resolutions where 1 part me & 1 part fate this one is all me. I have to work very hard to achieve these goals myself.

Plus this goal is the most personal of all, let me break it down for you…

1. Mind. Stay away from toxic thoughts (anger, jealousy, revenge, etc.) both towards others & self.

This one is a lot harder than you’d think. I may have the occasional ill-will towards others, however, I have always been the type of person who avoids those that I do not like. I don’t give them the time of day.

However, one thing I have been struggling with my whole life are the horrible thoughts I have towards myself. Whether this is socialization or society or a toxic combination of both, I truly can be my own worst enemy.

And I never realized just how bad it was until last year.

Shortly after my dog bite fiasco in August 2014, I began visiting a wonderful therapist named Dorothy. She was patient, understanding, & honest. She made me feel comfortable confiding in things I have never told anyone before. 

We would discuss the thoughts & issues I had & then construct how we could improve them. This was really helpful for me to overcoming the depression after my dog bite, however, we soon had to confront the terrible elephant in the room: my crippling body image.

This was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I wasn’t just ripping off flimsy band-aids from lifelong cuts, I was digging through the hard shell I had acquired in Prague then ripping off the band-aid to expose my deepest & darkest wounds.

There were times when our conversations helped me overcome huge obstacles & there were times when we couldn’t even continue the session because I was so upset. But these talks were something 24-year-old Jessi needed, they were something 14-year-old Jessi needed & they were even something 5-year-old Jessi needed.

2016 began with insurance telling me that they would no longer cover my visits with Dorothy. And there was no way I could afford them, so it was time to say good-bye.

It was a lot harder than I expected because this woman has helped me through so much. Fighting off the demons that have always tortured me & confronting them with a new-found strength. The sad realization is the demons will always be there it’s just now I realize how much artillery I have to defend myself.

This is why I ask 2016 to please allow my to continue to strengthen my mind.

2. Body. Respect & thank your body for all it has helped you through. Do not poison it or maim it, instead focus on how to nourish & replenish it. In return it will continue to function properly.

During my time with Dorothy she would have me complete several writing exercises where I was forced to divulge all my insecurities of my body, but also realize all it can accomplish. 

The sheer idea of it being able to recover completely from such a horrific injury is pretty incredible. As is its ability to help me get through so many early morning gym workouts & then extreme physical activities like caving in Budapest & climbing to the top of one of the New Hampshire White Mountains!

Bodies can do some pretty cool stuff when you get past all your hang ups about their exterior design ! 

However, this got me thinking what have I done for my body lately?  Not a whole lot except critique it, shame it & fill it with a whole lot of things that are not too good for it.

Besides having a very sensitive stomach & a bit of scoliosis, my body was considered quite healthy. All limbs work, white blood cells respond promptly to illness & all my vitals are perfect. So why was I basically poisoning it with processed food, alcohol & trans fat?

It is time to make a change.

A few months ago, I went on a medication that didn’t allow me to drink alcohol. I followed this stringently & was pretty surprised to realize how easy it was. 

That is why I have now decided to give up drinking alcohol altogether.

Not to make a big deal about it or shame you for drinking it, but because all that sugar isn’t good for me, my hangovers in the past year were unbearable & alcohol lead me to a few scenarios where I put my body into even more harm.

No more.

Another change will have to be diet. But not your typical fad diet, one that is just simply logical. I know when I am eating/drinking something that does not properly nourish my body. I know when I am consuming chemicals & preservatives that will make my stomach hurt later. So I am simply trying to do that less & less. 

3. Soul. Live an existence that is genuine & true to yourself. Bring good energy into your life with positivity & avoid spreading or encountering negativity. Live a life that makes you proud to be you!

This sounds like the most abstract one of all, but it’s really quite simple: just be a good person! 

Believe that by spreading good karma to others, you will also receive it yourself. Little kind gestures go a long way & negativity can physically make you sick. Know the difference & avoid situations, habits, or people that are no longer making a positive impact.

I began this post by highlighting just how much I feel I have changed as a person since I started this blog almost 4 years ago; however, I believe that these changes were catalyzed by an abrupt change of surroundings.

I had no choice but to change who I was as it was a direct adaptation of my new environment. 

However, I never want to stop changing. I want to keep meeting new people, keep gaining new perspectives & keep challenging my mindset to stretch & mold to new ways of thinking.

And dear readers, I think this all comes back to my passion: travel.

Travel will put me in these soul-shaping situations I have so desperately been craving.

In 2016 I will have the opportunity to travel to roughly six new international cities. 

In February I will head to Asia with my Grampy, in April I will head to The Netherlands & Scandinavia to visit Gillian & in the fall I will head with my family to Europe.

While seeing new places is exciting as a tourist, I am going to try my best to keep in mind my resolution & be open to any new global perspective or lifestyle these travels may bring. 

& You know I will be writing about it every step of the way!

Cheers to 2016 & cheers to a new year of exciting experiences! I hope you are all blessed with nothing but happiness, good health & new adventure!

JG 🙂

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The Highest Peak of the Roller Coaster

13 Oct

Sorry, I’ve been M.I.A. yet again, dear readers. I’d like to say I have some amazing excuse. That something like new jobs, new adventures, or new experiences have been keeping me from writing in this blog to you. However, that is just a boldfaced lie.

Since I wrote to you last I haven’t been country-hopping & exploring like my old life in Prague. I have been sitting on the couch mostly (remember when I told you all about that awful dog bite? Yeah, that’s not completely healed yet). However, an exciting breakthrough came about two weeks ago: I began walking & exercising again!

I vowed at the end of summer to get my life back together with exercise & healthy eating & now that I am mobile again it’s time to get back to work! I have since taken up a new interest in stir frying every veggie I can get my hands on, & I regularly take 8-9mile walks surrounded by picturesque fall landscape, on top of going to the gym. I think this is exciting, the rest of the world–not so much.

yum

(Sorry, but do you think someone with a 9-5 could just WHIP UP a chicken veggie stir fry over musroom sage quinoa?! No.)

It’s actually cringe-worthy to run into an old family friend or acquaintance, because you know what people ask you at this age:

Them: “So what are you doing these days?”

Hint: they’re not asking me about my new-found love for sweet peppers or how I burned over 500 calories on a walk that day…

Me: “Um, nothing right now.”

Do you know how pathetic I feel having these conversations? Because then their face falls, secretly wondering if I developed an awful crack habit since they saw me last which would prevent even The Olive Garden from hiring me, so I fill in words..

Me: “But yeah…I was injured for a while…and I’m really applying to a few places…”

They then give a thin smile & the conversation is over. But it IS true. What job gives you 2 weeks off for surgery, 2 overnights in the ER & then 2 days off each week afterwards to visit a ‘wound surgeon’. Yeah, maybe not having a job then was best. But now I’m through.

have a really great amazing job potentially lined up. However, what I found out with my luck–sometimes things really are too good to be true. But as of right now, I made it to the second interview (which I didn’t even knew existed?) & will find out the end of this week (hopefully) if I got the job.

Also happening the end of this week? Filip visits USA!

filip

After over 4 LONG months apart, my favorite Czech is coming to spend 3 whole weeks with me ❤ In the meantime, I am freaking out about the job, trying to find a potential apartment IF I get the job, & plans for Filip’s visit around the fact that I might have to work 9-5 while he’s here. Talk about stress.

Because I am a visual person & writer, I can only think of one scenario right now to explain my current state. I am on a roller coaster, sitting in the very front seat. I am all strapped in, eager for the ride of my life. The car (& dog bite wound) has been cleared & it slowly begins to move forward. Then it moves up & up & up. Slowly, but steadily, it keeps getting higher & higher. I am nervous of course, but at that moment realize I cannot turn back now. So we keep ascending. Roller coaster tracks snake all around below, a lot of loops, turns & twists lie ahead of me on this ride. But I’m excited, I love the rush. Finally, I am at the top of the highest peak, that first initial drop that gives the ride enough momentum to continue. I can hear the click, click, click, underneath me & can see everything exciting that awaits below. The ride pauses for a moment…

roller

And I am waiting there. After a month & a half of doctors visits, pain, cancelled plans, living at home, limping & just being miserable–I am just waiting for the ride of my life to start. I don’t know where it will go, or what will happen–I just know that I am a thrill seeker & I am ready for the next great adventure of my life to begin!

…And you BETTER BELIEVE I am taking you all with me!

-JG 🙂

Starting A New Chapter

21 Aug

So once again, dear readers, I am going to get very real with you. I am going to discuss my deepest darkest insecurity that I have had for just about as long as I can remember–my weight. 

Since I was a little girl I have always felt awful about my body. I compared myself to everyone around me, got used to being the biggest one in my friends group, had to negotiate my love for certain fashion styles because they did not flatter me, & have just had a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. 

All my school years I played sports & in college would even run a different 5k race each semester just for fun. But those cruel voices inside my head never went away no matter how fit I was. I just never felt ‘skinny’ & truly believed this was the puzzle piece missing in my pursuit of complete happiness. I thought that when I was skinny all those voices would go away & my life would finally be fulfilled. 

Looking back on old pictures from high school when I was on the cross country running team, when I was running upwards of 5 miles a day & was a significantly lighter weight I thought, ‘Wow I looked good.” But then I remembered, back then I was also not happy. I still considered myself ‘fat’ & was miserable. 

So I shifted my goal from being skinny to instead being fit. I wanted to climb stairs with ease, carry heavy boxes without breaking a sweat & fuel my body with nutrients that were good for it. 

After studying abroad in Paris in Spring 2012, I came back to USA significantly heavier. I had enjoyed my time abroad, feasting on carbs, wine & cheese. I do not regret it, but when I came home it was time to get back in shape.

I got a personal trainer, Laurie, who changed my life. She was the first person to admire the abilities of my body & praised me for being one of her most dedicated clients. I needed to hear that. I needed to be pushed in the right direction, be held accountable with my daily food journal, & weekly Weigh-In-Wednesday. Eventually after almost 6 months of hard work, I lost all the weight I had gained in Paris & gained so much muscle as well as a newfound confidence.

However, everything was put to the test when I went to Prague. I found a gym & for a while was dedicated about going. I would try to eat as healthy as I could, but let me tell you, the Czechs are not the biggest on healthy cuisine. Luckily I was walking a ton so for a while my weight remained the same.

But then I met Filip.

They say everyone gains weight when they fall in love. & I totally did. You are just so happy. You go out to eat a ton, & become lazy with routine. Filip is blessed with being a naturally skinny boy, so he could afford to eat pizza & chocolate, but my genetics could not be any further from that.

I felt myself losing focus on my goals because I had someone who loved me so much the way that I was. I do credit Filip for being the first boy to ever make me love myself more, however, there needs to be a balance. And as much as I hate to admit it–there was none. 

I forgot everything I had learned from my sessions with Laurie & soon the weight began to pile back on.

I was lazy, gluttonous & worse of all, completely unaccountable. And it lead me into a tailspin. After arriving home, I no longer had anyone making me feel comfortable in my skin so I caved & welcomed those vicious voices of hate back into my life.

I would feel depressed going almost anywhere. Shopping became something I dreaded instead of looked forward to because sizes were all too small on me. I didn’t want to go to pools or beaches because of how repulsive my body felt. I didn’t want to go to family gatherings or see people I hadn’t seen in a while because I felt like my weight gain would be the first thing they noticed. 

These feelings, instead of turning them into motivation as I had previously done, became destructive & I turned to food. It was a lose-lose situation. 

Since June I have felt like a different person. I feel tired & lethargic. I feel bloated & gross. I feel like I am in a completely different skin & I hate it. I don’t want to do anything. I have been skipping gym days left & right & splurging way more than I ever have. 

I have absolutely no inspiration, motivation or determination. I am the heaviest I have ever weighed in my life. I am at rock bottom. 

But then, when I had completely lost hope, fate stepped in.

Last week I got a text that my personal trainer, Laurie, would be visiting Roger Williams University with her daughter for a campus tour. I met with her briefly afterwards & she told me to give her a call if I ever needed her. Then, as if she sensed it, my mom randomly said I could start doing training sessions again.

Now I have an appointment to meet with Laurie for the first time in over a year to get my ass completely kicked. & I can’t wait. She brings out the best in me. She believes in me when no one else does, when I don’t even believe in myself. She is the light of hope at the end of the tunnel. And I need her right now. She is saving my life. 

Today I weighed myself in the gym locker room at RWU & needless to say the number was bigger than I expected. Every inch of me wanted to run away, lock myself in my room, sob & stuff my face with food. 

But I just can’t be that Jessi anymore. 

I can’t keep surrendering in such an unhealthy way & making the problem worse. I am losing all the muscle I worked so hard for, throwing away clothes I used to love that are now too tight, & avoiding every mirror I see–& I am just sick of it. 

I am too young to be living such a destructive lifestyle. So it is time for a lifestyle change. It is time to be accountable again. Time to stop making excuses, caving into cravings, skipping workouts & hiding behind the shadow of the person I used to be. More than that, I just want to be confident in my skin again instead of so, so sad. 

The reason I am writing this here is to kickstart this process. It is not to get attention, whine to you or to make you feel sorry for me. It is to keep me accountable & take you on this journey with me. Now I have to stick to my word or it would be pretty embarrassing if I posted this to all these readers without making a change! 

I also want to point out that you can do this too, dear readers! Whether it is a fitness goal to lose 5 or 50lbs, we can do it together! Give me some tips & pointers, tell me about YOUR stories in the comments! Or just some words of encouragement would be much appreciated! I will do the same. 

It’s not going to be easy, but if it was we wouldn’t appreciate the achievement as much. 

No matter how low you feel, how sad, how hopeless you think a situation is–It is never too late to start a new chapter in your life. 

Now let’s get to work!

JG 🙂 

Why I Don’t Want A Thigh Gap

2 Feb

So now my blog will once again get a little personal: brace yourself.

As I previously stated, living in Europe for six months has certainly changed me.

1) I am more independent. Previously living in a world where Mama G was only a phone call away to deal with scary things like banks, student loans & doctors–I am now able to navigate all 3 by myself.

2) I am more relaxed. Deadlines? Stressful. Driving? Panic attack. No food, no money & literally living month to month? Somehow not that scary anymore. Since moving to Prague my problems have seemed to multiple, but the way I handle them has drastically changed. I am now a firm believer in: everything will work itself out eventually, there’s no need to worry.

3) I am more self confident. Yes, it’s true. And it took me just up until recently to realize it. Since living in Europe, a land where I am surrounded by skinny people I have never been more secure with my body. 

But let me tell you, for the past 23 years it has never been this way. For as long as I can remember, I have been plagued with crippling body image. It probably began around Kindergarten (sidenote: isn’t that awfulNow that I am around children this age all the time who are epitome of beauty, youth & innocence, I think it would break my heart if one of them thought they were fat at age 5!) But I did. & It only got worse. Years of diets, playing on sport’s teams & comparing myself to literally everyone around me followed. 

Little voices inside my head said the most viscous things to me. & Worst of all was I thought I was actually a pretty alright person. I tried hard in school, had a lot of friends, & lived a good life. So where did these voices come from?! But then I remembered (& can still hear them right now at age 23) what others said to me.

“Jess, put that down, do your thighs really need that?” 

“This is why you don’t have a boyfriend.”

“You look huge in this picture.”

“Looks like you have to go up a size again.”

& my ultimate favorite: “You’re too pretty to be this big.” 

I would like to point out that the definition of obesity is 50lbs over the average weight. I have never been obese. I have been overweight, yes. But I have never been immobile or unathletic in any way. Yet all these things were still said to me. Why?! Out of ‘love’, out of ‘care’, out of cruelty? Regardless the point of these phrases they all achieved some goals: they achieved years of missed pool parties, every shopping trip avoiding dressing rooms, month after month of crying myself to sleep, hundreds of meals sneaked away from the disapproval of others, exercising myself sick for appreciation & a poisonous self loathing that will probably follow me for the rest of my life. 

But lately, that voice really hasn’t been saying much. Instead my inner dialogue has had a more logical approach. “Sure, girl, eat this chocolate but you BETTER do that extra half an hour tomorrow in your workout!” or “You’re not hungry right now, Jess, you’re bored, drink water & go to sleep it’s 11pm.” or the best of all “Whoa! You look great! You feel great! You’re dedicated & healthy!” I have just been so much more positive. Laurie, my personal trainer, still makes me weigh myself weekly which is good. I am happy to say that since living here I have lost weight. & It was all because of the good old fashioned healthy way.

But I have to ask who do we even lose weight forOurselves? Why yes, your heart will certainly thank you for that extra cardio session & slipping on a smaller pant size certainly does give a sense of accomplishment. Our family? Nothing like hearing your uncle who barely speaks say how good you look at Christmas time. Our friends? Gotta love the dynamic shift when you are suddenly a threat & no longer ‘the fat friend’. The opposite sex? It’s amazing who appears out of the woodwork after you shed a few pounds. Our society? You’re skinny now so you must be pretty, right? And desirable? And worthy? Personally, I think it’s a little bit of all these things.

But it shouldn’t have to be. The reason you want to/try to lose weight should only be for one person: yourself. It is your body. The body you will have for the rest of your life. You can try & alter it any way you want–but you can never escape it. Trying to polish, primp, tweeze & stitch it up so it’s pretty enough for the rest of the world means absolutely nothing if you still hate yourself deep down.

Image(Above: Summer ’13 after months of a strict diet & strength training/cardio sessions with my personal trainer. I think I look healthy & I know I was happy. This is my goal & it doesn’t include thigh gap) 

Dear readers, one of the hardest things you will learn in life is to love yourself completely, inside & out. 

& This is why I do not want the coveted thigh gap. Because my body WAS NOT MEANT to have one! I am destined to be curvy, no matter what weight I am. I have wide hips, a booty, but also some pretty solid muscle. It’s genetics. Exercise will not give me a thigh gap & sure, surgery may, but then I just feel like I would look so unnatural. Now, I have nothing against thigh gaps! Some girls have them & because they’re meant to. It’s how their body is built & you can’t hate them for that. Everyone is different.

& Then there some girls who are just taking selfies of themselves leaning forward with their legs apart making you feel bad about yourself. 

Know the difference & be realistic. Then the road to self love will be much shorter than you think. 🙂 

-JG 

The 10 Types of People You’ll See At My Czech Gym

21 Jan

So it’s almost the end of January 2014, &, like any good optimistically ingrained American, I made a resolution for the New Year. I know resolutions can be tricky & hard to follow. So I went the safe & smart route…I made mine super vague. At the beginning of 2013 I made an oath “to find happiness”, & fresh off the plane back from Paris to ring in NYE in my new home, Prague, I’d say that goal was very much achieved. Upon welcoming in January 2014, I realized I was in fact, happy. Mission accomplished. However, now it was time to pinpoint just what exactly I would focus on for the upcoming year. 

I decided that since I found happiness in 2013, then 2014 would be the year that I wanted to find love. But first off, I have some work to do before I can find love with another person– I need to find it with myself. I need to have better confidence & self esteem before I can love & be loved by someone else. So until further notice I’m doin’ me. 

The first step to happiness & self love for me? Getting back in that gym routine! Before moving to Prague I had an extremely strict work out schedule & clean diet. I was going to 6am spin classes, chuggin’ protein shakes & the only girl on the strength training side of the gym. I was BA. My personal trainer, Laurie would kick my butt in workouts & keep me accountable. But I loved it because I realized that I am happiest when I am healthy. 

Upon moving to Prague I realized that I NEEDED a gym. I found one across the street from my TEFL school building in the terrifying looking Hara-Gym. 

ImageImage

(Above: Just the casual friendly looking exterior of my gym in Prague)

I first signed up for a month in August & went daily since it was literally 5 minutes across the street from where I was staying during the course. But then things got tricky when I moved to JZP, a 30 minute commute away. 

Stress from a new job, culture shock & money troubles caused me to put off looking for a new gym during the fall. ‘It’s too expensive…it’s too far away…I don’t have time.’ The excuses came out of my mouth like 85% of my friends throughout my life every time I asked them to come to the gym with me. I was becoming lazy. I was about to fall down that slippery slope that allowed me to gain 20lbs while studying in Paris. 20lbs that took me FOREVER to lose. I could feel myself losing muscle & getting winded. After literally binge eating all through France over the holidays I knew enough was enough.

Like pretty much everyone else on Planet Earth, I began my gym membership January 2nd. Only instead of getting a one month membership, which I had previously done half-heartedly. I saved up for the three month pass. Which is A LOT of money for Prague. But I knew that since I had spent so much of my hard earned ca$h, I would be more motivated to go. I was soon able to figure out a routine. I wake up at 8am, teach, go straight to the gym, eat a healthy lunch, teach, come home to a healthy dinner! I am extremely dedicated & focused now that I have a routine (aka: one of my favorite things in the world).

Since I am now basically a regular at Hara-Gym & got my iPod stolen in November (& someone in customs stole/lost the new iPod Grampy sent to me…) I have a lot of time to just observe what is going on around me. Czech gyms are similar to American ones, but there are some differences. Let me explain a few of the people I see at the gym…

1. The Bro

ImageYes, there are a few bros at my gym. No, they are nothing like the ones at home. They aren’t tan, have no flashy workout gear & don’t spend 3 hours looking at themselves in the mirror. They are much more humble. ‘How are they even bros then?’ you ask? Because they are around my age, completely ripped, always come with their trusty spotting buddies & are just as dedicated as me. That’s my definition of a Czech bro.  

2. The Beginners 

These are the men gasping for breath after one set. I really can’t say anything bad about them, I actually really respect them. Everyone needs to start somewhere. They’re motivated & dedicated…not to mention extremely brave to step foot in this testosterone alpha-male war zone when they are either overweight or underweight. Hang in there, guys! You will definitely see results soon!

Image(Above: Inside my gym. Welcome to testosterone city!)

3. The Body Builders

A level completely above the bros, the body builders at this gym live & breath exercise. They actually bring chicken breast with them to heat up post workout, chug strange green colored liquid all day & oh my god the SOUNDS they emit while they’re working out! Please don’t kill me! I just need the 9kg dumbbells!

4. The Ones Who THINK They’re Hot 

An odd bro/has-been hybrid. Especially at this gym. They may actually have a decent body, but their attitude ruins absolutely everything. When they’re not checking me out…like deliberately making eye contact & making things super awkward…they’re checking themselves out. This is mostly a man about 45ish who spoke to me in Czech once & then about me to the whole gym. “Anglicky…krásný….” Okay so…English…beautiful…hmm, I wonder who you’re talking about? I CAN UNDERSTAND SOME CZECH, CREEP, THANKS.

Image(Above: Děkuji. Děkuji moc)

5. The Ones Who Are Actually Hot

Thank you for making this 45minute session from my elliptical perch so much more bearable 😉

6. The Anti-Deodorant Users

A classic theme of Europe. It’s bad enough that I have your armpit in my face during the morning rush metro commute, but at the gym, you know you are going to sweat, sir. So plan accordingly. Getting a whiff of you from my treadmill around the 2mile marker is enough to almost make my breakfast come up. Stop that.

7. The Chatters/Bench & Machine Hogs

A universal role that always seems to be filled in every single gym around the world. This is a gym, you are here to exercise. Talk somewhere else, I need the bench you have been sitting on for ten minutes while you interchangeably high 5 your friends/flex your tris in the mirror. Ugh, biggest pet peeve! 

Image(Above: Or in my case, any machine…)

8. The Ones Who Try To Talk To Me

5% of the gym population. Sometimes it is in Czech, to which I give my typical “Maybe if I just nod, smile & mumble something under my breath they will go away…?”. Besides two of the super awesome guys who work there who are always really nice to me, only one other gym-goer has ever spoken a word to me in English. One of the #6’s. Who is built like a god. And other guys actually gather around him to watch him work out. Our exchange went like this.

Me: (resting in between sets on the lat pull down machine)

Him: (resting in between squatting like 58483kgs) How’s it going?

Me: What?

Him: How’s it going?

Me: Oh, good…uh, do you like need this machine or something?

Him: No, I just wanted to see how you were doing.

Me: Oh okay…um, how are you doing?

Him: Good.

Me: Cool

He hasn’t spoken to me since. God I am so smooth sometimes!

9. The Ones Who Just Stare At Me

95% of the gym population. Especially when I leave the protective female cocoon of the cardio equipment & bravely enter the weights/machine area. I get to watch myself in the mirror & watch everyone else who is watching me in the mirror. Subtle. 

10. Andddd…The Girls

I think there is roughly 8 females at my gym. Or at least 5 that I have seen more than once. At least I know I will never have to fight for a locker! Some are wives of the body builders who brisk walk on the treadmills gossiping, one is this woman with short hair who I think is on steroids because she sounds like man & one is a girl my age is who is dating one of the employees. She always comes in with a matching track suit & full face of make up & leaves before she sweats any of it off. 

So there you have it! Needless to say, I certainly stand out. Who knew New Year’s Resolutions could be so entertaining! Every day is a new adventure, but I feel like I have found my way into this bizarre little family. I am just simply known as ‘The American’. I have been invited & went to the fall kegger cookout (ONLY A GYM IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC, EVERYBODY) & even the big scary 300lbs of muscle personal trainer says Dobrý den to me when I come in now! 

This is all part of getting healthy & happy so I can achieve my goals & you can totally czech me out 😉

-JG