Out There: Gym Envy

Illustration: N.C. Winters

My gym is popular with trophy wives. I am not one of them.

“What in the world are you wearing?” My partner, Neil, cocked his head and raised an eyebrow. I had just emerged from the locker room at our local gym, eager to start a day of cross-training with the man I love.

“A swimsuit, duh.” I rolled my eyes and wound my hair into my neon pink swim cap.

“I see that. Why is there a picture of a cookie on your chest?”

“Because I like cookies. Also, because the back of the suit wouldn’t make sense without it.” I turned around, revealing the words BITE ME on my rear end.

“Jeez, Susan,” Neil shook his head, “I can’t take you anywhere.”

As he swam off, I looked around the pool area. To my right, there were two buxom beauties doing water aerobics. To the left, a gaggle of debutantes were giggling as they entered the sauna.

My gym is popular with trophy wives. I am not one of them.

After chasing Neil through our swim set, we moved upstairs to the row of treadmills. Across the aisle, several elliptical machines were occupied by cookie-cutter blondes, each one dabbing a lightly glistening brow. I started my treadmill and with it, my red cheeks and profuse sweating. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Neil looking at the elliptical girls. In my head, I began plotting how I’d make his death look like an accident.

As we moved to the weights, the elliptical girls followed us. They chatted and fixed their hair between arm curls in front of the mirror. I seethed in the background, taking a mental inventory of what they had that I didn’t. A good plastic surgeon, for one.

“HEY!” Neil yelled. I snapped out of my spiteful stare with barely enough time to catch a 20-pound medicine ball he thrusted to my chest.

“Ooof! Ouch! My boobs!”

Neil closed his eyes and shook his head, exasperated. “Well, pay attention!”

As I emptied my locker post-workout, I wondered if Neil wished he had a trophy wife instead of…well, me. I was a lucky girl—he certainly could do better than me.

I sighed dejectedly as I walked out to meet my (much) better half. Freshly showered and shaved, he looked fantastic. Behind him, I could see a few women checking him out. As we walked out to the parking lot, he wrapped his arm around my waist.

“I like working out with you,” he said as he kissed the top of my head.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I’m glad I have a real woman and not one of those bimbos in there. You give 100 percent in everything you do,” Neil pulled me closer. “That’s hot.”

I melted into his shoulder as I squeezed him tightly. I was a lucky girl, indeed. “Hey, stud…what do you say we stop at the store and get some ice cream?”

“Yes! We’ve earned a treat today!”

“Actually,” I demurred, “I just want to hug the container. My boobs hurt from the medicine ball.”

As I looked up, I could see him shake his head. This time, though, he was smiling.

This column first appeared in the March 2013 issue of Competitor magazine. 

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About The Author:

Susan Lacke does 5Ks, Ironman Triathlons, and everything in between to justify her love for cupcakes (yes, she eats that many). In addition to writing for Competitor, she serves as Resident Triathlete for No Meat Athlete, a website dedicated to vegetarian endurance athletes. Susan lives and trains in Phoenix, Arizona with three animals: A labrador, a cattle dog, and a freakishly tall triathlete boyfriend. She claims to be of sound mind, though this has yet to be substantiated by a medical expert. Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLacke

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