Ryan Alexander-Tanner

SO I'VE FINALLY started going to the gym. Well, that's not true, I've always kind of gone to the gym. In the way where you go three to four times a week and you buy a menagerie of superfoods and you meander through the juicers at the store and wonder aloud how one could possibly be five times as expensive as the others, and then you eat a sandwich so good that you stop going to the gym for a few months and then you start up the cycle again.

Now, though, I'm serious. I've got a personal trainer. I've talked to a nutritionist. I'm in it, and this shit is kind of weird. Personal trainers are interesting people. You know, I grew up one of Beaverton, Oregon's greatest (syke!) high school football players (true)—so I've spent time in gyms, but never with a personal trainer. I always just saw them off in the distance, being too muscular for their own good. You know the type I'm typing about—their muscles seem to be fucking up their lives, like they're TOO buff (I tell myself.) They walk around all deliberately with their arms cocked up like they're covered in sleeping bees and they're trying not to wake them. They're severely stoked and positive about the mundane. Personal trainers are part of a ludicrous juxtaposition, standing there like a big doofus potential-energy-and-meat salad while some old woman in khaki pants attempts to use a shoulder press for the first time in her 80 years on the planet. I know personal trainers help people work out, but they always make people seem less fit by providing an instant comparison for JUST HOW OUT OF SHAPE the people they're training really are. Now I'm that person they're training, and I can report they also make you appear out of shape in person, not just from across the room, but it's slowly getting better.

The nutritionist has been even more helpful, perhaps, than the personal trainer. I learned one clutch thing right off the bat from the nutritionist: A taco salad is not a salad at all. It's simply a gigantic taco. That's the kind of evil-ass information you can't unlearn. They just put "salad" in the name and we're all supposed to act like it's healthy, but naw. Another thing I learned is that an ice cream salad isn't even a real thing. It's just something I made up. I'm the only one who thinks it's a real thing (it's a bunch of green gummy bears in a big bowl of vanilla ice cream, by the way). The point of all this is, it's been a few months and it's been worth it. Paying someone to hold me accountable is actually working. If you're thinking about doing it, FUCKING DO IT. You can't keep circling the juicers forever.