Gym Rants

We all have our rants about “the gym”.

It’s crowded, smelly, noisy. People don’t share the equipment or don’t put it back when they are done. People don’t wipe down their sweat when they get up from a seat.

I agree with all of that. I’ve ranted a few times myself on this blog.

Last year, because of cutbacks in my expenses, I gave up my membership to a local swank gym and all of the perks and annoyances that come with it, and began using the small gym in my apartment complex because it’s free with my monthly rent.

It’s not been too bad, actually. It has fairly up-to-date equipment, lots of mirrors, functional treadmills, padded floors, and freeweights.

I guess it helps that I know how to properly structure my own workout; this gym doesn’t come with an option to purchase the time of a trainer. It also helps that I don’t mind working out by myself. I actually prefer it.

Today, however, forced me to see the flipside of being alone in a small gym environment.

The problem was: I wasn’t alone today. And it freaked me out a little.

I shared the tiny gym facility today with a rather scary-looking man.

I won’t go into why I felt scared. It could have been that I was truly alone in an enclosed area with him. It could have been his ethnicity. It could have been the way he was dressed; he looked like he had just traveled up from the other side of Austin. It could have been that I was just feeling vulnerable today.

It could have been all of those things.

While I tried not to let it affect my focus on the task at hand, nor the routine I had created in my head, I ultimately found myself doing two things almost immediately.

First, I began reviewing my routine and critiquing it for any sexually connotative activities. I had read a post or article several years ago, written by a man, suggesting that if women are going to come to a gym and do squats and downward dogs dressed in skin tight workout clothes and breathe heavily throughout that they have to be prepared to be lusted after in the mind of some men. OK, most men.

I have since then always taken that to heart. But, in a large gym where lots of people are around, it feels less dangerous. It is easier to blend into the background while doing squat thrusts or leg curling 80 lbs. and breathing like I just had an orgasm.

Today, in a small confined place with a scary looking guy, weighted squats just didn’t seem appropriate.

Second, I was overtly aware of my surroundings. I made sure I knew exactly where he was in the room, even if I couldn’t see him. He was humming to himself (he had earbuds in and was obviously listening to music), which made this task fairly easy.

When I was on the treadmill, with my back to 50% of the room and my peripheral vision only picking up about an additional 10%, I was elated when I realized that the way I had positioned my reflective sunglasses on the tray of the treadmill acted like a truck’s rearview mirror and gave me more than 180 degree view behind my back. No sneaking up could occur. My eyes darted back and forth between the timer on the treadmill and the mirror of my sunglasses.

Once I realized that I could see and could then be prepared for anything, I relaxed. And, the fact that there are cameras in there (but I questioned if they are actually functional) didn’t hurt.

I probably won’t go back to the gym at that same time anymore, just in case he is there. I’m not afraid but I just don’t need a stressed workout experience too often.

I don’t know; but, I think I will re-visit the idea of joining a “real gym”, if only to avoid this experience in the future.

© 2010-2014 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

For The Love Of St. Paul

Today, I have love on my mind. Not because of any one person or thing.

I am exploring only the true nature of love. Not a new pursuit for me; definitely a topic that has been researched, mused and written about since forever.

On my mind today in particular is the difference between loving a person and being in love with that person.

Being “in love” connotates a temporary state of love; moreover, a love of shallow depth but certain potential intensity to it: the way a person makes you feel when you are together. That person can make you laugh when you want to cry, and, conversely, make you scream and yell when you know what you need to do is calm down and breath.

It is an elusive state, transitory depending on the situation, surface level. It is all about how you feel. Hence, it is fleeting and selfish.

To “love” is permanent. Love the makeup of the person: no matter what that person looks like from one day to the next; no matter what mood that person is in today over yesterday, or now over this morning at breakfast. It is a deep, complex connection that cannot be swayed easily by passing emotions or moods.

It is a permanent state of respect, understanding, compassion. Hence, it is selfless, stable, multi-layered, and multi-faceted. Sometimes it is not easy to explain in words.

Of course, St. Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger, neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Need I add more? No.

Next time you are tempted to say “I am in love with…” or “I love…..”, look to aspire to St. Paul’s standards.

Then ask yourself: “Do I really love…or am I in love?”

If you are completely honest with yourself in your answers, the truth about the type of love you feel will be clear.

© 2010-2014 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Thoughts From February

2.15 ~ Peace comes from knowing the difference between what a thing is and what it is not, what a thing can be and what it should be….without limiting hope of what the possibilities of it might be.
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2.22 ~ “Time waits for no one. Everything must change. Stop running to the future. Start living for today.” ~ Time by Ozzy Ozbourne.

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2.23 ~ For all that you can control, pray, plan, then act. For all that you cannot control, just pray like a madwoman for the peace and grace to see it through.

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2.24 ~ “If you can’t get what you love, you learn to love the things you’ve got.” ~ Things That Stop You Dreaming by Passenger.

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2.25 ~ “All you can believe in is now, this moment; because in a blink, everything can change.” ~ quote from Dexter Morgan character, Season 7, Episode 12 of Dexter.

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2.28 ~ “Love yourself, then give away all the love you feel today.” ~ The Psychology of Winning by Dr. Denis Waitley.

© 2010-2014 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Cirque Du Soleil: A Transforming Experience

I am blessed to have some wonderful friends. With those friends, I have experienced over the years many awesome events. Memorable occasions all.

Tonight, I was fortunate to add Cirque du Soleil to that illustrious list of memories. I have wanted to see Cirque du Soleil for many years; somehow, the opportunity never came to fruition. So, when my friend messaged me to ask me if I would be interested in joining him, my answer was an ecstatic “yes”.

In French, cirque du soleil means “circus of the sun”. The concept began in the early 1980s in a village on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River near Quebec City. A theatre troupe, founded by Gilles Ste-Croix, walked on stilts, juggled, danced, breathed fire and played music. These young entertainers, among whom was Cirque du Soleil-founder Guy Laliberté, constantly impressed and intrigued Baie-Saint-Paul’s residents. Ultimately, the talents of this theater group were sought by officials of the Quebec government to entertain the masses during the 450th anniversary celebrations of Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada.

I digress and confess: I did not know any of this before I took my seat in the Cedar Park Center. I had not done my research and only relied on my pre-fab comprehension, gleaned by a multitude of TV and radio commercials seen and heard over the years, of what the Cirque was all about.

I am not sure what I expected. I knew it was colorful and unique. That was about it.

The only concrete concept of the Cirque that I had was a connection to the circus. This could be because of the TV ads; it could be just me. A circus without the clowns; but still popcorn, cotton candy, and beer.

What greeted me when we took our seats was so much more amazing.

My first challenge, however, was to detect the story line behind the production. My friend had casually mentioned that there is supposed to be a story line behind each production but that it has mostly eluded him the many times that he has seen it on stage.

By intermission, I had determined that the story line was a typical tale of adventure, if not a love story by the end. The production of Cirque du Soleil that we saw was called Varekai.

With that challenge behind me, my attention wandered and focused on other extraordinary qualities:

  • the production deftly combines the visual and auditory beauty and vibrance of theater and opera, with the thrill of a circus, the mystique of the ballet, and the light-heartedness of a comedy routine. All on one stage; something to please everyone.
  • the incredible acrobatic feats of the performers are unlike anything I have ever seen before. Twisting, turning, jumping, flying, fluid, floating, stirring.
  • the rainbow of colors, not only in the costumes but in the stage settings, add intensity, electricity, anticipation, playfulness to the mood of the entertainment.
  • the music is mesmerizing, tribal, exhilarating. I wondered if Cirque du Soleil has produced their own musical collections. Of course, you know that I googled the minute I got home. And, of course they have, for every production. Check out and buy (like I did!) Varekai on Amazon or search it on Spotify.

All said, if you like theater, opera, musicals, dance, or just thrilling and unique entertainment, take the opportunity to see any production of Cirque du Soleil. It could open your eyes and transform your perspective, just like it did to me.

© 2010-2014 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.