I am a creature of habit, and I know it. I just proved it to myself yet again.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase “A place for everything and everything in its place.” I live it. It brings me comfort. Things belong somewhere, and then I know where they are. I don’t have to search endlessly for them, trying to figure out what I did with my keys or my shoes or that homework paper Mister Man needs to turn in.
I get so good at it that sometimes I don’t even realize I’ve done it. I’ll freak out because I can’t find my phone and call it, only to discover that I put it in my purse where it belongs. It’s so instinctive that I don’t even notice myself doing it.
So back to my proof.
Earlier this week – Wednesday, in fact – I went to the gym to run. I had two and a half hours to get to the gym, run, pretty myself up, and get to Mister Man’s kindergarten graduation (don’t get me started). The timing worked out beautifully, and I was happy.
When I arrived at the gym, I dropped Little Miss off at the kids’ area and headed to the locker room. I grabbed my running skirt, my shirt, the freshly charged iPod and… no running shoes. Wait. What? Where are my running shoes?
Let me back up a moment for you. When I run, I generally run on the treadmill at the gym. Being a non-sweating person (yep, that’s me and it’s no fun), I do well running where it isn’t too hot and where I have a ready access to water. Thus, treadmill. However, on Monday I was scheduled to run but didn’t have time until around 7:30 at night. Rather than drive the twenty minutes to the gym, I decided to run in my neighborhood since it had cooled into the low sixties.
Annnnnd when I took my shoes off in the family room when I got home, I left them sitting there. And because I wasn’t in the habit of having to put them back into my gym bag, I didn’t.
Back to the gym on Wednesday… I glanced down at the heeled black shoes I was planning to wear to Mister Man’s graduation, and I debated whether I could pull off heading up to the floor anyway. Mmm no, no, I really can’t. Instead I took a shower and spent a little extra time getting ready.
That night, I ran again at home, since June in Chicago is fortunately long sleeve weather half the time. At the end of my run, I carefully put my heart monitor and its accoutrements into one running shoe. My iPod and socks went into the other. I was not going to forget anything. In fact, I even remembered to put my running clothes into the wash since they ummm needed to be washed.
Yesterday, I returned to the gym, so proud of myself that I remembered to repack everything. I opened up my gym back and removed my heart rate monitor and my iPod. I grabbed my running shoes and… ummm where are my running clothes?
My mind raced back to my house where I could picture my clothes still hanging on the drying racks from where I’d done laundry the night before. Because, you know, I’m not in the habit of having to repack my running gear specifically.
I was absolutely not going to not get in another workout because I’d forgotten something. Again. And last night I didn’t have the opportunity to run at home later in the day – I had a murder mystery party to get to (and oh, do I make a good saloon girl!). I surveyed my bag – as a Girl Scout, I always have something else packed. I had a pair of yoga pants and two sports br@s.
I sighed and debated whether I was truly desperate enough to wear this ensemble. I thought briefly and then realized that 1pm in a gym is a fairly empty time, which would work to my benefit. And that the fact that I don’t know anyone at my gym actually worked to my advantage for once in my life.
Begrudgingly, I pulled on the yoga pants that are designed to have a) a perfect yogi body or b) a long shirt covering through the hip area. I had neither, but that was my own fault. I closed my eyes and pulled on the two sports br@s. And I felt n@ked.
I pulled the pants up until Erkle would have been proud. I pulled the sports br@s down until I had only a couple inches of exposed abdomen. I debated with myself again whether or not I was up to this. And I reminded myself yet again why I do not wear a bikini and probably never will.
But I did good. I sucked in my gut and walked up the stairs to the gym floor, and I did my workout. After the first five minutes, I wasn’t constantly conscious of my lack of a running shirt; it only hit me every three or four minutes that I was soooooo exposed.
I concluded my workout in my creature of habit ways and left the gym in the same way I do every day. Shower, moisturizer, pants on, shirt on, return the towels, hair dried, makeup on, shoes on… just like I do every time I go to the gym.
Because I am a creature of habit. And I need it that way.
Oh, and my running clothes? They’re currently sitting on the couch next to me. I put away all the laundry today, but my gym bag is in my car. Ten to one I forget to put them in my gym bag for tomorrow. On second thought, maybe I should go put them in my car now.