On Going to the Gym, or Pretending to do so, Just for the Purpose of Tanning

So, I have a confession to make.

I am one of those bad people who enjoys and worships the sun.  I am too old and too wise and too fair to still be in this group of people, but, oh well.  It’s my bed/grave, you’ll have to deal with it.
When I am unable to directly worship the sun (wintertime, par exemple), and sometimes, even when I’m able, I use alternative methods, and by that I mean, tanning salons/tanning booths. 

I won’t go into the spiel on how going to a tanning salon is like my private zen time, or how I can forego the use of most makeup because my skin is glowing (so what if it’s because I’m irradiating unnaturally?), or how I just feel “prettier” when I’ve got a bit of color.
Tanning, of any sort, is very bad.
Don’t do it, kids.

Anyway, I like it, however bad it is, and I try to keep it minimal.
I happen to belong to a gym in which my elite membership allows me to enjoy unlimited tanning services along with the usage of the gym equipment and facilities.
I have to admit, that the only motivation I have for actually working out, most times, is knowing that I can go tanning afterwards.  So you see, tanning may have its healthful benefits after all.  Right.

There is a problem, however, which can happen at any time, but generally is more likely to pass when the weather starts getting nice and/or when I have been completely neglecting my gym attendance for weeks/months at a time.


I am feeling that I need to get a little color.  I haven’t been to the gym in months.  The sun is shining outside.

Now.  I could just take a long and invigorating walk in the neighborhood, thereby getting my required daily exercise AND a dose of the real sun.  The problem there is that I don’t want a farmer’s tan (I can’t find my bag of shorts, and anyway, my legs are too white), and I don’t want the possiblity of having to be social or friendly with someone in the neighborhood (which also means I’d have to look somewhat presentable and wear a small amount of makeup, so as not to frighten them). 

I could just hang around in my backyard or driveway, but the yard is directly facing the street, and there is no fence.  And, uh, no lounge chairs.  So, I’m going to look pretty moronic just standing there in the middle of the yard, doing nothing but holding my arms out and staring slack-jawed at the sun in a slight state of undress.  I suppose that I could sit in a chair and read a book, but again, keeping up appearances and all that.  A lone book-reading gal sitting on a chair in the middle of a sunny yard is a little off.  Not to mention that I would still have to do an extensive search for my bag of shorts.

Of course, I COULD just go to the gym, sign up for my faux sun session, and that’s that.  I’m paying for it, what do I care, right?

Oh, wrong, wrong, wrong, my friends.

First off, if I go in solely for tanning, the evil and appropriately tanned/trim Young People at the front desk will know that I’ve willingly foregone an actual gym activity related to working out.  The following will run through their minds:

-Why the hell is this lady coming in here for tanning when it’s sunny and 80 degrees out?  Who does that?
-I think this lady should be more concerned about actually doing some exercise than about damaging her skin, which probably doesn’t have much left to it, seeing as how she must be like, over 60.  (I’m not, but these are The Young People, and anything over 25 is likely old to them)
-Well, maybe she doesn’t have the time to work out and will come in later, after returning from her successful career of writing nonsense blog posts

So, in the unlikely event that they all thought the third thought, there is then the dilemma of what to wear when going to a sun session that happens to be located only 20 feet from equipment that I should be using.

What exactly should I be wearing to said sun session?

-If I wear workout clothes, we all know that it’s just a ruse to get people to believe that I’m actually preparing for real gym activity, when in fact, I am not.  No one is going to fall for that.
-If I wear street clothes, it will be obvious that I never intended to work out, at all, and am only there for the use of the fake sun facilities.  Everyone there knows that it has been exactly 48 days since my last gym attendance, who’s kidding who, here?
-If I wear ‘professional’ clothes, it could be supposed that I have just popped in after work or on my lunch hour, and, since I obviously didn’t head for the locker room with a change of clothes, will likely come in later for the actual workout.

The problem with that last one is, I am not actually working anywhere, professional or not, and it would be absolutely ridiculous to drag work clothes out and put them on just to make am impression on the Evil Young Desk People or the one person who may be able to see me scurrying into the fake sun room.
That would be a double ruse, and even I won’t go for that.

I suppose I could create a t-shirt that reads: I’M JUST HERE FOR THE TANNING, and avoid all of the funny business ahead of time.  Maybe there’s a market for that.

Until then, the answer is to wear workout clothes, sign up for the tanning, and then actually get on the godforsaken treadmill for at least 20 minutes.  Provided that it’s not too crowded in the treadmill room and I can find one that has a working fan and that it’s not located next to anyone male or female and my mp3 is sufficently charged and I don’t trip ascending the stairs, etc.
(And yes, it has to be at least 20 minutes, because anything less than that is obviously just a ruse to get people to believe that I’m there for a workout and not just there to pass time in order to get to the tanning booth without looking like a lazy slob.  An Old Lazy Slob, with 60 year old Bad Skin.)

So, there it is.  Now you all know of my seedy and corrupt intentions behind “going to the gym.”
If you hear me say that I am, don’t be overly impressed.  I do ask, however, that you appreciate all of the intense thought processes that accompany my journey there.  That qualifies as a sort of workout in itself.

Bonus Ending Added Here to Make Me Seem Somewhat Less Lazy:  Just so you know, I have never gone to the gym and skipped the workout part of it.  I have even stretched the workout well past the 20 minute minimum.  I won’t tell you that generally it is because the tanning booth I am seeking has no open time slots; it’s because I am basking in the glory of a vigorous and joyful workout.  Yes.

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