Exploring the unknown: Divas at the gym

Cartoon Credit: Georgia Henderson | The Los Angeles Loyolan

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan and co-written with Design Director Tyler Barnett. For original, please refer to: Exploring the unknown: Divas in training – The Los Angeles Loyolan.

It takes a brave pair of editors to take the TurboKick class at the Burns Recreation Center after not working out for years. We are not brave editors. We took one look at the class through the window and ran. But fitness is still important, we decided, so we hopped on a cycling machine and tried to work out. This is what we talked about in the process.

Kevin O’Keeffe (KO): Do you feel like the gym is a welcoming environment if you haven’t been working out in a while?

Tyler Barnett (TB): I think so. I’m not uncomfortable.

KO: I think now that there’s not a lot of people, I feel more comfortable. But I feel like if it was really packed in here–

TB: You’d feel less comfortable?

KO: Well, because I don’t really know what I’m doing. I know LMU offers the personal trainers, but I wish they had–

TB: A gym attendant?

KO: How-to instructions, at least. I can use the cardio machines because they’re so self-explanatory, but if you give me the weights? Nope.

TB: This workout is starting to burn.

KO: Yours is intense! What heart rate are you going for?

TB: I didn’t set one.

KO: No, I just mean generally, do you know what heart rate is good? I feel like that’s what a gym attendant would be good for.

TB: Right. “Excuse me, but am I gonna die if I keep doing this at this rate?”

KO: But that’s such a diva question. “Could we get a gym attendant in here?”

TB: “Do you have any SmartWater?”

After approximately 10 minutes on the cycles, we were already bored. We moved to another cardio machine, where Tyler confessed she was inspired to work out more.

TB: Seeing people I know, I’m like, “Well, what’s my excuse?” They’re up in here, working out, caring about themselves. Not that I don’t care, but I just always say I don’t have time.

KO: That’s my excuse, too, and I’m thinking about my week, about when I would come. I think the hardest thing is that there’s not one particular time I would come regularly. I could probably find little spots of time here and there, but I feel like one of the big parts of the gym is that you’ve got to make it routine.

TB: Yeah, once a week is progress, but I feel like at least two or three would make sense.

KO: What does it say that the people on TV are doing more athletic activity than we are?

TB: A lot. Where is this?

KO: Glendora. Oh, it’s a flash mob! Would you ever do a flash mob?

TB: We were trying to do one in high school. I don’t know. I feel like those are out.

After less than half an hour of mildly half-hearted cardio, we left, pledging to come back more prepared next time – even if we’ve never quite been able to make the commitment in the past.

KO: I have never seen fitness as required. I’ve seen it as nice, but not necessary. And as I’ve grown older, it’s become more necessary to be fit.

TB: I’m a really healthy eater, so if I don’t work out, I’m not gonna have high cholesterol or whatever. But it would be nice to be a fit person, and to prove to myself that I can do it and can keep with it.

KO: The whole theme of it is that it’s personal pride. If you’re looking at the fit student body and constantly compare yourselves to those people, it’s not really healthy.

TB: It’s not, because you’re not working out for yourself. You’re working out for others.

KO: And the best habits are self-motivated.

TB: Absolutely. Because you don’t know that person. They can come from a family of athletes. So you can’t compare yourselves to them. It has to come from yourself. And for me, I want Kelly Rowland legs.

KO: And I want a Beyoncé body.


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