Monday, April 11, 2011

The Pace Estate. And Pet Peeves.

My day started off as such: 6:30am, roll out of bed, make a delicious breakfast using my recently purchased local eggs and goat cheese (along with some other ingredients), get ready for class, head out the door. I was in a mission this morning--to get my lab report done without taking forever! Surprisingly, it only took about an hour, if that--yay, productivity!

Playing dead. Keyword: playing.
Today could be considered one of those days where you think everything is going to go wrong, but it actually turns out okay. It all started when I was walking down my street toward campus grounds and I caught something out of the corner of my eye. There was a squirrel lying in the street--it twitched and then ceased moving. Being the UVa student that I am, I figured that it was playing dead (the squirrels tend to do that around here--seriously!). But as I passed by, I saw that it was lying there, a victim of squirrel homicide (by a car I'm sure). It looked fine, there was just a little bit know. I can't say I've ever had that experience before--I saw a squirrel take its last breath. Thinking about it again makes me feel...odd. I can't really explain it; I'm no PETA activist or anything, but the image was stuck in my head for the duration of my walk to the library. It's a sad thing, as pesky as the squirrels around here are, and I know that it's just going along with Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest, but did I really have to witness this? Sigh. RIP Monsieur Squirrel.

A view up the tower from below. Scary!
The only thing that could make my day better was coffee, but oh, wait--I left my wallet at home and I'm limiting my coffee intake. Eh, I'm $2.02 richer than I would be had I bought some, especially when I had enough for another cup sitting in my coffee maker back home. It was for the better. Now, in case you weren't aware, field trips aren't just for K-12 grades apparently. My Atmosphere & Weather lab had a field trip to the Pace Estate (basically some guy donated part of his land to the Environmental Sciences department and we use it at least once for every core lab). There's a pretty tall meteorological tower, 40m high and not very wide. This is probably a good time to mention that I'm slightly afraid of heights or ladders(?). Back in elementary school, we took a few field trips to lighthouses, and I was only able to go up the stairs, but by the time we got to the ladder to get a few feet higher to the top, my nerves got the best of me and I had to be escorted down. Sad, I know. So today, I was definitely not seriously contemplating climbing this Tinker Toy-esque foundation to get the experience. I was pretty much gung-ho about not going. I went. 20 flights of "stairs" later, with the wind blowing and swaying the darn thing, and I was at the top. Despite the surprisingly powerful wind, it wasn't so bad. Nice view for sure--unfortunately my phone was in the van so I couldn't take a picture. And at the least, I can cross it off my bucket list. It's no lighthouse, but it was probably less safe than one of those anyway.

Its about time--
bread with reduced sodium!
The wind at the Pace Estate bears no resemblance to the weather we had today--it was mid-80s and sunny. So. Nice. Too bad I was in class from 12-5. And by the time I was out and done grocery shopping, it was time for the gym. And now it's dark. Well, luckily it's only the beginning of Spring and that means more sunny days to come!

Speaking of sunny, normally I'm pretty happy when I'm at the gym--I do my own thing, I push myself and I find my groove. But I have those things that completely irk me. I know I've done a post on this before, but I didn't really get into what I'm about to mention now (or at least not as in depth as I'd hoped).  My number one pet peeve at the gym is those intensely creepy guys! You know, the ones that stare hardcore, or better yet, the ones that you catch sneaking glances at you. And you know they want you to see them! I feel like I'm a piece of meat when I'm in there! Honestly, do I need a sign on my ass (because we all know they're not looking at my flat chest) that says "Not interested"??? I go to the gym for one main reason, and that is to get my workout in. Unless you're my friend or someone friendly (this only refers to dudes), I am not interested in talking to you. Period. Yes, that may make me a bit of a workout b*tch, but it is what it is, and you're obviously messing up my concentration. Because now all I can think about is how creepy you are and how quickly I want to move on to my next exercise or another area of the gym.

Today in particular this was a bit of a problem. At first when I got to the gym, the treadmills I use were all full with the exception of the one with the TV attached. I was wearing my Vibrams, so I decided to suck it up and use it rather than change my shoes so I don't have the annoying sound of my feet striking the treadmill. Eventually, the treadmills to my side opened up as well as the entire row of treadmills in front of me. Creepy guy #1 decides that, of all the treadmills, he MUST get on the one directly to my left. Really? Really?! Not only that, but he was practically running sideways looking at me, my speed, etc. Just stop, please! A. Yes, I'm running faster than you--it's called intervals. B. I know my ass looks good--it's not something I intended on, but that's what I like to call genetics. And I'm wearing compression shorts for goodness sake. C. I have no desire to talk to you, I obviously have my headphones in, I obviously am in the middle of my workout, and yes, I did just scowl at you. Creepy guy #1, I know that when you get off the treadmill after less than 3 minutes of walking, despite your efforts to run, the only reason you got on was to check me out. I'm on to you. Stop it. Or b*tchy gym Liz will be unleashed. (Not really, I'm pretty non-confrontational).

Enter Creepy guy #2, who is also a culprit of my second biggest pet peeve, walking toward the weight rack, and instead of grabbing weights and moving out of the way, standing right there between me and the mirror when I was obviously there first and am obviously using the mirror to concentrate on my form. So of course Creepy guy #2 does this right in front of where Kevin and I are working out. The funny part is, he's pretty much just swinging 15-lb dumbbells! No controlled motion and I'm positive they are too light for him. Then, when Kevin walks away, he makes a point to tell me, "You work out hard." Congratulations, it took a genius to figure that one out, buddy. Normally, I'd take any compliment I can get, but you, sir, are just creepy. I can read your mind. Also, see ABCs from above, but this time replace A with: Yes, I'm a girl lifting weights, and yes, I'm using 30-lb dumbbells. In case you were wondering, that IS twice as much as you're using. And yes, as you obviously realize, I am a girl. Exit Creepy guy #2.

Sorry to make you sit through my rant. To my fellow bloggers: I've read some of your posts, and I know you all have mentioned being the receiver of the evil eye or a judgmental stare by female gym-goers, but what do you do when the person staring is male? How do you get rid of the unwanted, disturbing attention? It's not like I'm going to hide my body any more than I already do. I work hard for what I do have! 

I leave you with a couple pics of Archie last night, during his post-run doze. Caught him mid-yawn!


  1. Your dog is so cute!

    I don't have too many problems with the guys in the gym. Could be that I work out at 5am or that my husband works at the gym...or possibly the big FU I wear stamped across my forehead (I can lay it on thicker when I need to-my face is very expressionate). I've only had it happen once... he kept looking at me and grunting loudly, then he'd look again to see if I was looking. It was actually quite humerous because he looked like a complete idiot!

    And kudos for conquering your fear and climbing the tower.

  2. I just read my hubby's blog today and I think you were part of the inspiration, so I thought I'd share. :D I told him about this post, but I also got a request (to set up a routine) from a friend who is not comfortable going into the weight room just yet. Either is his blog for today: The post is called "I own the weightroom!"

  3. Thanks--Archie desperately needs a haircut--he's a ball of fur currently! I just read your husbands blog too--glad I could inspire a fellow blogger :) I may have laughed out loud when I was reading it. Unwanted attention really seems to be a common occurrence in the gyms these days. Don't people ever go to the gym to genuinely workout anymore?!

  4. Seriously, people don't go to the gym to workout anymore! There are all these new people at my gym, a bunch of older ladies who know eachother and they just talk and talk and talk. Loud. Seriously? Go home and chit chat! I was so annoyed today because one of these new girls comes in and gets on the bike, for 20 minutes, as slow as humanly possible. Then takes up the bathroom/shower (while the other one is in use) so I have to wait. A. You're messing up my morning routine here, and B. You didn't even sweat, is there really a need for a shower? And C. I now get a cold shower. Thanks people. UGH! Anyway, with the creepy dudes, I just ignore them. We have them at my gym too, some are just really gross and some don't know what the hell they are doing (like you said). Just do the polite nod and continue working out! Can't everyone just be as hardcore as us? =)

  5. I think people are too afraid to be as hardcore as us :)