Day 16: "Everything is in Spanish"

(I forgot to publish this last night! Fecha: 20/9/2018)

Today I had another bout of culture shock… at the gym *cue horror movie music*

I signed up for a gym membership at the swanky VivaGym (which is a 10 minute walk from my apartment). I went with a Fulbright friend to sign up, so I was, of course, über confident and eager to join the gym.

Flash forward to this morning, when I coordinated a “gym date” with one of the Fulbright mentors. He got to the gym while I was still in my meeting with my research mentors (I will share more about them and our encounter in tomorrow’s post). After the meeting, I began to make my way to the gym, when my friend was just leaving.

I decided to be brave and go anyway because “New country, New me(?)”.

I sat in the locker room texting for about 15 minutes (I was begging another Fulbrighter to join me and pumping myself up to actually go out to the floor and do something). When I finally scurried out of the locker room, I went straight for the machine everyone goes to when they have no idea where to start: the treadmill.

I stepped on to the treadmill and confidently went to press the start button… and in a confused moment I thought “whoa… everything is in Spanish”. Now, thankfully, I did NOT say this profound revelation out loud. I had just been caught off guard because I somehow convinced myself that I was back in just any gym in the US.

I sped-walked on the treadmill for about 15 minutes, all the while marveling at similarities and differences of the treadmills back home. After my “warm up”, I moved on to a stair machine that I couldn’t figure out how to work (the gym was becoming at bit more crowded at this point so I had to press on). I then went over to the free weights where I was absolutely SHOCKED at how large a 40 lbs dumbbell was! I was just about to walk over to test it out when I reminded myself “WAIT. I’m in Spain, those are in kg. That is almost 90 lbs.”

I then decided that I endured enough culture shock. I went back to the locker room, washed my hands, and told myself in the mirror that I did a good job and would try again later. Then, I left.

Today was a great day to learn something new and tomorrow will be even better :)