A lot of my gym-happy friends have been telling me about the wonders of getting stoned and going to the gym. They said that it alleviated their aching muscles both during and after their workouts, that it allowed them to work out more and for longer, and that it just made for an all-around better gym experience.
I, on the other hand, have been struggling with the whole gym thing. The $32.99 I pay monthly for my gym membership really ought to be considered more of a donation than a mutual transaction. So, I decided to give it a shot in the hopes it would make the gym better and help me start working out regularly. It didn’t.
I did some preliminary research before testing the theory that getting high and going to the gym is awesome (this is science, after all) and, as it turns out, there isn’t really any science to support this claim. In fact, all of what we know about weed seems to suggest that combining cannabis and exercise isn’t exactly the best idea. But scientists disagree all the time, and the particular matter in question seems to be largely dependent on the individual, their response to the effects of marijuana, and their athleticism, so I figured the best way to settle it is just to go for it and see what happens.
I got high via oil cartridge to spare my lungs what I could and, after several hits, I set out for the gym. The walk there was not nearly as dreadful as it usually was — in fact, I actually felt good going into this particular workout. I was even smiling a little, which I attributed entirely to being stoned. I have never felt good about going to the gym, but this time, things seemed to be looking up.
Once I got into the locker room, though, things began to fall apart. I’ve never felt weird about being in the locker room with other men while they were changing into athletic clothes to work out or getting ready for a steam in the sauna, but being high — or being as high as I was — made it weird. Very weird. I stared intently at the floor the whole time I was there to avoid getting caught in any unsolicited, scantily clad locker room conversations, and got out as quickly as I could.
Out on the gym floor, I found it very difficult to decide what to do for my workout. In short, I panicked. Pacing up and down the rows of machines, I felt the judgmental eyes of my fellow gym-goers on me as my weed-induced neurosis unfolded. I did this for probably fifteen minutes, looking weird and suspect, until finally I decided to stick to my usual workout routine and hopped on a treadmill.
I planned to run two miles, but it turns out that what science has to say about weed and motor function impairment checks out. My legs and ankles felt wobbly. I was like a newborn calf, and I could not stop thinking about tripping, slipping, and/or falling as I was running. I began to feel dizzy and faint, like I might actually fall or something, so I did the responsible thing and cut my run short. I wobbled down from the treadmill and over to a nearby water fountain for hydration.
I wiped my chin and tried to catch my bearings. I felt markedly worse than any time I’d worked out not-high. At this point I was reconsidering my gym membership altogether, but I had to keep at it — for science. I grabbed a mat, got down on the floor, and started in on the core-strengthening exercises I usually do after the treadmill.
Being stoned, I really went to town at the water fountain, so about three minutes into my first set of crunches the muscles in my stomach began to furiously cramp. I finished the set, but not without considerable difficulty. I was already exhausted: things were spinning, my vision was spotted, and my limbs felt like lead.
I know that some weed makes you tired and some strains actually give you more energy, but whatever was in my cartridge definitely was not any one of the energetic strains. I physically could not do any more of my workout. With dignified resignation, I wiped down and put away the mat I was using, went back to the locker room, got dressed, and left.
The walk home was dismal. I was disappointed, embarrassed, and completely spent. I guess going to the gym is always going to suck no matter what, and that’s something I just have to accept. But I find comfort in knowing that, no matter how bad it gets, it’ll never be this bad again. How my friends are even able to work out while stoned, let alone enjoy it, is beyond comprehension. So many terrible feelings. So much regret. Getting stoned is great, but getting stoned before going to the gym is not for me.