Here is where I reveal just how un-hip I really am. Big surprise, but I went to the gym today for the first time.
I suppose “first” is a little extreme. I used the “gym” when I was in college 20 years ago, but I don’t think I’ve been back since.
Back story. I’m in Fort Worth for a conference (ITC eLearning – good conference), woke up at 4:00 a.m. and couldn’t sleep. I watched some TV (bad idea – 1000 channels and nothing on), read a little (good idea – Alexander McCall Smith – engaging yet sleepy), but still couldn’t sleep, so 6;00 a.m. I decide, “I’m gonna work out.”
I’ve been nursing a knee injury (sledding accident Christmas ’09 – MCL), so I thought I’d be able to use the bicycle and have some quiet time with CNN. Well, let me tell you, 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning Omni Hotel Fort Worth, the place was hopping with sweaty people who really seem to know how to use the machines, all wearing ear buds.
I don’t do ear buds. They creep me out. My own personal ears are disgusting. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I bet other people’s ears are disgusting, too. Shoving something in there on a regular basis and then laying them around on my dresser or some end table. Ugh! My kids have them, and yes, they’re gross. I handle them like dead rats if I have to handle them at all. Gloves are handy.
Back in the gym. What the heck. I do my best to resemble confidence and experience, and check out the bicycle. My neighbor is intently reading his business plan as he pedals. Faced with the console, I push a few buttons and get the thing going. I even get the personal TV going, but then I realize that – guess what? I need ear buds. No matter. Who needs sound for the Dallas 6:00 a.m. morning show. I think I learned more without it. For example. It’s snowing here. Who knew?
Anyway, I set a 15 minute goal, and just as I reached it, I figured out how to increase the resistance. I’d been on one the whole time. I did five more minutes at ten. I think my heart rate started to increase, though I’m not sure.
Next up: stair machine. I’ve never been on one, and it was a little intimidating. Flanked on both sides by really fit women trudging up Mt. Everest to their ear bud soundtracks (what? maybe The Bangles?), I got my balance finally, and did about five minutes. I never did figure out how to control the resistance. From there I could watch the room flatscreen with sound. Still snowing.
No one was on the leg machines, so I had a moderately successful time alone doing leg curls both ways. I was very pleased, on the second machine, to discover the yellow knob to control the seat position. I wish I’d figured that out on the first.
Now that I’m armed with a little knowledge and experience, it would probably be smart to go back before another 20 years passes, but I doubt that’s going to happen. I leave here today, and I have a thing about paying money to exercise. All in all, I spent 30 minutes, experienced a little burn, and breathed with moderate rigor.
It’s not that I’m out of shape…OK, I actually am out of shape, but that’s another story…I just prefer to ride my real bike, walk on real streets, run on real streets (I avoided the tread mill – heeby jeebies), and ski on real skis. I also like to hear the birds, the garbage truck, and the crunch of my shoes on gravel.
I feel better having disclosed that.