At the gym

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.


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1 Response to At the gym

  1. David says:

    Good stuff. We recently got memberships to the gym, and after six months I’ve let mine slide. I’ve found that my work on the farm is a much “better” workout, both physically and emotionally. I get to commune with Saylor the dog, listen to chickens…you get the picture. S still enjoys her membership, and I like a steam now and again.

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