The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Friday, May 4, 2012

Adventures in Fitness, One Guy's Attempt to Knock the Rust Off

Time to knock the rust off ...
This is an occasional series to record my attempts, after years of brain-ward focused activities, to rediscover my own body and knock the rust off.

On my doctor's advice, having passed the half century point two years back, I've joined a gym. Never expected to do that, but life is full of surprises. The first night I made several discoveries, some more profound than others:

  1. Go to the gym dressed for action, or bring a lock. From now on, I'll dress for action. (My daughter knew better than I did, she is my "guest" on my pass ... and does better than I do.)
  2. Self-consciousness about dressing for action goes out the window when you see many others dressed the same way ... and nobody is dressed like they're going to be part of an exercise v... ideo (phew!). 
  3. Those machines are cool! I don't know all their names yet, but the elliptical is my new best buddy. Enough technology in place to keep the type A geek happy and moving, smooth action that encourages more smooth action. Love it. 
  4. I can keep exercising. The heart monitor is a great idea. It lets you know that the tightness in your chest is normal and you are not dying. 
  5. There is a machine that looks a lot like the elliptical but it is some sort of stair-stepping monster. That thing is evil ... and I'll need to use it more since it requires lots of effort (need to get those legs back in shape). 
  6. Time flies in that place ... good thing my daughter had a watch on ... I had no idea an hour and a half had passed. Next time I'll bring headphones I guess, plug into the TV system, and keep track of time that way. 
  7. You are with people but still alone as you need to be. This place is kinda like being in an elevator. Everybody keeps eyes forward and their thoughts to themselves ... or maybe the 8 pm crowd is just not a chatty bunch.
  8. Here is the best one: personal assumptions about myself and my state of being proved false. Went a mile or thereabouts on the elliptical with no coughing, wheezing, or feelings to impending death or implosion. That was an amazing revelation! That changes how I think about myself. Who knew physical exercise could change your mind! 
  9. You can't worry while you're exercising. (Amazing)
  10. Post exercise feeling of relaxed and happy body (provided you haven't overextended, which I didn't, I've been down that path before and don't intend to repeat that stupidity) is wonderful ... and addictive, looking forward to going back
The best part of the whole experience is learning about yourself and discovering you can do more than you think (well, provided you went in with low expectations to start with ... which I did). I highly recommend the experience. I'm also extremely jealous of a prof I know when went from size 42 down to 135 pounds in 5 months of elliptical use, 6 days a week. I won't be quite so committed but hoping for positive results eventually.

Good luck to the rest of you out there ...

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