20 March 2008

Tales from the fitness place

Let me preface this post by saying that I am about as far from being an athlete as you can get. Until this past week, the most exercise I've ever had (other than long-distance walking) is childbirth. (As an aside, they don't really prepare you for that, do they?)

So for me, joining a fitness place is like dropping in on a completely strange civilization, where people actually sweat and look somewhat buff. Here are some observations I've made during my first week of visiting this strange new world:

* From what I've seen so far, lots of people at this little fitness place appear to be training for the Beijing Olympics. Who knew?

* Headphones are important, so you can watch TV whilst on the treadmill or bike. Headphones also contribute to the overall fitness "look".

* OK, I'm trying to remember to refer to the bike as RECUMBENT, not RECOMBINANT, which has to do with DNA. Although I'm pretty sure my DNA is somehow involved in this whole thing...

* After riding the RECUMBENT bike until I thought I was going to keel over, the "Fitness Summary" on the bike screen told me I had only burned 37 calories. 37 calories??!! This cannot be accurate. This data would suggest that I didn't come close to working off my raspberry/white chocolate scone. If I rode long enough to burn all those calories, I'd surely have to be hospitalized. So one has to ask: Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier (and money-saving, too) to just quit eating the scones and skip the exercise torture? The answer is YEP, but in some twisted sort of way, exercise is apparently not just for burning calories -- it's actually supposed to be good for you!

* Headphones should have a pretty long cord, otherwise a person risks strangulation. (Don't ask for details.)

* If you work hard enough, you'll actually sweat. I really don't like to sweat, but there appears to be no way around this.

* Unless you are a trained professional, DO NOT decide to do the "Mountain" setting on the exercise bike... or even the "Random" setting (which is just the "Mountain" setting in disguise).

* It would be really easy to fall off the back of the treadmill, although I haven't done that yet. At higher speeds, it's a distinct possibility.

* It can be somewhat alarming to see one's heart rate rapidly approach the "Target Heart Rate" and then keep right on going.

* Gym wipes are used to wipe other people's sweat off of the equipment. EWWW!

* I will not get back on the Evil Stair Thingy until I'm the only person in the place. To operate it, you have to simultaneously move your feet and arms in different directions, and somewhat independent of each other. This is something I haven't quite mastered, to say the least.

* I do not want to see anyone I know while I'm there. I do not want to talk to anyone. I just want to get in, do my little thing, and leave before anyone recognizes me. Oh, wait -- there is NO WAY anyone would recognize me.

* Because there is no HGTV, I've resorted to watching the Food Channel while on the treadmill and RECUMBENT bike. This is either a very good thing or a very bad thing. I haven't decided which.

* My legs are pretty strong, all things considered, but my arms are not nearly as strong as I thought they were. And everything in between is completely questionable.

* Always identify the exact position of the STOP button.

* After going to the fitness place for several days now, I'm sore but will admit that I feel a bit more limber. Not that I was stiffened up or anything. Like I would ever admit that, anyway...

So now I'm asking this: Where's my old elementary school PE teacher, the one who called me "physically unfit"? The one who made fun of me when no one would take me on their team: "Come on, SOMEBODY has to take her!"

Haven't seen HIM at the fitness place. Ha! Take that, coach!


toners said...

ROFL!!! Janet, this is great! :) I learned the hard way about finding out where the stop button is...

Sharon said...

This is a hoot. Has anyone taken pics for a LO??? It certainly would make a great scrapbook.
Is there a cord to attach to yourself that will automatically stop the machine should you get to the end of the treadmill? If so, I highly recommend that you attach it to yourself BE4 you hit the wall.

jp said...

Toni-So you can relate?? Hope you didn't get hurt in your stop button incident!

Sharon-No pictures, chickie!!
Oh, yes, there is a stop button with a cord. Maybe I should try that, huh?? Since I've had a bit of err..trouble with my headphone cord, I'm a little concerned about tethering myself, but I'll give it a whirl!

Lynn said...

LMAO!! very cute observence's Janet. I think some machines are just not ment for certain people. I'm not ment to be on an elliptical machine. I dont' think I could last 2 mins on the thing to be honest, even when I was in shape.

Keep up the great work. It is very important to our bones as we get older, plus... it usually does make you feel better.

Benita said...

You're whole post has me laughing :) My dh & I are considering joining a gym & now I'll be thinking about everything you wrote when we do. Thanks for the laughs :)

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Funny! I almost failed gym class myself. I just let ole' Denise Austin work me out on lifetime tv.

jp said...

Lynn-I'm not even sure what the elliptical machine is, but it sounds treacherous. There are 2 or 3 machines that I'm completely incapable of operating!!

Benita-Good luck!! If I can do this, anyone can!

Jill-Oh, Denise Austin...DH and I used to watch her just for kicks. She is entirely too perky for me!! I would much prefer to work out at home, but I have no willpower unless I'm paying exorbitant monthly fees, it seems!

EquineSpirit said...

ROFLMAO! Great entry...LOL!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

I almost fell off the elliptical machine the first time I tried it. I think it's pretty similar to a stair stepper except your feet kind of go around in a circle instead of up and down. Yeah, I have to turn off the volume on Denise - she IS way too perky!!!!!!!

Cheri said...

Last things first: The PE instructor isn't there b/c he's old and fat now and just sits around;)

I really like elliptical machines, so call me weird. I am quasi-athletic...I did well in HS track, and in gymnastics when younger, but I definitely don't fit in at the gym either. On the rare occasion I go here, I go to the city gym. Not really any die-hards there:)

We got an ancient treadmill free from a friend, but it's really difficult to even make time to get on that in my own home! So great job forcing yourself to go exercise!!

Pearl Maple said...

All too funny, remind me not to take up the gym membership.

Love the cat photos.

Linda said...

OMG! You are so funny! I really should start exercising again. I'm just waiting for the right moment. :p

Lida said...

LOL!! Ohh I can relate wich is why I have decided to work out at home (at some point this year is still march right?) Good luck and hang in there!!

Doreen Mulryan Marts said...

Ha ha! I just joined a gym and feel your pain. I stepped off the treadmill sideways while trying to fix my extra long wires to my headphones, Good Luck!!