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!