Fitness Journal - Reaching For The Sky - Part 2


2015 04 05

Yesterday that-man and i joined a gym. It used to be a gym for men, but ladies are welcome as well these days. However, it’s still no mainstream experience. i was initially drawn to the fact that we’d heard the gym had had some kind of facelift, with repairs to some equipment, which That-Man interpreted could only mean that the only treadmill had been fixed. When we arrived there, no treadmill was in sight. This had been a main motivating factor for me, as our city has virtually no hills on which we can do training for Annapurna, and at least a treadmill can be set to simulate an uphill-walk. Also, when we arrived there, there were no women in sight, only some blokes who take their muscles much too seriously. i'm sure i saw smoke puffing from one guy’s ears. All the equipment there seemed to be designed either for people with definite aspirations to bulge the last cubic inch of whatever–ceps in their bodies, or those who are into self-inflicted torture. That-Man was busy finalising our applications for membership with a young lady who kept addressing an “oom” (uncle). When she started talking to the “tannie” (auntie), i was tempted to look around and see if i could find another female in the gym. She didn’t seem that young and i don’t feel that old.

Back to the story: i was doing all i could to keep That-Man from sealing the deal. When he eventually turned to me – just before handing her the membership fee – i told him that this was definitely not what i had envisioned. He said i should give it at least one month, so i agreed and told myself that we wouldn’t have time for the gym this week in any case.

Ha! Tuesday morning dawned with That-Man in my face with “When-would-be-a-good-time-to-go-to-the gym?” i tried to talk some sense into his head, but he was like that little boy scout in the movie Up who only wants to help someone who clearly needs a whole bagful of it, but who just wants to be left alone. So That-Man was the boy scout and i was the grumpy old man. (Side-thought: How cool would it have been be to see a real version of Up with Walther Matthau as the old man? Who would make a good boy scout? Maybe That-Man could dress up as a boy scout and they could shrink him digitally. He would be the PERFECT guy for the job.(On second thought, his voice might not be the exact pitch of a nine-year-old boy.))

Yes, i know i'm delaying the story, just as i attempted to delay the first gym session. Many arguments were given as to why i was just too busy to be going to the gym, but That-Boy-Scout exhibited some fine tenacity in insisting that we could fit it in between a meeting and lunch. i attempted a last diversion tactic with the laundry, but he quickly made mincemeat of that one. Eventually, he broke through my defenses and we set off for the gym.

Except for a sufficiently sulky teenager – who insisted on throwing every heavy item he could find loudly to the floor (while he listened to his own music on his earphones) – we were the only people in the gym at 12:22.

The music was blaring. As with many people whose hearing has begun the downward slide, loud music in acoustically-challenging spaces physically hurt. My heart sank as i told myself to gather all my willpower and inspiration for Annapurna and find something to do.

First up was some basic exercises with the smallest dumb bells available. They were not lady-sized, and some of the exercises turned out to be a bit strenuous for someone who’s had to get injections in her shoulder for wearing a heavy handbag a few years ago (Yeah, that’s my kind of “sports injury.”) Maybe i should take these a little slower for a few weeks.

Next up were a variety of machines, most of which i set at the absolute minimum weight possible, and some of which were still nearly impossible to use. At least i'll be able to see whether i make any progress a few months from now.

Wait a minute: How did THAT happen? How did i go from “There’s no time for gym” to “Let’s see if i can lift more in a month’s time?” i honestly have no idea, but there i was, sitting on the stationary bike and challenging myself to 5 more minutes! Where had my passive self disappeared to? Maybe to endorphin-jail. To be honest, i don’t know and i don’t care. It’s wonderful to experience my 20-something gym baby again, and i'm not going to ask too many questions and spoil the fun.

When i can lift two weights in each machine, i'll give you an update on the gym again. In the meantime, go finish your washing and get to the gym!

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