Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 06 Sep 2006

I like to think I’m healthy and in pretty good shape. Work out a lot. Very active. Good resting heart rate. Great stamina. Almost never get sick. Eat well.

Then I decided I’d like to try a new gym.

Keep in mind, I’m used to routinely spending 90 – 120 minutes at my local 24 Hour Fitness, going fairly full bore on the cardio machines for maybe an hour before going upstairs to do some weight training. So, you know, I think I’m doing pretty darn well. As Sara’s mother says, “Strong like ox, smart like fox.”

But lately I’ve noticed a few problem spots which I seem to be missing. Muscular imbalances leading to knee problems. Core seems neglected. Upper body going nowhere. I dunno…something’s just not right. I swallowed my pride and overcame my inclination to avoid help from external sources and looked into getting a few sessions with a personal trainer. Yowza! But that ain’t cheap.

Enter the new gym, where they claim constant personal training rather than scheduled. Um, OK. Can’t hurt to check it out, right? So I signed up for a few trial days to see what it’s all about.

The new gym is small and circuit-oriented. That is, there are stations set about the room and you spend two minutes at each station, working your way through them all. Not normally my scene, as for me it conjures up images of Curves and similar female-centric gyms. Perhaps not accurate, but that’s the way it is. So anyway, you work your way through the stations, taking either 40 or 60 minutes to get through them all (the 60 minute version includes additional stations). The trial days for which I signed up would be for the 40 minute sessions.

Forty minutes. Don’t make me laugh. What’s forty minutes going to do for me which three times that wouldn’t elsewhere, eh? Go ahead, walk me through your little “stations” and “show” me how to do your cute little “exercises.”

Ho. Lee. Crap.

I am scum. I am a slimy weak little worm. Low heartrate? HA! Stamina? BAH! Why are you all breathless after a couple of minutes on that machine? Where did all of those muscles come from? You know, the ones that are screaming bloody murder for three days after the session? What in the hell were you doing during all that time at 24 Hour Fitness? Not getting fit, that’s for damn sure.

It hurt. I hurt. It was great and exactly what I need. Turns out I’ve been doing things dreadfully wrong all these years and the trainers at this gym weren’t about to let me get away with it. Humbling? Hell yes. But I can live with that if it lets me get back to running or make me better at riding my bike up a big hill or strengthens my back and core so I can stand for hours in my kitchen or lift unwieldy objects like dogs and kids and dead bodies rolled up in carpets. Er…forget that last one…

So, yeah, I joined. Three to four times a week I’m willingly going to walk across town to get my ass kicked. You bet it’s gonna hurt. But only for a little while. The only way to improve yourself is to try, right? This is me trying.

Wimpering a little bit, but still trying.