When it comes to daily exercise At The Gym, a little streak of masochism goes a long way.
I’ve been told before that I like to wallow. In pain, that is. Could be true. I’m no therapist. When I made up my mind to deal with creeping chubbiness, the stoicism reared its ugly head. I go every day, sometimes twice. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not a jock wannabe. After all, I turn 68 this year, and the doc doesn’t even know that I’m doing this.
The last time I had the flab problem, I was in my forties. I bought a used exercise bike, started eating green peppers for lunch, and magically lost twenty pounds in a few short weeks. Determination, ego, and Pain Pride did the trick, I think.
Now, in the twilight years, it is harder, and more dangerous. Pace yourself, yes, keep an eye on that heartbeat monitor, make sure you go through the “cool down” phase at the end of your routine. But boy, that pain comes on with a vengeance now. So much more delicious. Something you can brag about to your wife when you get home, stumbling about a little more than necessary and getting out of washing the dishes.
It’s an interesting assortment of folks that I see there. Mostly women, and many of them put me to shame. I rationalize this by saying to myself that they have probably been coming here for years. After all, they have the spandex, the $200 running shoes, and the ability to jump from one machine to the next without a seeming pause for breath. Then there are the, shall we say, folks who realize they have a severe weight problem and are starting on the ground floor to deal with it. Gotta give them credit. They are pushing through against pretty high odds.
All in all, I do get some encouragement from the trainers there, even though I have opted to go it alone. Just the bike and the treadmill for me. There is one thing I saw today that amazed me. In my present condition, I have my doubts that I could even do one proper sit up from a prone position. But, along comes a lady, probably in her fifties, who lays down on a machine that tilts your head and shoulders downward and your feet upward. With your feet hooked under some supports, you do sit ups using your abs only. Just freaking unreal. She saw me watching her and smiled. I said “that looks pretty hard”.
Again, the smile, and she says “I noticed you’re coming every day. Good on you”.
Maybe one day I’ll have a rock hard six pack, as they say.