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MOANING BECOMES ELECTRIC

22 April 2002

Having overcome my shyness at stepping inside a health club, today I accepted my friend Mary's invitation to work out with her at her health club, which coincidentally happens to be very close to Diane's house.

First we had to have lunch, though, of course. We went to a lovely restaurant down by the water and were in time for brunch. We eyed the cholesterol-laden cheese omeletes, french toast, and eggs benedict, as well as all the fish in lucious cream sauces, and we both decided on a zucchini fritatta, which was the most healthy-sounding thing on the menu (and tasty, too). I felt virtuous as I pushed my half-full plate away as soon as I started feeling full. And though I was quite tempted to taste the potatoes, I didn't.

While we sat there, we watched boats being loaded in and out of the water, as weekend boaters either set off for Puget Sound, or for home. I'd never seen a boat being lifted out of the water and onto a carrier, so that was kind of fun.

It was a lovely sunny day when we left the restaurant. Another beautiful day in Seattle (Mary said she was afraid I'd say that and continue to give folks the wrong impression about Seattle weather...in all honesty, the sun didn't last long and it was mostly grey--but hey, sun is sun!)

We stopped at Mary's briefly so she could change out of her dress up togs and into exercise clothes (lemme tell you, I felt pretty tacky when I saw how she was dressed when she picked me up!). And then off to her exercise club.

Since I'm such a pro now, I didn't mind the fitness jocks and jockettes, and noticed that there were also some chubettes, and one old geezer who hobbled in hunched over and leaning on his cane. Nobody was there to check out the pecs or the butt on anybody else. We were all there to work out.

I honestly felt like a kid in a candy store. To go from a club with two (count'em) working treadmills (and one that has been non-working since long before I joined) to a club that has two rows of treadmills was a real change. Not only two rows, but these are high tech machines that measure everything from your weight to how many drops of sweat drip into your eyes (well--not really, but it will tell you your heart rate). There were more machines than you could shake a stick at. Some I recognized (tho these are the modern, up to date counterparts of the machines I'm familiar with), and some strange contraptions I couldn't figure out.

We started with the treadmill. I did my usual 15 minutes, but at a faster speed (3.5 mph) and a higher incline (3%) and walked the equivalent of a mile by the end of my time. It was sweating and my heart rate was 120-125 (something I'm not able to check out at my own health club). This treadmill also had a cool-down cycle, which I liked.

Then I sought Mary out and went through some of the weight machines that I use at home. Only the nice part of this was that Mary has been through a couple of sessions with a personal trainer, so she actually knows how to use the machines to get the most benefit out of them. She warned me that I'd begin to feel muscles I hadn't felt before. As I sit here typing, I can tell she's right.

We moved into the weight room, where she gave me some pointers for free weights, which I haven't really worked with much yet, and then showed me how to use the rowing machine (one machine I'd kind of been doing right all along).

Next, I went to the exercise bike and Mary to the cross-trainer. I didn't quite get the bike set the way I wanted, so I don't feel I got maximum efficiency out of it, but I did work on it for 10 minutes, and liked that I could check my pulse rate here too.

I watched Mary on the cross trainer for awhile. This is a machine that sits right next to me when I'm on the bike at my own club and I've always wondered how it felt, so Mary gave me instruction on that too. I really liked it. It feels like it is to the stairmaster, as the recumbant bike is to an upright exercise bicycle. I only last 5 minutes, but Mary said that was longer than she'd lasted her first time, so that made me feel good.

By the time we left, I felt so good. I hadn't exercised (except for the 5 hours at the zoo yesterday) in several days and I realized that I'd missed it. It was fun to see how the other half lives, and makes me wonder if I won't be checking out one of the larger clubs in Davis at some point in the future (except they are more expensive).

One big difference today (in addition to all the proliferation of gleaming modern equipment) was that I actually learned what I'm supposed to be doing to get maximum benefit from the exercise I already know how to do already. The end result of that is that my muscles are telling me that they really had a workout today.

That moaning you hear is my body's aches and pains fighting with my brain's endorphins (which are pretty lively right about now).

I can hardly wait to get back home and back into my exercise routine again, especially now that I know better what I'm supposed to do.

* * *

Pictures from the tulip fields and the Seattle Zoo are posted at Club Photo, for those interested.

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Quote of the Day

You can cover up yelluh! An yew can cover up rose, buddy buddy! But don't yew cover up TEXAS, or I'll take your head an' shove it through that snare drum an' secede from the BAND! So help me Mitch Milluh ah will!"

-Stan Freberg

 

One Year Ago
Tiptoe Thru the Tulips

Two Years Ago
Burn Rubber, Baby


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