THE JOY OF SWEAT
1 August 2002
I think I've discovered what this whole endorphin rush deal is all
about. Today was my second day to bike with Cindy at 5 a.m. again. I was much more comfortable this time, since I
wore my camel back filled with cool water. Cindy admits she's not a big water drinker. I am a big water
drinker and the worst part of Monday's ride (other than struggling up that damn overpass)
was being thirsty all the time. Not today. I was wonderfully hydrated.
We rode all around the greenbelt (quite a different experience in
the dark!), then out to the outskirts of town, back into town, through the University,
into downtown, and back to where we started. I was home in time to get to the club to work
out as well.
This morning, since I'd just biked nearly 12 miles, I passed on my
20 minutes on the exercise bike, and went, instead, straight to the treadmill. I've been
doing the treadmill since I first entered the club. They started me out walking 1.5 mph
which, over the first month, I gradually nudged up. I've been walking at 2.8 mph lately (a
good speed for walking and reading at the same time), with occasional bursts to 3.0 mph.
Well, I got on the treadmill and started raising the speed and was
amazed that 3 mph seemed terribly slow to me. I pushed it up to 3.5 mph and finished a
little over 15 minutes at that speed. I've never walked that fast on a treadmill before,
but the adrenalin was pumping and I needed to be walking at a faster clip than usual.
Not only that, but when I went to the machine where I lift weights,
I remember starting out lifting 20 lbs and thinking I was going to die before I got to 10
different lifts. Since then I've been able to up it to 30 lbs and to do 10 lifts without
much problem. Today I upped it to 40 and did 20.
By the time I left the club, sweat was pouring off of me. I've
always hated to sweat and one reason I'd avoided exercise was the whole "sweat"
issue. However, this morning I was running on such adrenalin ever since we started the
bike ride that I was even enjoying the sweat.
It was nice that "Superwoman" and I got into a
conversation about being at the club. She said "So, I see you're losing weight. What
are you doing other than exercise?" (I liked that -- "I see you're
losing weight") We talked about how nice this little health club is, compared to
the "meat market" that the other big athletic clubs in town seem to be. It
doesn't have a lot of the amenities of a big health club. Only two treadmills (and one
that has been broken since long before I joined), no olympic size swimming pool (no
"swimming" pool at all), and one of each of the various machines, a broken
exercise bike. Very old, very funky. But the group of people who get together each morning
at 6 a.m. is really great. People know each other's exercise schedule so well that if you
don't show up on your "regular" day, you get teased about it later.
One guy staggered in one morning to do his usual half hour on the
treadmill. "Superwoman" said "What are you doing here today? It's
Wednesday!" (he generally comes on Tuesday and Thursday). He said "It is?"
and then he turned around and left!
I guess when you exercise at 6 a.m., you go on habit, something you
don't have to think about. And we are all into our routines. It's really nice to feel I
"belong" in this group.
Cindy was telling me about the things she gets through her athletic
club, including the use of the pool, and a yoga class (she started yoga a year ago and
loves it). Sounded nice, but it's also more expensive...and I'd miss the "pre-breakfast club."
I truly can't believe how my attitude toward this whole exercise
business--and expecially about the subject of "sweat"--has changed in the past
Thank you for nominating my entry, Moving On for a DiaristNet award!