I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting.
~ Mark Twain
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THE RETURN OF SUPERWOMAN
20 July 2004
I saw Superwoman on Sunday.
Walt and I went to the gym in the afternoon. It was the perfect day to work out on machines that make you hot and sweaty. It was hot and humid outside. Just what my body was craving: more ways to sweat.
We originally planned to go to exercise earlier in the day, but after having to get up at the crack of dawn with Sheila, having only 3-4 hours of sleep, I fell asleep while waiting for Walt to get some things done so we could head off to the gym.
He came downstairs, did some yard work, left me a note, went to the local store to replace the shoes Sheila ate (don't ask), came home and worked upstairs for awhile.
Four hours or so later, I finally woke up, feeling like I was moving through mud as I tried to swim to the surface of consciousness.
Eventually I got moving enough to get shoes and sox on and we went off to the gym.
I'll tell ya, having the TV to watch and earphones so you can listen to the sound makes all the difference in the world. I got so interested in Disney's recent "Helen Keller" that before I knew it, I'd walked 30 minutes and gone 1.25 miles (I could have done that with Sheila and not had to pay to stand on a treadmill, I realize!)
By the time I finished, I was dripping with sweat, because I'd forgotten to pick up a towel on my way to the machines.
I decided 30 minutes was enough and moved to the machines to work my shoulder. I was standing there working on the stretch machine when I looked up and there she was, headed in the direction of the restroom: Superwoman.
In the days when I was a member of what I called "the pre-breakfast club," Superwoman was always the first one at the club. Frequently she and I would sit in our respective cars, me reading, her knitting, waiting for someone to open the doors.
Now that the new location opens at 5:30 a.m., I imagine that she is long gone before the time that I used to arrive, but I'm out walking Sheila at that hour anyway (at least several times a week). So even if I were to get to the club at the crack of dawn, I'm betting our paths would not cross.
Yet there she was, looking slimmer than when I last saw her, but still with a big smile on her face. We talked very briefly, but she was on her way to the cross trainer, and I had to get back to my stretches, so our interchange was brief. Still it was nice to finally have that connection to the old days. To say "remember me? I'm back!!"
I do miss the "old crowd," but I'm feeling so much better about this new facility. Every time I went to the "old-new" health club I joined after my original place closed down, I was surrounded by all those things that made me resist health clubs in the first place. Spandex. Mirrors. Joggers. Jocks sweating as they raced along on the treadmill while you were creeeping along at 2 mph. An electric "energy" pervading everything.
It always made me feel inferior. Especially after the trainer I registered for a session with never showed up. The ultimate rejection!
My accident was a blessing in disguise because I had to go on hiatus.
A look around the new place makes me realize that this is where I belong.
No mirrors. Fans which the staff will adjust for you. OK--there's a show-off on my left jogging at top speed without sweating or panting, but there's also the old guy in front of me who reminds me of the Arte Johnson "old man" character from Laugh In. His feet shuffles about two inches a step and everything he does he does in slow motion. But he does it. And if a guy like that can be there working out on the machines. where is my excuse?
There's another old broad like me. She, too, is using the lowest weights. We stand together at weight machines and comiserate about how it feels.
There's more grey hair there than I have and that's comforting.
I haven't seen a bit of spandex yet.
If I do free weights, I have to face mirrors, but somehow after you've walked 30 minutes and done weight lifting--even the low weights that my shoulder requires--by the time you get to the mirrors you feel you've earned the right to stand there, even if your flab does jiggle when you pick up the weights.
Somehow having Superwoman off in the distance was immensely comforting. She's one of those jocks who uses the heavier weights and must be incredibly strong, but she never makes you feel intimidated. I think it's because she wears baggy clothes and has the decency to sweat from the exertion of it.
It was nice to be back.
Sunset from our back yard.