I joined a health spa recently. They had a sign for "free weights" so I took a couple.
~ Scott Wood
Breakfast: Oatmeal with
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Check a Sheila
MARNS PURPLE BALL OF HUMILIATION
30 June 2004
I remember a long time ago before Marn became Iron Woman, when she was awaiting what she called (I think) her purple ball of humiliation and pain (or something like that) to arrive in the mail.
I saw the ball today.
I was not tempted.
Though I've gone a few times for what may laughingly be called "workouts," I finally got to the new health club for orientation. Thanks to Joan's intervention, I had already had met with the charming Matt, who had taken me through the machines that would work my shoulder, starting slowly. I wondered if I should keep the appointment Id made to meet with the charming Bob (I think that was his name).
Turns out it was a completely different kind of orientation. This was a nuts and bolts kinda thing, where he went to every machine and showed how they work, what buttons to push, how to set the electronic ones and more importantly, how to plug in the headphones so I can watch TV while walking on the treadmill!
He was very good about explaining which machine worked which set of muscles and which machine to pair with which other machine for maximum benefit. I figure that if I just show up that's enough for me at the moment, so I kind of glazed over during that part.
It was in the physical therapy room where I encountered the big purple ball of humiliation and pain. In fact, a guy we knew was lying on top of it and doing some sort of routine that didnt look comfortable at all.
Bob showed the 3 of us in the group how to balance yourself on the ball, where to put your feet, what sorts of moves to make, how to incorporate some of the other machines into the workout.
I was standing there thinking "yeah...right." Aint no way anybodys getting me on any size ball to balance myself precariously and rock back and forth. I dont care if it gives me abs of steel overnight. With my sense of balance, Id end up with another dislocated shoulder in a matter of seconds.
So I passed on the ball of humiliation and pain and watched Bob demonstrate the "bounce back" screen, where you take a weighted ball, throw it on something that looks like a slanted trampoline and then catch it with your arms extended in a certain position.
I looked around at the tight quarters and the number of people who use this little room and tried to imagine how many of them I would wipe out with my first toss of the ball, which I would undoubtedly miss or, worse, hit offside and send careening off into the stationary bikes in the other room.
Uh. Better pass that one up too.
Better off with the upper and lower body machines which are people-powered and not likely to roll off in some errant direction to injure either me or some innocent physical therapy patient.
I was surprised to discover that even on the machines I knew how to work, Id been doing it all wrong ever since I started working out at the club two years ago. Knowing absolutely nothing about physical fitness (obviously), I assumed that the goal was to continue to add more weight and was quite pleased each time I could go up another 10 lbs. Now Bob tells me that the goal is to go for reps. First week do 10-15 reps on each machine, second week do two sets of 10-20 reps on each machine and, in about a month, when you can do several sets of reps on the lightest weight, then start adding weights. Who knew?
By the time we had made the rounds and had all the machines explained, my head was spinning. I didnt take time to actually work out--I figured I got points just for showing up--so will have to see how much I remember when I get back again. But I did learn about a couple of machines Id really like to try, that Ive never dared before because I didnt want to make an idiot of myself.
Im going to have to figure out the time when there are the fewest people in the club so I can sneak onto some of those new (to me) machines and see if I can actually do them without killing myself--or anybody else. I'm sure the cross training machine isn't NEARLY as easy as they made it look and I really don't want an audience around when I'm making an idiot of myself. But I would like to give it a try.
It will be a long time, however, before I get up enough nerve to even touch the big purple ball of humiliation and pain. It would be nice to know that I can consistently stand on my own two feet without tipping over first!
Another one of those beautiful photos by Claire Amy Atkins.