When you meet temptation and the urge is very strong,
~ Give a Little Whistle lyrics
Breakfast: Cheerios with
TODAY on TV
AFI: 100 years...100 Songs
23 June 2004
Joan knew darn well I had no plans to go to the gym. Ive only been once since Walt and I joined on the "senior couples" plan. I keep meaning to go, but somehow I just never get around to it.
I signed up for an introductory session last Monday, and then fell asleep and missed it. (Could there have been something psychological about that nap? Or the fact that I didn't sign up for the introductory session on the next Monday, which was yesterday?)
Obviously I couldnt work out without my introductory session, even though Id used the gym equipment for over a year before the accident.
They were new machines, I told myself, and besides I had a shoulder that I needed to watch out for. I needed instruction before I could show up and use the machines. Even the machines that didn't use my shoulder at all. (Oh the beauty of rationalization!)
But Joans words made me feel guilty. After all, Id talked Walt into joining the gym now because Joans husband was going to be recovering from surgery and Joan would be needing a ride and that would jump start my return to the club.
Only Ed was doing better than they expected and hes been able to drive her to the gym after all. I wasnt sure if I was disappointed or relieved about that.
But there she was, dangling this carrot in front of me. I could stay home sitting at the computer all day, or I could get off my butt and drive Joan to the club.
Without thinking, I wrote back "How about 10 a.m.?" I was now committed.
I was late picking her up. She and I have this marathon on-line Scrabble tournament that has been going now for weeks and I couldn't drive off until I'd answered her last move. (We only live 2 blocks apart, you know!)
She wasn't quite ready when I got there. She was late because she had been responding to my last Scrabble move.
On the drive out, I told her that I needed to sign up for another introductory session.
"You could just ask one of the guys there to help you," she said.
But ol' reticent me. I'm as bad as a guy asking directions when lost. I wasn't going to ask one of the people whose salary I now help to pay to actually...you know...do his job! It might be an imposition.
As I was signing in for my next introductory session, Joan was off in the corner talking to a nice young man named Matt and telling him that I needed help. She had taken the whole issue out of my hands and into her own.
"Sure!" said Matt, enthusiastically.
Gulp. I was now committed yet again.
Matt and I discussed the issue with my shoulder and he started me on the machines that he felt would best work the shoulder gently. I did curls, and then stretches, and then pushes and then pulls. "Do 20 of those to start," he'd say and then stand there while I did them. Hell, this guy was going to make sure that I actually worked.
We went to the free weight area and he showed me three different exercises with the weights. Standing there with mirrors on two sides of me, watching all that familiar old fat that has crept back on over the past year. Talk about depressing.
When I'd finished the free weights, he told me I'd now pretty much done all the exercises that I should be doing to start working the shoulder. I had to admit that the shoulder was feeling kinda of good.
"Now go walk on the treadmill," he told me.
I'd come prepared this time--I'd brought my own headphones so I could watch TV while the time passed.
I watched Bill Clinton autograph his book that went on sale today, and I watched Al Roker barbeque ribs with a chef from Texas, and before I knew it, 20 minutes had passed. I was dripping with sweat, and Joan was finishing up her own round of work.
We had actually done a day's worth of work at the gym and I came home feeling pretty darn good about myself.
I learned this morning that when your own resolve is weak, it's always best to let your conscience be your guide.
Thanks, Joan, for being such a good conscience!
Panorama photo of SBC Park on Sunday