Benny's World

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Finding the Positive: Better Late than Not At All

One of the attributes I've always appreciated about JRE and his family is their resilency and the ability to look for the positive inside a negative. Yesterday, my spouse and I were driving around town after breakfast, and he had heard about a gym that might contain a climbing wall. He turned the opposite direction from where I had thought it might be located. We ended up at a fitness facility that had been open for only a week.

It's been years since I've had the courage to really explore a fitness facility. There is one on my campus where I work, but often it is overrun with students, has towels in the halls, no lockers, no free parking, and the hours were more in line for the students. Moreover, there isn't much help for those of us who need a little bit of spotting for circuit training when we are rusty, so to speak. It's as though they take your money, your picture, and they don't care who you are unless you are 19 years old or a handsome babe (who also may be 19 years old), take your pick. I signed up for a year two years ago. I think I went swimming once or twice, and I was totally intimidated by the place.

In contrast, this facility contained all kinds of people: professionals, students, senior citizens, and best of all, trainers who would give orientations to the equipment. I've not seen one that had so many tv screens to watch about anything you wanted, piped really cool urban music satellite radio station over the loud speakers, or had treadmills machines that had their own tv or DVD player whereby you can watch something else, complete with a fan and 2 waterbottle holders. The manager was so nice. She had to give the same tour to many people that day, but she was always smiling. We signed up since we could go month to month and we were discounted since we are affliated with our local university. We also went through 2 orientations, in which one of them, another couple joined us. We ladies laughed at ourselves for being out of shape.

I decided I would go this Sunday morning and watch Fox News to keep my heart rate up while exercising. It worked. Just seeing Bret Hume and Bill Krystol on one of the talking heads shows while doing my 7 minute warm-up on the recumbant bike got my heart rate up to 160 and I averaged 14.6 miles per hour! Then I went to a modern version of the stairmaster, put in my Rolling Stones Babylon Tour DVD. It was so much fun watching Mick Jagger getting the crowd all riled. So, I was sweatin' to the oldies' for 20 minutes there, then cooled down for another 10 on the cool treadmill with the fan. 37 minutes of cardio work. Then I did my upper body workout, and discovered my left tricep is in need of Santa's help (it's weak), but decided I would work on it for the coming months.

Most of the folks in the fitness center were middle aged or older. I really liked that. And I saw the manager again as I was looking for a pen to record my circuit weights, number of sets, repetitions, and where to adjust my seat for each place. She was so impressed. I guess I was too, but not by my accounting recording keeping, as much as she was still smiling after more tours for folks. My hubby and I call this place our "Club" since we're both comfortable with it.

Although I'm a bit sore this afternoon, I'm looking forward to more workouts. My goals are to gain strength in my muscles, increase my endurance, increase my oxygen levels, and just feel a better instead of fatigued as I often do in the winter. If I don't lose weight, but I gain muscle, that's good enough for me. But most important, I concluded that I needed to lift my own self so I can continue to help others, just as John and Elizabeth are doing now with their fight against her cancer.

Did I tell you this place has a sauna? It's late in getting installed in the facility, but better late than not at all.


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