Cycling is apparently not enough
I’m so confused. I spend a total of at least 60 minutes a day bicycling and it doesn’t count as the weight-bearing exercise I’m supposed to be getting to keep my girlish bones from shrinking. That is so not right.
But that’s what they say, so in addition to biking I frequent a gym in the hope that bearing weights counts as weight-bearing exercise – although “frequent” isn’t a word I can honestly use to describe my recent attendance pattern. Except then last week I had that experience of not being able to lift my bike onto the train hook, and I’m a changed woman. Reformed for life. I’ve figured out the problem and I’ve got the solution.
First, the problem: I don’t like gyms. I don’t like lifting weights. I feel foolish doing any exercise that is pretend, such as riding a bicycle that goes nowhere, rowing a boat on dry land, or moving inert cast iron items that have absolutely no need of being relocated. And if I have to do something that dumb, I certainly don’t want to record on a chart the number of times I do it. Besides not enjoying any of this, I resent using up what precious time I have left on the planet in the pursuit of such inane activities. Nor do I particularly connect with people who work or hang out at gyms. I’m not saying they’re not bright, intelligent people – I’m the one who can’t talk and work out at the same time – but we clearly have differing ideas about what fun is. And the last hateful thing I’d like to share with you is that I resent having to change clothes more than twice in a day.
So there you have it – my big fat bad attitude in a nutshell.
I know what you’re thinking. How is someone like that going to force herself to go to a gym without pointing a gun at her own head?
But there’s good news, and it is this: I do like how I feel as a result of lifting weights. Though I object to having to use up that time, it is actually time saved when I consider that to achieve the same results from an authentic, productive activity, I would have to be employed as a farm hand – which would take longer.
Instead of having to wrestle with the time issue, the clothes change issue, the scheduling issue, and the self-flagellation issue, I’ve decided to simply eliminate the loathsome thrice weekly errand of “going to the gym.”
That’s right boys and girls. But wait! Didn’t I just finish implying that I was reformed into a fitness zealot?
Here’s my new M.O. Instead of all that rigamarole, I’m simply going to “drop by the gym” on a daily basis. I’m not changing my clothes, making a special trip over there, then taking a shower and changing clothes back again and then making the return trip. No.
I belong to a gym that’s located right on the way to where I’m usually going. (Portland is so full of gyms now that it isn’t hard to set that up.) When I ride past it, I stop in. Do I change my clothes? No I do not. I throw my stuff in a locker, I stroll into the workout area, I do somma these and somma those. Do I keep track? No I do not. I ask myself, what do I feel like doing today? I do it. I do not write it down. How do I remember how much weight I used before? I don’t. Do I care? I do not. I pick a weight amount. If it’s too hard or too easy, I change it.
I do this for twenty to thirty minutes. If I’m not done in thirty minutes, too bad - time’s up. I grab my stuff out of the locker, I depart. Do I feel sweaty? A little. Do I care? I do not. Do other people care? I doubt it.
As for not connecting with the people, that turns out to be a good thing because it means I’m not inclined to strike up conversations and thus prolong my stay or use up my allotted gym time on chatting instead of exercising.
As for the expense factor, I’ve come to terms with that too. I’ve realized I’m more than willing to pay a monthly stipend to a gym for the service of keeping unsightly items such as exercise equipment out of my home.