Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - Day Two

Daughter #1 said we should go back to the dungeon once more. I’ve had twenty-four hours to recuperate which leads me to believe there is more to the name of the place than I first thought, so I agree to accompany her.

Yesterday I began on the cycle where I had an excellent view of the parking lot. I witnessed several women, contemporaries we shall say, coming in and disappearing. I concluded there were several possible reasons for this phenomenon. One, they could be walking in the front door so as to be seen entering they premises and exiting moments later through the back door and skirting the parking lot to the Jack in the Box next door where they would order a large fry and chocolate shake before making their way back to their car. Two, they could be convening in a super secret back room where they munch on donuts and hot chocolate before exiting previously mentioned back door. Whatever the scenario, they were not ending up on the devices of torture where I was. Clearly they knew something I did not. I will have to investigate this further.

I was heartened today to see more contemporaries; however they were mostly men, and mostly in desperate need of torturing, if you get my meaning. I did note one woman on the treadmill walking at a pace that would have been slow for a snail. Then there was the non-contemporary on the treadmill directly in front of the mirrored wall. He wasn’t hard on the eyes I must say and apparently he thought the same thing because his eyes were locked on his own visage, never straying. I wonder what he saw in his own gaze. I personally find it hard to look myself in the eye for more than a few minutes, not because I don’t like what I see there, but because I can’t see anything but my eyes. I think eyes can be windows into the soul, but that only seems to work for me if I’m looking at someone else’s eyes.

We started our torture regime on the stair climbing thing-a-ma-jigs today. I climb stairs every day so I knew going in this wasn’t going to be good. I get winded going up one flight and am a firm believer that elevators are gifts from above. However, there were several open machines, which of course we all know is a warning all its own, so we picked out two and tried them out. I set mine on torture level 1 and gradually worked up to level 4. After about two minutes I was getting dewey (this is called sweat north of the Mason-Dixon Line and west of the Rio Grande). Smart aleck daughter #1 set her machine on level 8. After two minutes she was complaining about the state of her thighs. At the three minute mark I looked over and she was hanging by her elbows from the handrail and practically crawling up the stairs. At five minutes she shut off her machine and suggested we try something else. I agreed even though this is something I can actually do as it requires very little coordination and at level 4 I was dewey, but still able to talk. Besides, I didn’t want to be anywhere around when the guy to our left had a heart attack from running up the stairs as if they led to hell and he didn’t want to go. I made it up the equivalent of seven flights of stairs and burned off at least one M & M. I was ready to move on.

Next were the ellipticals. Yeah, I know. They kicked my a** yesterday, but I was willing to give it another try. We found two of the ‘slide’ variety which require less physical coordination as one leg and one arm go the same way at the same time, much like walking or cross country skiing. I managed this well enough except for the one time I tried to get a drink of water and nearly fell off. I grabbed for the hand rail and righted myself wondering if someone yells, “Woman overboard,” if you end up on your padded backside. I doubt it. I’m sure if anyone noticed they’d just have a good laugh and keep on running, climbing, ellipting, or whatever. I didn’t dare look around to see if the stair climber was still at it. I was not going to do CPR on him, not that I had any air in my lungs to give him anyway.

Twelve minutes of swinging my legs and arms and I was even more dewey, and my thighs were no longer responding to the signals sent from my brain. At least I think my brain was still sending signals. Hard to tell. Swinging daughter was still going strong so I tapped her on the shoulder and told her I was going to the bikes. I took up my place on the easy chair bike and kicked it up to level 5 and away I went. I think I made it around the block a time or two in the twenty odd minutes I was there before exhausted daughter sat down beside me and said she was done for. At some point she’d switched to a treadmill and ran until she couldn’t stand. We were both in need of a donut, but pleased with our accomplishments for the day, so we headed for the locker room.

I think I might have burned off three M & M’s today and have yet to find the secret backroom where they keep the donuts. Tomorrow is another day.

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