Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - Day Sixty-four

You gotta love Saturday at the pit. The weekend brings out some interesting characters, me being one of them of course. I scored a half rack right off and thought it would be fun to try something different, so I scanned the list of preprogrammed workouts and decided on Crosstraining 1. I had no idea what this would entail, but I figured I could do it, at least for a while. I know where the stop button is and more importantly, I know how to use it. The problem with these computerized programs is that they ask all kinds of intrusive questions before deciding on how strenuous your torture session will be. I’m tempted to lie, but I’m not sure which way I should go with the lie. Should I tell the machine I’m younger and weigh less, or should I go the other way and tell it I’m older and fatter? Which would make for an easier workout? I have no idea and I’m not feeling that adventurous, so I punch in the truth, hoping no one can see over my shoulder.

The program starts out well enough. I’m doing a pretty good job of keeping up so I check out my fellow torture enthusiasts. Hubby is on a treadmill and next to him is this little dude who I can’t figure out. He has the machine on some variable speed program and he’s doing well enough on the slower times, but as soon as the belt speeds up he hops off and stands at the end watching it spin away without him on it. Once he even walked away, to where I have no idea, and left the thing running. I thought perhaps he’d given up, but he left his cell phone and water bottle so I figured he’d be back. Sure enough, back he comes and hops on when the belt slows down. Odd behavior, to be sure.

I’ve got the hang of this new program, or so I think. I glance down at the computer and it flashes me a message – Pedal Backwards, it says. Are you freakin’ kidding me? Yep, that’s what my brain flashes back at it, but I come to a stop and reverse my foot shuffle. This takes some getting used to. My suck, tuck, relax philosophy doesn’t work going this direction. I’ve got to shift my center of gravity, or I’m going to be on my keister on the concrete floor post haste. It takes me a few minutes to figure out I should suck, push out and lean in, but give me credit, I figured it out and remained upright. Another few minutes and I’m an old pro at pedaling backwards. Back to looking around.

I can’t help but notice the C +5 on a treadmill in the front row. He’s wearing his sunglasses, a less than effective disguise, a brand new charcoal gray WalMart sweatsuit and new silver and blue sneakers. He’s still got on his gold ID bracelet, not a medical variety, and he’s listening to something on an iPod. I’m pretty sure he’s listening to the audio version of the NYT Bestseller, How to Get in Shape in Thirty Days without Breaking a Sweat. A desert tortoise could out run this guy. In contrast, the guy next to him is walking circles around him and carrying on a conference call at the same time. Now I’m all for the resolutionists getting in shape, but I have to wonder what this guy is doing. It’s a beautiful morning out there. If you’re going to stroll along at that pace why not do it outside and enjoy the fresh air and mother nature? Why come to the pit where the air is NOT fresh and your scenery (from the front row) is a parking lot. I don’t get it.

My computer tells me to shift back to forward motion and I take a few seconds to figure out how to do that. Not bad, I tell myself. I can do this. This isn’t near as bad as the fat burner program. I’m back to looking around for inspiration and my eyes land on a guy over in the free weights who appears to be contemplating the sanity of bench pressing the 180 pounds of donuts he’s loaded onto the bar. I’m skeptical. This dude doesn’t look like he can do it and he doesn’t have anyone there to catch this thing if he can’t. I’m grateful there are a number of firefighters in the place. I’m sure they will know what to do if he drops that bar on his chest, or his neck. The guy wheezes through two reps and manages to get the bar back on the rack. He’s laying there probably having a coronary when he jumps up and pulls a cell phone from his pocket. He presses the phone to his ear and walks off. He’s a lucky guy, saved from having to try again by a phone call.

The computer says I’m done. I agree. I head for the lounge chair bikes and spend another twenty minutes climbing random hills at a leisurely pace. I’ve survived another interesting day at the pit and burned off a few M&M’s. I’ve resisted the urge to eat donuts all week. Maybe I’ll have one tomorrow.

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