Monday, March 22, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - Rakes and Tasty Cakes

Today was day one at the new pit. Yep, another new one. This one is in Pennsylvania. No kidding. It’s actually just over the river and through the woods from my Western New Jersey home. There isn’t a lot of commerce in my neck of the woods, just a truck stop and the highway robbery version of the golden arches so I usually cross the river (the same one Washington crossed) to do my shopping and such.

Much to my delight a new pit began operation a few weeks ago across the parking lot from my favorite discount department store. This is more than convenient since even in dew soaked workout clothes I’m probably better dressed than most of the other shoppers there. You know the web site devoted to covert photos of shoppers seen at the big box store? I think most of those were taken at this location. No kidding. So, back to my story… This new pit calls itself an express pit. It’s small with only a dozen or so cardio machines, about the same number of resistance machines and a small free weight area. No body builders need apply.

The place was crowded today. My arrival brought the total of peeps working out to five. My fellow torture enthusiasts were all C’s give or take a year or two. A couple were on the lounge chair bikes and the others were contemplating the breakfast croissants at the BK across the street while sauntering along on the treadmills. I glanced at the place wistfully too before I came to my senses. All the cardio machines have their own mini televisions, but I much prefer my own audio mix so I plugged in and tuned out on a ¾ rack.

Thought #1 – Kriminy this is work!

Thought #2 – Don’t I need to be someplace else about right now?

Thought #3 - I think our ancestors had the right idea. They didn’t worry so much about gaining weight. The life they lived was much different than ours. Sugar and meat were luxuries, not necessities. I’m not saying I think we should go back to chopping wood, washing clothes in a pot or a river, growing and raising our own food. I’m just saying, they might have been on to something. Machines do much of our work for us now freeing us to sit long hours interacting with yet more machines to the point we have invented machines to help us exercise off the weight we’ve gained as a result of all this ‘progress’.

The last few days I’ve come to appreciate good old fashioned hand tools as a fitness regime. After a day and a half of raking leaves with a human powered – that would be me- lawn rake, I can tell you there isn’t a machine in the pit that can do what that one simple tool can do for you. Every muscle in my body has been put to the test and I can say – failed. One by one my muscles revolted. Not being one to give up easily I worked through the pain and managed to relocate most of the leaves, but not before I gained a healthy respect for that four letter word – work.

Thought #4 – So what the heck am I doing here? Since it’s raining outside the answer is rather obvious, but I did try to rationalize my way out the door before I finished the half hour pre-programmed whoop a** I’d chosen. I’m sure I won’t get here every day, but I’m going to give it a good try. As much as I dislike moving my body around this much I have to admit I never would have been able to relocate all those leaves in such a short period of time if I hadn’t been torturing myself so often over the last few months. I had hoped the climb up our driveway would be easier too, but I tried it and it’s still a killer of a hill. Nothing short of moving the house to the bottom will change that, so I guess I better stick with the pit a while longer.

I finished the whooping, thanks to a little old fashioned rock and roll, and staggered to my cubby. No lockers here, just cubbies. Just like being in Kindergarten again. I gave a thought to trying out one of the fancy resistance machines then I remembered the one in the garage, and the side yard still covered in leaves, and decided I’d let the old fashioned lawn rake give me another workout when the rain stops. I’ll save the fancy machines for days when I’ve nothing better to do than sit on the deck and watch the raptors searching for a meal. Maybe I should try plugging into my music while I rake leaves. On second thought – no. I’m afraid a bear might think I resemble a Tasty Cake, so I’ll just listen to the sounds of the forest. Better a chicken than a Tasty Cake.

No comments:

Post a Comment