The Right to Bare Arms

17 Oct

Jiggly Arms

I have finally gotten around to writing this, but only because it is lunch hour at work and I am supposed to be launching my training regimen for the 5K marathon I am planning to enter next May. I’m tired. I think my sneaker lace may be torn. If I sweat too much, I’ll have to wash my armpits in the ladies room here at work.

In the great procrastinator’s triumvirate of writing, bill-paying, and exercise, writing is today’s least-to-avoid activity.  I did take the first step toward more exercise. Eight weeks ago I joined a gym. It’s a great gym. They let you join online, from your computer, without taking so much as a step.  They have Pizza Mondays, they call themselves the “Judgment Free Zone,” and… AND… they greet you the door with a bucket of mini Tootsie Rolls. I am not kidding. (See? I’ve actually gone there.)  I used to belong to the posh, more expensive gym in the area, with a roster of classes, a bevy of buff bodies strolling the floor, and a row of not-so-buff, but presumably well-heeled middle aged men on treadmills in the wee hours of the weekday morns – not that I’m looking.

I decided that, instead of spending $79 per month on a membership that I wouldn’t use, it was more sane to spend $10 per month. My orientation was with two young men who, together, did not equal my age. They showed me the quick circuit and the machines, and they designed a plan for me that included cardio and strength training.  Cardio involved me spending 30 minutes on the treadmill, facing the free weight section and a collection of young, well-toned black men bulking up even more.  The view was so nice that the first day I spent 53 minutes on the treadmill in a stupor until what I thought was indoor rain but then realized was my body sweat pouring out onto the treadmill forced me to stop and dry off.

The strength training circuit had a series of biceps, triceps, back and pectoral muscle exercises all in a row.  Having developed what my sister calls “Hadassah arms” in my 50s, I was happy for all the upper-body work. But where were the adductor and abductor machines, the ones that are supposed to sculpt and tone my jiggly thighs?  (and why do they call them abductor – isn’t that a little scary?) With this new regimen, I would soon develop the physique of a young black man.

I went to the gym twice that first week. I earned 8 activity points and only ate 4 food points worth of tootsie rolls.  At this rate, the cost of the gym would come out to $1.25 a visit – quite the bargain. The next week, I felt I was coming down with something. Plus, I had to pick my daughter up from the train, and there was a lot of work to be done. And something else came up. And I missed my gym visit.  A week later, I got there on the weekend.  Okay, at this rate, it would be $3.33 a visit.  Still not bad. It took me two weeks to get back there and, again, I went on a weekend. Okay, 4 visits in 2 months is still ONLY $5 per visit. I decided I needed motivation.  I needed a goal.  My sister and I decided we’d run (or walk/run) a 5K down in New Jersey. Last weekend I spent so much time
surfing the web for the perfect training plan I ran out of time to hit the gym.

My new plan is to walk three times a week during lunch at work, get to the gym once or twice in the morning before work as well as on the weekend. So, tomorrow morning, I’ll get right to it. Right after I pay my bills. True dat.

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3 Responses to “The Right to Bare Arms”

  1. janice October 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    familiar with this dynamic! I’ve had a couple of $125 swims this summer, and a $25 workout week before last. Hey, Wednesday it’s supposed to rain, so maybe I’ll move it back indoors. You obviously have different guys at your gym. At mine they all look like they’re on steroids.

  2. lunamom67 April 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    My favorite name for the adductor & abducter machines is the good girl bad girl. lolsss

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