• Daily Life

    Fancy Gym: Day One

    Well, my first personal trainer workout at the #fancygym this morning went really poorly.

    I arrived slightly early and the PT was 15 minutes late. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure he was *only* 15 minutes late because I asked more than once about where he was. On top of that, there’s a verbal quirk in Irish English that probably comes from something in the Irish language, where people often end a sentence with “so” or “like” or “okay”. Normally I don’t mind that, but the guy who was trying to cover for the late PT ended everything not only with “okay”, but the upward inflection that made it sound like a question. He was not actually asking a question, but every time he said it I wanted to snarl that no, it was *not* okay, because I’m paying money for this service and I expect it to be delivered on time.

    So I was really not predisposed to appreciate the workout by the time the guy arrived, and then it was…not a workout I expected. It wasn’t a bad one, except the back extensions…thing…it’s not a machine, it’s something you step into and do body weight with…makes my knees feel pretty awful, so I’m not gonna do that, obviously. It’s all a body weight workout except one set with weights for shoulders, and it’s fine, if not particularly inspiring. And it might have been perfectly inspiring if I wasn’t pissed off to begin with, IDK.

    Then he was like “so the cardio, do you like treadmills or crossfit” and I, who had already told two people at this gym, both of whom had written it down, that I won’t use those machines, said, pretty fucking flatly at that point, “I will not run or crossfit. I will row or cycle,” and he gave me a rowing set that I may or may not do. I mean, I’ll row, but I don’t know that I’ll do the thing he wants me to, because, AS I EXPLAINED TO THEM ALREADY, I’m already (theoretically) biking there and back again, which is about all the cardio my fat ass self can handle right now.

    And I don’t know if it’s because this whole thing had already made me really cranky or what, but there are a lot of Very Fit Women at that gym, sufficiently fit as to make me feel quite self-conscious, which is pretty unusual for me, so that didn’t improve my temper any.

    And I walked home so I could figure out the shortcut Ted and Henry told me about, because I knew where it came out but not where it started, and I wanted to know that so I could *actually* bike. It was a pleasant enough walk, except I’d already just done a workout for the first time in A VERY LONG TIME and it took most of an hour to walk home (which is why cycling is the only really viable option for getting to this gym), so I’m pretty wrecked.

    Anyway, usually working out makes me pretty cheerful, but I’m a goddamn crankypants right now.

  • Daily Life


    I got a membership at the fanciest gym I’ve ever been in.

    I didn’t really plan to get a membership right now, because the only practical way to get to it is on my bicycle, and I’m not very fit, so the prospect of biking there and back again seemed like enough. But then it turned out it has an obscene membership fee, and because December they had a special that reduced it by 75%, so I…got the membership. I can cancel after 3 months, if it turns out cycling to it is too insurmountable.

    Anyway, it’s a massive facility, with a 50 meter pool (even I don’t need a 50 meter pool. 50 meters is a long, tiring distance to swim at once!) and a 40 foot climbing wall and a huge free weights area and an equally huge machines area and all, but the surreally fancy part are the cardio studios, which have Ginormous Screens, like, 3 of them on the back wall behind stages for the teachers, so you can do virtual classes or teacher-led classes. The spin studio has like a movie-theatre-sized curved screen on its back wall, and a “tour” setting for one of the spin classes where you, like, cycle ‘through’ a landscape that changes on the screen. It’s not quite a holodeck, but it’s pretty fancy. It’s certainly a living-in-the-future sort of gym.

    Other fanciness includes part of the deal being a couple of personal trainer sessions and customized workouts and all that, so this morning I went in and got assessed, which includes the rather horrifying experience of being 3d scanned SO I CAN REALLY APPRECIATE MY BLOBBITUDE and the fact that I am basically a rectangle from shoulders to hips. Also it included doing as many pushups as I could (20, from the knee), planking for as long as I could (55 seconds, which was a lot longer than I expected), and also touching my toes a few times, which I could do but by my standards was embarrassingly poorly executed.

    Saturday I go back for my first workout, which has theoretically been tailored for me. I explained that the hard part of going to the gym for me is GETTING to the gym, once I’m there I’m fine, and that because I’m going to be biking there and back again that I wanted a low-key workout for the first while, because I’m gonna be dead otherwise. However, tomorrow they’ve got an open day for their chiropractor and acupuncturist and possibly somebody else, so I’m gonna go in and try to get crunched and stuff, which would help my miserably aching shoulder.

    The PT did concede that the week before Christmas was not a great time to start a weight loss plan, but told me about the classes she thought I’d enjoy, and when I said it was the fanciest gym I’d ever been in, laughed and whispered, “It’s the fanciest gym I’ve ever worked in.” :) She also, heh. She also said during the assessment stuff, when I said I was 45, “You don’t look 45,” and I started to say, “Thank you,” but I stopped because, like, I don’t MIND being 45, and in fact, I do look 45: this is what 45 looks like on me, and the whole ageism thing that says Looking Younger Is Better and just, everything, you know? Yeah. So I’ve got to practice saying “haha but i do, this is what 45 looks like on me” or something, IDK.

    I’d say all of this is prompted by the asthma diagnosis, but that’s not exactly true. What may be true is that having gone back in after a couple of weeks and gotten the next step up in inhalers, I’m breathing so much more easily that maybe the prospect of trying to work out seems more plausible. There’s also been an absolutely epic amount of stress going on (I would like that to stop, please: this is year three of the absolute worst of it, and year five or so of just fundamental strain), and probably hitting something or pushing heavy things around would help a little. And I did a little cycling this summer and was reminded how much I *miss* the 20+ mile bike rides I used to go on almost daily in Anchorage, so although I remain perpetually disappointed by the lack of cycling culture in Ireland, I want to try to get back into that.

    If I’m awesome, I’ll report back on Saturday about the workout. I can tell you what, though, tomorrow I’m gonna be feeling those pushups and planks… o.O

  • Fitness

    back to the gym, day one

    I done dooed it. I went back to the gym. I dropped Indy at school and hurried for the bus and caught it and went and worked out and I’m glad I did. So there. :p

    I was in a pretty terrible mood, actually, when I got to the gym, because Indy had been obstreperous about breakfast and I thought I’d miss the bus and catching it didn’t really improve my mood.

    But there’s a punching bag in the gym’s dance studio, and there was nobody around to mock me, so I put on “Under Pressure” and punched the bag for four minutes, which was EXTREMELY, *EXTREMELY* satisfying and improved my mood considerably. And then I took a jump rope off the wall and gave that a shot, and I tell you, nobody with big boobs, even encased in a quite solid sports bra, should ever have to watch themselves jump rope in a mirror. I looked like a frickin’ elephant. But once I found a rope long enough it turned out I could do 30 seconds straight without quite dying, which was a bit more than I expected, especially since I’d fumbled through a minute of jumping with a shorter rope before.

    Did 10 minutes on the exercise bike and 6 minutes on the whizgig thing, the, uh, the rowing machine, and planned to do a quick hard upper body workout but got started and hit about 30 minutes of exercise total and went WOO I FEEL LIKE PUKING LET’S STOP NOW, so apparently a fairly all-out workout breaks me down at about the half hour mark. Which is okay, really, since I have 40 minutes max to work out and still be sure to catch the bus.

    Which I did, and found a meditation app to use on the ride home, although I didn’t find it fast enough to use it and I have to find some good guided meditations on it, but the fact that I managed that much on the first day of school seemed like a triumph, so yay me.

  • Fitness

    this is not an all-gym-all-the-time-blog now, i promise

    I just haven’t gotten my act together enough to blog about other stuff, like our college friend’s visit, and movies I’ve seen, and…stuff… :)

    I have effectively not gone to the gym in almost two weeks. Well. No, it’s not Friday, is it. Only Wednesday. Okay, a week and a half. Anyway, I went today and I did…most…of the workout they gave me.

    I dropped the crosstrainer and the squats, because I would never do either voluntarily and just the idea of them was apparently sucking the fun out of going to the gym. (I actually like working out, generally speaking.) Instead I did my 10-12 minute dance barre warmup, 10 minutes on the bike, and cut another 20 seconds off my 1K row even though I was, honestly, only half-assing it half the time.

    I did the lat lifts, which I can now do 3×15 of but I don’t think I can do more than 5 with the next weight up so IDK. I did the bodyweight lat extension things, although I did them … like 10, 8, 6, because I was feeling weenie. Did the chest press and I need to add a shoulder press if I’m dropping the squats because…reasons…but I didn’t even look for the shoulder press machine today. (I could just do them free weights, but I didn’t think of it.)

    I did the 3×15/150 leg press pretty casually, even at basically the end of the workout. I was going slowly enough that it was effortful, but not really difficult. I’ll up it by 20lbs next time and see what effect that has. (Well. Perhaps I should wait to see if I can walk tomorrow, first. :))

    I also stopped and did a few hip ab/adductors just to amuse myself. I used light weight and only did a half set of each, or so, in hopes of not totally crippling myself, but basically I just enjoy those. AND. I *did* do the plank (Josie & the Pussycats’ Pretend to be Nice was a good song to do plank to) AND I did the horrible godawful plank variation 3×2 (Kevin Kline’s Blow, Gabriel, Blow from DeLovely turned out to be really good for it!) and only fell over on the last EIGHTH which is roughly a 175% improvement although I make no guarantees I can do that again next time.

    Here, though, is the important thing about today’s workout: I enjoyed it. Or, at least, I enjoyed having done it, which I have not with the previous few I’ve done. It could be that I just adapted a bit to the exercise, but I think it’s the actual workout. Changing the things I, y’know, didn’t like…made me like it a lot more! Go figure!

    I also went an hour earlier than I’ve been going, and I think that helped psychologically for some reason. The bus is hourly and I haven’t yet gotten the workout done/changed clothes etc in an hour (nor, actually, do I necessarily expect to), which means it’s 2 hours between arriving there and catching the next bus, and the whole afternoon is gone if I don’t get home until just before 6.

    I was gonna say something else but I stopped for dinner and don’t remember what it was, so I’m going to post this and…totally go eat some cookies or something. :)

  • Fitness

    gym blog: 1st check-in

    So I hurt my back while carrying books on Wednesday morning and thought it was the better part of valor to not go to the gym. (It was, too.) I had not been looking forward to going at all, but once I couldn’t I was really annoyed, so that’s…perverse.

    Friday the bus ran so late that by the time I got to the gym it was time to leave again, pretty much. I mean, in between arriving and going I had my first follow-up consultation about how the workout was working for me, but basically I didn’t work out.

    Gym review consultation lady: So one of your goals is stress relief?
    Me: Yeah, but let’s face it, I’m not gonna get anywhere on that as long as Trump is in office.
    Lady: O.O

    I did tell the nice lady who consulted with me that the walking lunges were not working for me, and that I wanted to give leg extensions a try to strengthen my left quad. She wanted me to do leg press, too, and since I’ll do leg press all day long any day of the week, I was down with that.

    She took me over to the leg press machine and put it on 50 pounds. I began to object, but realized she was showing me the ropes and thought ‘well okay’. Then it turned out the foot plate stays still and the chair moves, so it appears you’re also moving body weight, so I was a bit more like “well okay,” but also said we’ll need to move that down for me, 50 pounds is not going to be enough.

    She put it at 70. I was like “–okay,” and sat down and did a few reps to show her that I could, in fact, just about literally do that all day long. “So we’ll need to move it down some more,” she said, obviously a little surprised even though I’d told her we’d need more weight, and started to move it to 90. I was like, “Put it at 150, we’ll start there.”

    She gaped, honestly, but did as she was told and I did a set of 15 reps while she continued to gape. I might not be so phlegmatic at the end of a leg-heavy workout, but really, I used to make the big dudes at the weight room gawk at my leg press, and while I’m way the hell off *that* game, my legs are still stronger than your average bear’s. And frankly, I’ll be embarrassed if I can’t do 3×15 even at the end of a workout, although if I’m right about the body weight being included I’m moving, uh, well over 300 pounds there. And if I’m wrong about that I’m completely humiliated by my wimpy legs.

    The leg extensions were not so cool, actually. I mean, I can do the weight and all, but there’s some uncomfortable grinding going on around the outside of my kneecap, in a totally different place from the walking lunge pain. I was somewhat disappointed by that, because while I don’t like leg extensions I didn’t expect them to be borderline painful to the joint, and I’ll have to consider how to go forward there. (Yes, E, I will talk to the PT about it when I see her next.)

    Anyway, so that’s basically all the exercise I’ve done since Monday, so I’m afraid whenever I go back (probably Monday again) I’ll be starting all over again with the AAAAAAAGONY cycle, which sucks.

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