Saturday, February 5, 2011

first week back at the gym

My very first day — just this past Monday — feels like ages ago. And while I only got to the Y three times this week (and never ventured beyond the elliptical machine for 20- to 35-minute bursts) I *will* celebrate the fact that I went at all. I *will* celebrate that I've started taking some notes on ways to motivate myself to get back.

gym notes.
>> i think these old guys must know a thing or two. Patrick and I moved away from Roanoke four years ago, at which time I'd had a membership to this very YMCA, on-and-off for several years. My best runs were probably when I attended with my friend Melizza. Mela and I were roommates, and we were great motivation for each other to do good ... or to indulge (Mela, do you remember Sunday morning pancakes in that yellow kitchen?! I do. With syrup, and me trying to do the crossword).

In any case, when we went, we saw the same guys over and over. Doing the same exercises. Making the same jokes. Smiling, as I recall.

So I go to the gym this past Monday morning at 5:30, and I see no fewer than four of those same guys, plus a lady or two who looked familiar. Same exact ones. Dressed the same. Same smiles, same machines.

And do you know that it was only in that moment that I realized I'm going to have to look at this fitness lifestyle as *lifelong*? It's something I'd kind of known. Something I've heard people say. Something I'm sure I've said before. But it was in seeing those same faces, years later and still at it, that I knew it deeply. My first week back wasn't stellar, but it was just the first of what will apparently be very, very many.

>> music. I let Patrick do technology things for me. So I let him fill my iPod shuffle last Sunday night before my first return to the gym.

Well, no offense to my lovely husband, but it was silly of me to put something so personal in someone else's hands. Because once I started on my elliptical Monday morning I realized all I wanted was the latest Girl Talk album, streamed front-to-back ... and Patrick's a shuffle-lover. He's a random-music fan. And do you know that my lazy ass didn't remedy this until today, after my most recent trip the gym?

I ended up frustrated every morning I went. What happens is that the randomness of the music makes for varied tempos, which makes for me being variably motivated to move fast (or not fast at all), or to get so into the music that I forget how hard I'm working on the machine (which is what happens when the right song comes on).

Next week I look forward to a consistent, pounding workout accompanied by Girl Talk (and maybe a little Big Boi, cool down to Sufjan or Grizzly Bear).

>> walking the track. It's not particularly strenuous. OK. It's not strenuous. At all. But it's time for me to nestle gently into my thoughts. To be quiet and slow but moving. It's peaceful, is what it is. And it's nice. Ten minutes is all I need.

>> getting my shit together, the night before. This is no surprise, but it's important: If I stack my gym clothes and headphones in a neat pile; if I make my lunch the night before; if I know what I'm going to wear to work ... I'm much more likely to get to my mind wrapped around the idea of heading to the gym at 5:30 in the morning.

mission! Get to the gym four times next week, not three. Do at least 45 minutes on the elliptical each trip, if I don't also add some weight-lifting. Wear my heart-rate monitor every visit so I can get an accurate reading of my workout (as well as establish a way to mark my progress).


  1. Yay gym goal! Boo pancake indulges. The indulges wouldn't have been so bad if we ate them once a month instead of...every weekend? Oy.

    But back to your gym goals. They are so doable. And charting the results from your heart monitor is going to keep you motivated to get those numbers better.

  2. Thank you, Mela! I'm seriously looking forward to my Monday morning already.

    Also ... am I an idiot?? How have I not already subscribed to your London Living blog?! It's now officially in my Google Reader ...

  3. Beautiful photos, Patrick is quite the photographer! It looks like ya'll had a great time! Scott and I should join ya'll sometime,that would be fun! Your blog is always fun to read-and Congrats on getting back into it, you are my inspiration!!-Katrina

  4. Thank you, miss Trina! I'm so ready to head back to McAfee Knob ... let's plan a Sunday to do it together...