January 25, 2006

little successes

Last night I raced from work, through the packed rush-hour traffic, to the YMCA to kickstart my membership back into usage. I had been worried that the frayed yellow "temporary" membership card would no longer be valid, as I had never gone and gotten a proper membership ID card from them. I used to lie awake at night, envisioning scenarios in which the young staffers at the front desk would scoff at my sad little card-stock card, exclaiming that, while even paying the $37 fees every month, my lack of a proper ID made me ineligible to utilize their facilities. And they would point and laugh. And then beat me up. Horribly.

No, I never thought any of that (to that extent at least). I just have a witty imagination, no?

Anyhow, I made it, and was well-received with a smiling "Welcome Back!" from the perky front desk girl. Tonight I'll be taking the photo for my proper ID, indellibly linking myself to the Simi Valley YMCA forever! Bua ha ha ha ha! *Sigh* Okay. So I went back to the ladies' locker room and changed into some workout clothing and went to find Josh, my trainer, in the fitness room.

Josh is a young guy of about, oh, maybe 19? Whatever, he was nice enough. He had me fill out some paperwork about my health and previous exercise habits ("nada!"), and then hooked me up with a stationary bike. After a brief how-to-make-the-machine-work intruction period, he left me alone to ride the bike for 15 whole minutes. *Whew*!

After that he introduced me to the X-Trainer. It's that exercise machine that took Bill Murray for an unexpected ride in the film Lost In Translation. He set it to ten minutes for me, told me that most people get pretty tired before that, and let me at it. Boy, this thing was ROUGH. I was feeling pretty good about it for the first two minutes. By minute five I decided that I was going to die soon. My heart rate, which never got passed 140 on the bike, surged up to 177 on the X-Trainer. The upper-limit on the little heart-rate chart for my age was 171. I could feel the sweat raining down my face.

Josh asked me how I was doing, from his little desk next to the machines, but I can't remember how I responded, exactly. I think I said I was tired, but that I was going to try to go another minute. I ended up lasting for 7 minutes in all. I shut-off the machine just when the counter passed 7:00, and I ungracefully stepped off the machine, gasping for breath, trying to steady myself. I went for some water, and came back - and Josh immediately set me up on a treadmill. "This will be much easier," he promised.

And it was. The ten minutes on the treadmill flew by, and it ended with a three-minute cooldown period. I was ready to do more, but knew that I had sufficiently raised my heart-rate for over 30 minutes, and I should be happy with myself. Josh then explained that, after a couple weeks on these three machines, I would need to make another appointment with him for him to go over the strength-training machines. He gave me a little log sheet to record all of my times/distances/levels, one I'd need to fill out each time I came in, so that they could track my progress.

So the "trainer" bit isn't as hands-on and drill-sergeantesque as maybe I would have liked, but it's enough responsibility to make me guilty about not going back. But I don't intend to not go back at all. I'm packed and ready for another go this evening. And the plan is to go Thursday night as well. That makes for three evenings this week. Three nights a week every week is my goal.

So, after the somewhat-exhausting workout, I walked out to my MINI trying to figure out what I was going to have for dinner. Ice cream crossed my mind, as did Burger King, but I was a good girl and drove straight to the local grocery store to stock up on healthier alternatives to my father's staple Hamburger Helper cheeseburger macaroni, and the greasy food available here on the backlot at work.

I don't want to totally alter my normal diet - I'm still very-much looking forward to having a burrito from FREEB!RDS up in Isla Vista this weekend - but there are easy, better choices I can make during the week that will improve my chances at success. So I need to finish up this little packet of Mott's applesauce and get back to work. Hopefully the orders will pick up today and the workday will speed by quick so I can get to the gym - I'm actually excited about that - who knew?

posted by julie at January 25, 2006 10:01 AM