7 Days in the Gym

Running on the treadmill, eyes gazing past the apartments on Penhorhood, beyond the confluence of hills of the Clearwater River valley converging on the horizon, I was thinking about the fact that I've been at the gym for seven days. How did that happen?

Short weeks ago, regular exercise didn't even qualify as a remote possibility in my thinking. The Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre was that big building behind the college that others used. Now, I get it.

As an employee, I am invited to use this incredible collection of equipment and facilities as a job perk. And while I still don't know my deltoids from my trapezoids, I fully appreciate the fact that the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre has special machines to exercise every muscle group in this aging body. This incredible access I don't take for granted.

Legend has it that the seeds of the centre were sown around a campfire, with MLA Guy Boutilier, Bob Campbell of Campbell & Cooper and Associates, and Tim O'Rourke - former publisher of the Fort McMurray Today. Several years and over $30 million later, the hard work of the construction and operational teams resulted in the opening of this facility that has been lauded by visitors from coast to coast.

On Sunday afternoon, the place was hopping. On the Canadian Natural gymnasium floor, hoopsters, including sports luminary Curtis J. Phillips, were bouncy balls to and fro. The Long Lake running track had people walking, jogging and running, in perfect synchronicity. Brawny men and women were fawning over their bulging biceps in the free weights area while I admired a bulge of a different sort.

Long story short, this was an investment not only a long time in coming, but worth every penny. To the those that made it happen and keep it running every day, eternal blessings and many thanks.

January 10, 2010 - 204.8 pounds, 30.8% body fat


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