So Many Machines

My first workout in five years and the ticker is still clicking away. That said, my knees almost gave way which would have seen me tumble down the main staircase at the Sport & Wellness Centre. We'll get to that later.

I assuaged my initial fear and perplexion about what to wear by hoofing it over to Zellers yesterday. Twenty bucks off the debit card and I had two one-size-fits-all shorts and I was good to go for today's midday kick-off session.

I may work for the college and have been in the Sport & Wellness more times than I can count, but I felt like a fish out of the bowl flopping around trying to figure out where to go and how to do it. My staff identification card, which I thought would get me into the change room, failed miserably -- apparently I needed to sign up to be a "member", even though membership is part of my employment benefits. So, the nice lady at the desk gave me a wrist band with a magic number on it that allowed me to punch myself in to get changed. At this point I was feeling like a champion, pounds lighter, on top of the world.

Treadmills have come a long way in five years. Larger, with way more buttons and your own personal television, these treadmills are pretty cool. I knew things were heading in the right direction when I noticed an early episode of The Sopranos playing on the tube, complete with subtitles. So, while Paulie and Sylvio beat the crap out of the Jewish motel owner somewhere back in season one or two, I ran at a steady pace of 4 miles per hour for about 15 minutes before pressing the cool down button.

The running was the easy part, the piece of the puzzle with which I was most familiar. Then, I was lost. Strength training was staring me in the face, a spate of machines in all shapes, contortions and purposes that made my head spin. Dumbbells. OK, I know what those do...sort of. I picked up a pair of 10 pounders and began pretending to look intelligent, although I'm sure I looked like a putz pretending to appear otherwise.

A few sit-ups on the interesting and dizzying inclined bench, 20 push-ups, a five minute sprint on a stationary bike, requisite stretches and workout number one was in the books.

I'm OK with the running and biking, now I need to figure out the bucket list of strength training gadgets and gizmos that will make sense for what I want to achieve. Perhaps I should ask for help trying to figure that out? Good plan.

While a little unsteady, perhaps slightly shaky, I took my first step down the main staircase and memories and feelings of climbing down the other side of the mountain came flashing back to me. My knees felt like jelly and each step became an adventure in keeping upright.

I'm sitting in our dining room, the boys doing their homework to my left and right, Heather studying for her massage therapy course across the table, and tremors from today's exertion ripple through my abdominal bulge and aging knees. But, I am alive and for that I am grateful.

January 4, 2010 - 205.4 pounds, 31.8 % body fat


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