Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Go, me!

I went to the gym today for my orientation/free session with a personal trainer. Although I shudder to consider the possibility--I really enjoyed it. A lot. I got up early and did some laundry so I'd have something to wear there, but I still wound up with only 10 minutes to catch the bus in order to get there on time. So I pulled on the newly clean shorts and a shirt, grabbed my inhaler, bus pass, $5, and keys, and managed to get to the stop just as the bus came into view.

The trainer with whom I'd made the appointement had said to eat something before coming. I had inted to get a bottle of water and a protein bar at Walgreens but had run out of time. So, I got off at the Subway downtown and grabbed a quick kid's meal, then headed to the gym. Note to self: The downtown Subway has gardenburgers.

It's on the seventh floor of a parking garage that links to our only 'real' skyscraper downtown (a building which the locals dubbed 'the big blue phallic symbol' since at 30 floors it's heads and shoulders above anything else downtown and is covered in blue glass). Yeah, you guys from the big city can laugh. I know it's not really tall, but it's the tallest thing here fore miles. I'm kind of glad the gym isn't in that building.

Anyway, I met with Kwan Wilson of Beyond Fitness. He was very good about putting a nervous newbie to ease. I filled out some paperwork about my goals, my health, etc. He was cool with my focus on getting healthy, getting some stress relief, and maybe losing some weight (I'm not that number conscious, but at 272lbs I obviously do need to lose).

We did some tests of my body fat, blood pressure, and flexibility. The bad news is that the nifty gizmo that basically measures my body fat through something like sonar came up with 47%. Basically, I could lose an entire person in fat (one friend, being told this, assured me that it was fine so long as we both voted Democrat). :) I asked about what it should be for a woman and a fair fat content would be 24%. If I managed to get to that, I'd probably lose 60 lbs just in that. From what I can tell, he has a good sense of where I would have trouble. He said the first 40 lbs would probably come off pretty quickly, then I'd plateau around 220-230. That's been the case in the past. It's hard for me to get down to 200, and I haven't been under 200 since I was about 20. If I can continue through that plateau, though, there should be a second spurt. I think it's rather exciting for a trainer to have a gym 'virgin' of sorts--kind of like how hairdressers seem so happy when you come in with long hair that's healthy because it hasn't been overworked and they've got all that room to work with. In physical training I get the sense that they like not having to 'unteach' bad habits, and when you're as overweight as I am, I think it's easier to see when it's working and celebrate with the client. I definitely was impressed with the attitude of the trainers.

The good news is that, as I knew, my resting heart rate, at 68, is considered damn good, especially for someone who's 36 and has been overweight her entire life. My blood pressure's normal, too, and I know my cholesterol is good. So that indicates I have a pretty healthy heart so I have the important tool for fitness right there. I mean, lots of people are skinny and otherwise look fit, but have blood pressure and cholesterol through the roof. I have diabetes and exercise-induced asthma, but I'm on medication and the exercise should actually help with both. So that's good. Next time I go (and I have an appointment Monday night), I'll talk to a nutritionist and we can start working on my diet. They're very much into slow, steady work towards a goal--no fad diets, etc., but a healthy combination of diet and exercise. Yay. I won't be able to do the personal training bit for awhile (it's like $30-$50 per session, depending on which plan you choose) but this should help me get started, and I can always go to them later after working out generally.

Then this tiny girl took me through my paces to start on some basics and get an idea on my flexibility. We warmed up on the treadmill, then worked on the shoulders with handweights and the lower back with an exercise where you bend with a weighted bar. I'm pretty flexible (all that yoga), and apparently I'm a quick study on correct form--one of the reasons for going, after all, is to find out how not to hurt myself.

So, I survived. My lower back was tight and ached a little afterwards, but my hamstrings weren't a problem. I can tell I worked the shoulder's pretty well, too. It's just starting out baby steps but it's the first step, anyway. Go, me! And I didn't feel self-conscious, even though I'm probably twice the girl's size. I'm pretty realistic about my body and my goals, and I just don't see any reason to stress. I'm there to work out, not to be looked at, and no one at that gym gave me the 'meat market' feeling, either. Richmond Road is supposed to be a little more on that side, but I'll try to keep an open mind about that untili I check them out.

PS They have a bike hooked up to the Internet at the gym that you can surf only as long as you pedal. Wicked!

Actually, downtown is THE place to be on Saturday, apparently. There's the farmer's market on Vine, an artist's market at Phoenix Park, the Dynamic Doors exhibit, etc. Maybe going to the gym will get me down there for the rest of the fun. I can stop by the library, too. I did today, briefly, just to read the latest ACE Weekly before the buses arrived at the transit centre. I was tempted to go to the Kentucky Theatre because they're playing a 3D version of 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' this weekend. Downtown's actually pretty great in the summer. On Wednesdays the Kentucky is doing 'classic movies' like 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?', 'Grease', 'Jaws', etc. On Thursdays there's music at Cheapside near the old courthouse. So if you're near Lexington, you might want to check downtown out.

Well, that's enough for now. Have a good night.

No comments: