Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What do Eric Carmen and Billy Idol have in common?

Wednesday 21st July – Self paced training

Wednesday. This is the day that the gym has its scheduled lunchtime Spin class. I knew that some people were going up, and I was asked if I was going. I said “no”.

Aside from the “hating spin” factor, my reflections on last week made me wonder if I am perhaps taking things too hard and too quickly. I am extremely out of shape, and I know that if I want to get even a bit in shape then I need to exert myself. And I am concerned that if I don’t have an overly enthusiastic person going woo at me, or at least the simultaneous suffering of my peers, then I won’t actually push myself to do anything, and it will be too easy to just stop.

But having never done this before, it’s entirely possible that three really intense trainer-driven sessions in a single week is too much. Also the Wednesday and Friday session I went to last week were open to any gym member, not just the corporate group, which means they aren’t necessarily tailored to a potentially out of shape group just starting a 12 week program.

Besides, I really do hate spin, so if there’s any class I’m going to ditch in favour of some self paced training it’s that one.

So today I decided I would try the treadmill (we haven’t yet been shown how to use the big equipment, but I figured I could probably work out the treadmill). The idea was that I would still go up with the guys doing spin, but they left before me, so you know, whatever.

The treadmills are in the same room as the spin bikes, so it was vital that I brought my music and headphones, in case Jackie got played again. I had decided earlier in the day that, with such uplifting tracks as “I hope you die” and “Magna Cum Nada” (translated as “most likely to suck”), the Bloodhound Gang would make an appropriate soundtrack (one song even has the line “Luciano Pavarotti on a treadmill, not going nowhere slim chance we will”).

My plan was to do 30 minutes. I started out at a fast walking pace (6 on the screen, I assume that’s kph) and then after a while took it up to just fast enough to need to jog (8). Then I alternated between the two every minute or two. It was work and I was sweating, so I felt I was challenging myself and not slacking off, but it was manageable. But then around 12 minutes in my back started hurting. For many many years now I have had, especially when I’ve been standing “too long”, a sharp pain in my lower back, on one side. I’ve been to a chiro, who can make it feel good until I stop going. Usually it doesn’t bother me. Today it did. At first it only really hurt while running, so I did a couple of cycles of “run til it hurts/walk til it stops” but had to cut the whole thing short at the 20 minute mark.

I can’t help but wonder what I would have done had my back not hurt. I’d like to think I would have made the half hour. But also, I can’t help wondering what I would have done had it happened while a trainer was telling me what to do. Either way I stopped before my arbitrarily set goal. I don’t think I’m disappointed, though, as I did something.

Exercising without a trainer was definitely a different experience, and was, comparatively, good. I could listen to my own music and go at my own pace, and I could still manage to push myself a bit, but not to the point where I feel, as the Bloodhound Gang say, deader than the parents on Party of Five.


  1. That sounds more like it.... I don't run. I walk fast. Uphill, carrying handweights. This keeps my heart rate going, but I don't nearly collapse.

    BTW, drink a lot more water and a lot less caffeine for your back.It might be your kidneys.

  2. I am sorry. did i miss the Eric Cartmen/Billy Idol connection?

  3. No one, until now, has even asked.
    The answer is "loner hits"

    Eric Carmen had a hit with "All By Myself" and Billy Idol had a hit with "Dancing With Myself"