Monday, August 16, 2010

Completely Mental

Friday 13th August – Self paced treadmill and nautilus

At the end of our last episode, I was feeling a bit sniffly and coughy and had decided not to go to Zumba on Monday morning. This had, as far as I can tell, three consequences.

Firstly it meant that I missed out on some sizzling latin rhythms, and some booty shaking saucier than a big-arse bucket of Shakira salsa with a side-order of Jimmy Smits guacamole.

It's lucky that Shakira's breasts are small and humble, otherwise Jimmy Smits might confuse them with mountains.Secondly it meant that I used up one of my “free passes”. This program runs for 12 weeks, and for me to get it all for free, I need to attend 10 of the 12 Monday classes. I can now only miss one more class.

Thirdly It meant that, if I kept up with my pattern of doing bugger all during the week, then there would be two whole weeks between Monday morning classes. I have been told many times that the more you do exercise, the easier it becomes, and whatever you do, don’t lose the rhythm of it, cos it’s so much harder to get back into it. For the record, most things are easier the more you do them. I expect that if you had to get up every single day and get punched in the face, then after a while you would get used to it. (You wouldn’t love it, by any means, but you would know what to expect, and your face would be ready for it.) Take a two week break, though, and that first punch on the first day back is going to sting. Note that I do not advocate getting regularly punched in the face. Nor, for that matter, do I advocate going to the gym.

So anyway, I knew that at some stage during the week, I would need to step back into that gym. I don’t know about where you live, but here in Geelong it felt like it rained all week. Which is great, given our water restrictions, but kinda shitty if you want to motivate yourself to do anything. I brought my gym stuff in on Wednesday, but didn’t do anything because it was raining. It was still there Thursday, but I had a very busy work day Thursday. Along came Friday and I found myself with no excuses. I had no lunch buddies (bastards), I had nothing else to do, and I had three people who were going up at lunchtime and being friendly and encouraging towards me so I would go with them (bastards).

At 9am I was all “we’ll see how it goes”. At 11 or so I was “OK I’ll go up”. At 12, our time to go, I went up to my gym buddies and said “I’m not doing it”

“How come?”

“Cos I hate it. Haven’t you read my blog?”

We chatted for a bit and I eventually grudgingly said I might go. Then, in the 20 or so meters between their desk and mine I piked yet again. I said “Nope, I’m not coming” and walked back to my desk. Gym Buddy M, as he shall be known, just came and stood silently at my desk until I said “OK then”, picked up my bag and walked towards the door.

The thing is, I really really really didn’t want to go. I’m not 100% sure what was going through my head all morning, but I had been thinking about it a lot, and had got myself into this weird mental state where I had thought about it so much that it became this huge thing. In the end I had to turn all that off to get myself to pick up my gear and go. (Then, of course, someone at work saw me with the gear and said “hey what are you doing?” to which I, quite seriously said “I don’t want to talk about it”. And he said “You off to the gym? I’m shocked. Good for you.” And I said “Seriously, I don’t want to talk about it.” “How come?” says he. I mean really.)

We got to the gym, and went up to the treadmill. It was much the same as before only I lasted about 5 minutes before my back hurt. In the end I did about 10 minutes (80 seconds bursts alternating between 6 and 9 kph) and was quite shagged. Then we went down to use the Nautilus machines.

Like from 20,000 leagues under the sea, you see.

Gym Buddy M had suggested that the three of us rotate on three machines which all work a similar area, in this case the shoulders. So we did. The weights were set to light, and we only did 12 or so reps (oooh, hark at me with my fancy gym talk) on each machine before swapping. It went reasonably well, and I had decided to keep going until I felt I had pushed myself, but not go too much harder. This meant that I finished before the other two, but that was OK by me and, I assume, OK by them.

To be honest, I didn’t really like working with other people. The guys were great, though. Encouraging and positive and all that, without having any of that fake veneer that trainers have. But if I am going to do “freestyle” stuff, I think I would rather do it on my own. Even though I know friends don’t really judge friends, I just feel like there’s some kind of external pressure that I don’t feel at all comfortable with when others are involved. Much the same reason I never really got into team sports as a kid.

So I showered and I went back to work. It was only afterwards that I could really reflect on how fucked up my head is over this. I’m not sure what it means. I would like to say that I felt some sense of achievement in pushing past all of that to actually get to the gym, but I don’t think I did. I only know that now I have to fight not just my natural antipathy towards exercise, but also some kind of weird psychological game that my brain has decided to start playing. Exciting times indeed.

1 comment:

  1. I think a Power Band might help your back. Plus, once you start to feel the power of the Power Band, you will not need to have any internal dialogue about going to the gym or not going to the gym, your mind will be empty... I mean clear... no I think that I mean empty or maybe void...