Wednesday, August 22, 2007

my own race

yesterday, i set foot in a gym for the first time in years.

i joined it just this week! and it's about time. i had this one post talking all kinds of smack about how i wasn't paying money to sweat in front of strangers. whatever! it's over a year later and i weigh about 10 pounds more than i did when i started this blog. i've outgrown too many clothes. i'm too far gone to be happy wearing a bikini in public. so i bit the bullet and bought a gym membership. however - i still don't have a bathroom scale. and i'm still not on a diet, even though i eat well about 80% of the time.

my first day was okay. i took a tour with one of the girls who works there, and she showed me how to use the weight machines and the treadmill. then i used the treadmill to go for a mile - walking/jogging - i am NOT a runner. then i used almost every weight machine there. i was at the gym for about 45 minutes. depending on how soon i can get my mile down, i might be able to get out in half an hour, and still get home in time to catch the news. my only concern is boredom. but i have some ideas. first, i'll switch from the treadmill to some other cardio machine, like the bike, or that other walking thing where you use your arms too (i don't know its name) to keep my cardio varied. second, once the music in the gym gets old, i'll use my z.une to listen to music. sometimes, depending on whether i use the bike or what, i may even be able to read a magazine while i work. i've got a year's financial commitment to work on this, and i'm hoping my thriftiness will keep me going, if for nothing else than to get my money's worth.

for me, the weight machines are where the treasure is. my main reason for joining was to tone up, not lose weight. that's why i'm keeping my cardio limited to jussst enough to get my heart rate hopping. to me, the most important part of working out is to keep my shape as i get older and my metabolism changes. it's totally a vanity thing. i've never been fat, but i don't wanna get there. i want to get rid of the cellulite forming on my thighs. i want my triceps to stop wobbling like my seventh grade teacher with the wig and fuzzy moustache. i don't want to outgrow the clothes i can still fit. i want a firm, developed thigh and butt area. i want to flatten my stomach back out and add definition to my abs. and i want my beloved's eyes to bug out of his head on our honeymoon one day.

i don't know how soon i'll get to where i want to be. i noticed that other women are using higher weights on the weight machines than me. that's okay. maybe they've been there for a while and have worked up to the weights they use. maybe they haven't but they're just stronger. it doesn't make a difference either way. i could try heavier weights but i could hurt myself, so i won't. i will go at my own pace - run walk/jog my own mile and use my own weight limits. much like with everything else - education, finances, personal relationships, my writing, lifetime milestones - i have to run my own race and work with what i have until things change.

i have to remember to take a picture as soon as possible in a bikini, so that a year from now, i can remember what the beginning of my race looked like. that is my comparison point - not people on tv or in the gym.