Lesson #1 – NEVER skip workouts – even when too busy to get to the gym. Even if you have to stop what you’re doing (i.e. directing a musical production – organizing a recital – vocal and piano lessons) and say to whom ever you’re with, “I’m sorry – but I have to get to the gym now – or my body will punish me later and we wouldn’t want that, would we?” I’m sure they will all understand and wait for you. (Yeah right)
Lesson #2 – When you finally DO make it back to the gym – under no circumstances should you compare yourself with other skinny and younger people around you. You are NOT looking at them – so you KNOW they are not looking at you. (Again – yeah right) You should continue on with your weight regime and try to concentrate on your own business – without staring at the other people incredulously that are doing chin ups across from your lame leg curls. They deserve to be stared at incredulously.
Lesson #3 – No matter what – you MUST NOT giggle! It’s offensive to the people around you – AND it draws attention to the fact that you are a wimp – laughing more than doing the actual sit ups. There should be NO joy in the gym – it isn’t allowed. Even the people on the HUGE posters look scary – even when they smile.
Lesson #4 – Try to look like you know how to operate the equipment. Every machine is different with a little thingy that you pull or push to adjust – and the whatchamajiggy for getting the prongy thing into the lowest amount of weight possible. I myself am an expert at working every machine now – but it took careful preparation and patience. And if I can’t get it – I call Greg over. The same holds true for the treadmill. Just look like you know what you’re doing – and you just blend in.
Lesson #4 – Try to join a class. There are many at my gym to choose from. I want to join them all but Greg says I can’t. He is very mean. I have, however joined a Zumba class (with my friend Jackie Christensen) that meets once a week on Friday nights. I used to look ridiculous because I didn’t know any of the moves. Now I still look ridiculous – but at least I’ve been going long enough that I know the moves. At least some of them. Okay – not many of them – but you get the idea. Try to join with a friend or two. My friends are too smart to do this however – and my daughter ended up coming with me. She has many friends coming with her each week – and I’m sure they laugh at me.
Lesson #5 – Don’t let anyone criticize or make fun of your efforts for trying to get into shape – such as my friend Ron Almberg did – by posting a HILARIOUS article on his blog yesterday about a woman trying to get into shape. Is it a coincidence that this woman sounds very much like me? I think not.
And finally – just relax and have fun. If you can’t laugh at yourself before the gym – you will really see the humor in yourself, the people around you and everything in general – AFTER going! Remember – just keep moving!
A few weeks ago I FINALLY learned how to program the treadmill at the gym where Greg and I belong. Everything is “state of the art” equipment – and it SHOULD be user friendly – but unfortunately it did not have ME in mind. Not that I’m some “dumb bunny” – I can figure my way around computer programs – I’ve even taught myself some things without ANY help from anybody – and though it did take me longer to figure it out than most – at least I DID figure it out eventually and am quite proud of myself. One such program was a complicated music software program. It took a while to get my digital piano and computer to “play nice” together – but they finally did – with a gentle nudge or two. And I’ve figured out other things on the internet myself too – and even have an iPhone which you have to be able to navigate around on – so I’m very proud of my achievements – and yes – I LOVE the iPod on it – the music through my earphones is SO CLEAR!!
So needless to say – I felt quite qualified to “program” the cardio equipment. I would not say that I had a “proud” spirit – but I was confident. So began my journey into the bleak “unknown” of things I have NO IDEA about. I stepped onto the elliptical machine the first day we were there – and although Greg seemed adept and able to program his machine – I could NOT program mine. Nothing worked – and I just ended up going manual. The next time we were at the gym (not one to give up easily) I tried another machine, thinking that I was just having a rough day or something. Same thing. Nothing. So I went manual again.
Then I decided to try the treadmill – I mean, after all – how hard could it be to program one of those? Hmmmm. I stepped on it and saw about 7 programs and I selected one. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. So I again went manual – which is a pain because you have to keep going faster by selecting the speed yourself instead of it doing it automatically. But being a “trooper” – I was not going to let anything get in the way of my workout – so push the buttons all through the workout – I did.
The next time at the gym I tried another elliptical – downstairs this time – right next to another on that Greg was on – and he again was successful – and AGAIN – I couldn’t program the stupid thing. And to add insult to injury – the panel went completely BLANK!! Greg said, “you broke it” very funny. He even made some crack about how I just needed to pedal faster and maybe it would magically appear again – it didn’t – and I felt ridiculous. So I came to a stop and went to the front desk and told a couple of the young guys behind the desk. I’m sure they were thinking to themselves, “this poor lady doesn’t have a CLUE how to program the machine” – but they didn’t say so – and one of them came with me to the back of the gym where the machine was. He had me jump on and start peddling – explaining that I wasn’t going FAST ENOUGH and that was probably why the panel didn’t light up. Well I peddled and peddled and NOTHING. So then it was determined that it needed a new battery – and off he went to put in a maintenance call. It was really annoying. I am NOT stupid – I just couldn’t get any of my machines to program correctly – or one that worked right!!! So I gave up and moved to the bicycle next to the “broken” machine. A few minutes later a man in his 40’s came over with a clip board and went right to the machine. I was glad to see him and told him that it was the battery that needed to be replaced. He nodded at me and seemed friendly and engaging – talking about the machine and this and that. I asked him how long it would take to fix the machine – all the while peddling away – and he then told me, “Oh I’m not here to fix the machine – I was going to use it – but now that you tell me it’s broken I guess I won’t” Oh brother. I told him he looked official because of the clipboard and he said he always walks around with one. Uh huh. Great.
The next time we were at the gym – I went upstairs and tried another treadmill. There was an older man on a treadmill a couple of machines down from me – and he saw that I was getting frustrated (as I always did when I couldn’t program the stupid thing) and he tried to give help and suggestions – but he clearly did NOT know how to do it either and just always went manual. Why do some guys think they know everything – even when they don’t? It was then that a very nice young woman came and asked me if she could help me – and I said, “PLEASE!!!” She showed me something so simple – that I had totally missed all those times. We got it up and running and I was all smiles – then the man said, “Did you get it?” And I said, “YES!!” I wonder what he thought about that – he didn’t even ask how to do it – just like a man!!
Well that’s all I know – it isn’t much – but at least I can program those machines now – and it’s the simple things in life that make me very happy ♥