Monday, January 17, 2011

I’m On The Treadmill…Now What?

At the beginning of the year, I decided I had better start working out. I remember the day. It was January 2nd and my family and I were at the table having supper. We were talking and I said I needed to figure out something to lose the extra five or ten pounds I’ve managed to acquire. It wasn’t my New Year’s resolution. I learned a long time ago to stop trying to kid myself with those. I never manage to remember what I had resolved to do six months later, much less stick to it. (Note to self: Find some memory improvement exercises.) Anyway, I had a stack of newspaper inserts that I wanted to look through. I dug out the TV schedule insert and there it was. It was kismet. Fate. Right there on the front of the TV listings.

An article on the YWCA and their “Get Fit for Free” promotion.

Because really, where else would an article about needing to work out be better placed? All those lazy asses (yes, me) that are more interested in what’s on TV tonight than doing physical activity, will actually see it and maybe, just maybe, decide to do something active. It was, of course, geared toward all those people that did make New Year’s resolutions to get them in the door. Try it out then put their money where their mouths are.

It hooked me. I was the sucker that went in the very next morning and filled out the paperwork and got my five free pass card.

Of course, I wasn’t prepared to exercise that day. I wasn’t dressed properly. And you can’t jump into something like that. It’s a big step for me. Exercise and a new place all at the same time? Nope. Gotta take it slow. I’m not an dieter. I love food too much. I’m not an exercise person. I like to sit and do quiet things. And I definitely am not an adventurous person. Or even someone willing to try new things. I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about going to a unfamiliar gas station for crying out loud! To actually go into a new building where other people are and do something I’ve never done before? Get outta here! That’s crazy talk! I’d feel like an idiot and I really, REALLY hate feeling stupid.

So the big day finally arrives. I’m ready to try it out. I’m gonna go and (gulp) exercise. I’d planned it all out. I had my outfit picked out the night before and my playlist set up on my new mp3 player my husband had gotten me for Christmas. (Another sign of fate, perhaps? ) I dropped my daughter off at school and my son and I headed to the Y. We went in, gave my card to the very friendly woman who had signed me up the other day, got directions where each of the rooms were, and headed down the hall.

I was nervous for my son because he hadn’t been babysat by anyone other than his grandparents for more than maybe five or ten minutes. But, into the babysitting room we went. No one. Okaaay…I know this is the right room. The sign out in the hall said this is it. All these toys have to be for little crumb-crunchers. Now what. I poke my head out of the room after taking off his coat and see a different lady heading my direction. We both smile and say good morning. I step back into the babysitting room and point different toys out to my son that he would like. I’m sure only about three minutes passed from when I walked in until the babysitter walked in, but I was more nervous than ever. But there she was; the same friendly lady I had exchanged good mornings with the minute prior. Well, that’s good. She’s nice and he’s the only kid here. Easy way to start. I give him a hug and head to the locker room to dump our coats in a locker.

I had passed the cardio room on our way to the babysitting room, so I knew where I was headed. When I got there, it was empty! Thank God for small miracles! I picked out the machine I wanted to start on. Naturally the one next to the wall farthest from the door. (Didn’t want to have anyone that would come in notice me.) I put my earbuds in, got on the treadmill and starting pressing buttons trying to figure out how to get it started. That part actually didn’t take as long as I thought it would, but I’m still sending my silent thanks out into the universe that there was no one there to witness my confusion.

The machine starts moving and I start walking. I’ve got my music playing. You know, upbeat stuff to keep me motivated. By this time someone else had come in and turned the far TV on. So, I’m walking and adjusting the speed to a level that will actually do some good, but won’t make me fall off the back of the treadmill. (Something I fear every time I get on one.) As I’m walking, I start to wonder, “Now what?! This is boring. What am I supposed to think about?” I had my book with me in the hopes that I could read, but the little ledge wasn’t quite big enough to balance it. But really, what do people think about when they’re working out? Or what do they do to keep from getting bored?

I’ve been there a few times now and I still struggle with what do I do with  myself. I try to ignore the TVs because it’s usually a choice between The Today Show (no thank you) or Regis and Kelly (not quite so bad, but I’m not really interested.) I’ve got my music, but I have to be careful not to start singing. Wouldn’t that be a sight? The last time I was there I just tried to not think about anything and zone out. I’m not allowed to do that too often with two kids constantly needing my attention. But I’m still curious to know what other people do when they’re working out. What goes through your minds?

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