It’s 10:30 on Thursday morning and I am usually at the gym. Chuck, my personal trainer for the past 4 years, is always bright and cheerful. I’m not. At that time of the morning, he has been on the job since 5:00am. I crawl out of bed at 7:30am. He has had his eggs with turmeric, green tea and honey and other healthy stuff. I have wolfed down some grapes, a waffle and two cups of coffee with cream.
Chuck is on vacation for two weeks. I implied that I would work out while he was gone. Notice that I didn’t say that I promised. He thought it would be good if I used our usual time to do something physical like walking for an hour. Or dusting off the cobwebs and using the treadmill he knows I have in the house. I nodded. It was an acknowledgment that I heard him, not a promise.
At this moment, it’s raining and I can’t take a walk. And I’m afraid that the power might go out if there’s any lightning, so I can’t use the treadmill. And my husband wants me to go out to lunch with him. And I’ve got to spend some time with the dogs. And I had to write this blog.
Anyway, I’ve got the rest of this week and next week to exercise at least three times so that I can look Chuck in the face when he returns.
The problem is that even thinking about exercising is making me tired. Maybe tomorrow.
Here’s a blog I wrote in 2013 about the joys of working out. It’s all still true.
Please Don’t Tell My Personal Trainer
Twice a week, I have breakfast, make my bed, get dressed in my exercise clothes and drive 10 minutes to a gym to work out with my personal trainer, Chuck. I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t exercise if I didn’t have someone waiting for me who had been paid to be there.
I work out with weights, ropes, bands, balls, a baseball bat (don’t ask) and, occasionally, boxing gloves. I groan (lots) and sweat (some) for about an hour… then Chuck makes me stretch my aching body so that I can walk to my car.
Do I work out to get thin? That would be nice, but there’s little chance of that happening at this point. No, I work out to stay as flexible as possible, to deal with impending over-60 balance issues, and to keep the flab under my arms from drooping so much that I can’t wear anything that doesn’t have long sleeves.
I definitely don’t work out for pleasure and I probably wouldn’t do it if there was a pharmaceutical alternative. However, I have to admit that I feel better about myself and have more energy when I work out than when I find excuses not to.
There are many things I don’t like about the experience, but what do I like the least?
- Is it the drive to and from the gym?
- Is it the aches and pains of calf raises?
- Is it the 200th squat of the session?
- Is it the tiresome trainer saying “just 3 more”?
No. All of these are on my top 10 list, but the thing that really bothers me the most are the mirrors.
All gyms have mirrors. They cover most walls. They are big and unavoidable.
Trainers will tell you that it’s important to have correct “form” to achieve maximum benefit from your exercises and that mirrors are the way to check your posture. I don’t believe it. Mirrors are for the trainers, body builders and 20 and 30 year old exercise fanatics to admire their sexy bodies in their body-hugging “fitness attire”.
Mirrors are definitely NOT for 60-something women who show up at the gym with baggy black t-shirts and wild hair pulled back in a scraggly ponytail. (While working out with Chuck, I am often shocked when I inadvertently glance in one of the mirrors – where did that old lady come from?)
I know what I’m talking about. I was a gym regular in my 20’s and 30’s (and even into my 40’s) and wore the latest, most fashionable and colorful gear I could find. Remember stretchy wrist bracelets, scrunch socks and head bands? Here’s Cher in the 80’s in case you don’t:
In my younger years, I often checked out my exercise “form” … which really meant checking out my thin and toned body in my great new clothes. Mirrors were my friends.
So, Chuck, please don’t tell me what the mirrors are for. I know what they are for and I don’t want to have anything to do with them. Point me toward a wall and earn your money by making sure I have the right “form”, OK?
Gyms are never going to take down the mirrors or provide curtains that can be pulled shut over them, so I guess I will just have to continue to “suck it up” (in more ways than one).