My gym is called PTS. Any similarity to “post traumatic stress” is unintentional, or so they tell me.
Apparently if you avoid the gym — or any kind of exercise, really — for about 2 weeks, when you return to the gym, your body punishes your renewed efforts by making the next couple of days difficult for you. This phenomenon makes me crazy: I’ve worked out about 4 times a week for the past 8 years, but miss a week or two and my body makes me feel like I’ve never exercised before. What the heck is that about? Why can’t the gym be like riding a bike — once you get it, you never lose it?
I’m a little sore today. After almost two weeks of not going to the gym (otherwise known around here as “vacation” or, alterntively, “exercise-free bliss”) I had a training appointment yesterday and am paying for it today. My two gym-free weeks were good, but let’s not pretend I sat around doing nothing. I did walk on the boardwalk a couple of times in that period (a 3-mile loop, or so), I still hauled groceries in and out of the house, I carried suitcases and laundry up and down stairs, and ok….I did a few piña-colada bicep curls (if you get my meaning). I was active, but not of the “let’s pick up this 25 pound weight and see how much fun it will be to do a chest fly with it.” (Short answer: not much.)
When I was pregnant with my 4th baby, it occurred to me that there were now a LOT of small people relying on me for sustenance and comfort, and it was probably a good thing to try to get healthy and stay healthy (thus: live forever). I’m in good physical shape, thanks to the three professionals who “force me” to meet them at the gym several times a week (thanks, team). [Yes, I have three different trainers. What I tell people is, “You think only one person can get me to look like this?”] I have to believe, though, that these trainer-types also need degrees in psychology in order to put up with clients like me who count the minutes on the clock and say things like, “Oh look, it’s almost time to stretch,” when we’re 31 minutes into the hour. The sad fact is, unless I’ve invested the money in training appointments I won’t exercise. This flies in the face of my interest in living forever, I know, but I just hate it so very much I can’t get over it.
Exercise is important to me because of the health benefits — it really is, and yet….I just can’t become one of those people who loves exercise. I love it when it’s over. I love leaving the gym, feeling tired and sweaty and somewhat strong. But I hate hate hate the prior 60 minutes. HATE. I want to be one of those happy people who says, “Oh gosh, I have to get home because I haven’t been to the gym yet today and I’m really feeling it.” (I’m more, “Oh wow. I have to hang out here a few more minutes because then it will be too late to get to the gym and I’ll just have to try again tomorrow.”)
I would probably be more polite if I did a better job of hiding my hate, but I can’t (or don’t). One of my trainers helpfully provides me with a letter grade for attitude during the course of our hour together: “Don’t aggravate me, Alyson…I’m giving you a C- for today.” (Apparently “the customer is always right” doesn’t apply to the personal training model of customer service. Believe me, I’ve tried that one several times, as in “Don’t you think it would be good if we worked on resting heart rates for a couple of minutes?” They’re always all, “No, it would be a good idea if you did another set of T push-ups,” or some such thing.)
It’s 20 hours and 15 minutes until my next training appointment. And I’ll be there.