Make that double-ow.
Every so often I make an attempt to do something out of my comfort zone. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I guess the important thing is that I try to get off dead center once in a while. And I’m not much of a risk-taker, anyone who knows me well will tell you that. Yet some of the times I’ve felt most alive have been when I’ve stepped out of my little box and tried something new.
Last night my new thing was trying out some of the machines at the gym. Oh, don’t laugh, I find the machines and the weights to be intimidating as hell. Most everyone in there seems to know what they’re doing, and I have this annoying habit of assuming that I stick out like a sore thumb in a new situation where I don’t know anything.
Hey, what can I say? This is why I read a lot.
Over the weekend, my husband suggested to me that I meet him at the gym so he could show me the machines and tell me how to work them. Which was a great idea, considering the most I’ve ever done is to walk into the room and look around, like I was looking for someone, because all those bars and seats and weights and stuff make absolutely no sense to me. I mean, you look at a bicycle and you know what it’s for. Same with a treadmill.
So while Spawn was at art class last evening, I met my husband in the weight room at the gym and he proceeded to teach me how to use the machines. But first he had to find out what muscle groups I wanted to work out. Um…? All of them?
Yeah. I have no idea.
Usually I’m not so indecisive, and he can tell you that straight up. But having no idea what any of the machines do, I had no idea what muscle groups I might be wanting to work on. Since he’s working on his core, and I’ve been complaining about lower back pain (the kind you get from bending over something and then straightening up) (like, oh, laundry baskets), he settled on teaching me machines that work my core muscles.
If it had been anyone else working with me I might have “um-hm”ed a bit too quickly, just to not let on what a doofus I am about this stuff and slink away quietly after a reasonable period of time. But this is the man I have known for 25 years. He’s wise to my tricks by now. He just kept telling me, over and over, how to do the workout, how many reps to do, which machines (thank god there were only three, I couldn’t have learned any of the others), until it started to click. And then he suggested to my grateful ears that I go walk the track for a mile or so, which is something I know how to do.
I like to walk because it’s the basic formula of putting one foot in front of the other, and there isn’t a whole lot I can do to look like an ass. Besides falling down, of course. Which I have done. And do. But it’s my default exercise, and if you can’t manage the left-right-left thing then you are in trouble, indeed.
I knew when I went to bed last night that I was going to pay for my weight machine experience, since my little wimpy noodle arms were already feeling the vague ache you get from using muscles you didn’t know you had. So I took a couple of Tylenols, a hot shower, and went to bed. This morning, I felt it. Not as badly as I thought I would, but it was there. Which means either a) I didn’t do enough reps or b) I’m in better shape than I thought. As much as I would prefer to think b), I know better.
Another piece of good news was my husband’s suggestion that I don’t do this weight machine thing every day. THANK GOD.
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