Feeling the demographic tug.

I joined a gym.

There’s a little tag on my keys. I now know how to program the elliptical machines. I’ve seen how to get the extra “burn” at the end of a series of reps. Hell, I even know the difference between the adductor and the abductor machines.

This is vile stuff. Taking exercise is, for me, an admittance of weakness. My daily life is not sufficiently strenuous physically, so I must stimulate my muscles in a fluorescent-lit space? How… bourgeoisie. Detached. Dishonorable. Removed from the process of living, as it were.

I’d much rather be of the same mind as Peter O’Toole: “The only exercise I get these days is walking behind the coffins of my friends who took exercise.”

Despite this feeling, the extra *ahem* gravitas of age was made apparent during our recent trip to New York. I’ve spent a lot of time there roaming the streets and it felt great to see some familiar neighborhoods and even more familiar faces. Until the next day, that is. I’d forgotten how many stairs are involved between subways, brownstones, and everything else.

Add to that the realization that I drive to work in a ten year old minivan, sit at a desk, then come home to sit with the parrots—lo, I am not the great urban farmer/laborer/naturalist. I knit and watch baseball and occasionally walk two blocks to the garden to fight the good fight against Bermuda grass.

One can be complacent about one’s slide into increased mass and middle age just so long. Eventually something will happen that pricks the ego, and you can sit there and stew or get up and learn how to use the tricep machine. There’s also this “spinning” thing that’s promised to kick my ass. I got my New York attitude in shape while I was up there, so I’m ready to take on anything.

Even the treadmill.

  1. #1 by Lono on September 24, 2007 - 5:10 pm

    That is most excellent!

    Being unintentionally counter culture most of my life, it seems fitting that I should now aspire to be uber fit as the rest of America continues it’s downward slide into complete and total morbid obesity…

    I have had to add a little money tho to sweeten the deal a bit – but my co-workers and family are easy suckers – so I do not feel bad taking their hard earned cash.

    Now I just have to drop 50 lbs by my daughters 1st B-Day to call in the bet..

    Hmm… probably shouldn’t have had that tripple caramel machiato this morning… D’oh! ;-)

  2. #2 by Adam on September 25, 2007 - 1:00 pm

    Don’t let them fool you – ‘spinning’ is just using a stationary bike while being yelled at by an overly perky trainer.

  3. #3 by patita on September 25, 2007 - 3:04 pm

    Lono, man, you are an inspiration! I need to have some money and a deadline running on this thing. Do you get part of the cash if you make it to 40lbs or whatever? I see a “sponsor by the pound” type thing too!

    Adam, you’ve hit it on the head. I don’t like that weird cultish perkiness they have. Same thing put me off yoga somewhat–I don’t need an enlightened size 4 woman to ask me to join a singalong.

    Back in high school I did step aerobics in gym, along with a couple of very close and equally irreverent friends. We had the Cher exercise video: mucho, mucho suck. She sings along with the background music (which is, of course, her own songs). Bad enough for an Apatow film, but damn if I wasn’t in good shape from it.

    Today I’m getting my cardio by rapidly grabbing tissues and walking across the room to refill my water glass. There’s also the cough drop lifting and the nap endurance challenge.

  4. #4 by Lono on September 25, 2007 - 5:01 pm

    Well it’s gonna be a nail biter – at this point I need to lose 45lbs/85days = 3.71 lbs per week…

    Of course – when money is on the line – I refuse to lose – which means no tactic is beneath me at this point – although the excercise bike is my main weapon of choice (since my large girth tends to crush my bones when jogging)

    Lot’s of 80′s punk and old school BOC seems to keep the fires burning even when I get a bit winded – hip hop is too self indulgent to get me going and techno too hypnotic to make me care…

    And you have to realize this bet started a good 8 months ago – I’ve just kinda procrastinated up to this point… but the $305 is realistically – if not entirely certainly – within my reach…

    However there is no prize for a close second – but that sponsor by the pound thing could really catch on methinks! Hmm…

  5. #5 by flygrrl on September 27, 2007 - 12:24 pm

    Well, as anti- everything as I am, you know I have always been a big supporter of exercise in whatever form. So I say “bravo.” The trick is finding something you like to do. Weight training is, as you note, pretty far removed from daily life, but that’s what I got hooked on long ago. There’s something about having toned triceps that just can’t be beat. I won’t touch a diet with a ten-foot pole, so I pretty much have to exercise if I don’t want to look like my Midwest brethren, especially after having a child.

  6. #6 by Jennifer on September 29, 2007 - 10:57 pm

    Spinning is one helluva class. The calorie burn relative to time investment is unreal. And the sweat! Holy moly…the SWEAT.

  7. #7 by elwynne on October 16, 2007 - 2:18 am

    Kudos to you! (I am just now catching up, many weeks following your visit…) I’m all for staking the perky cheerleading mistresses of the spinning class straight through the heart, for the record, and offer as an alternative the suggestion that you simply Move North. Heck, if we can’t handle your newly-awakened New York Attitude, then who can?

    I hope that J. and I didn’t run you into the ground with our pace. If it’s any comfort, there are VERY few people who can keep up with us on a routine basis.

    Finally, if you really think we are THAT close to middle age, I must warn you: I plan to be in denial for at LEAST another decade! :p

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