Friday, August 20, 2010

On the gym

I think I mentioned that Bob and I joined the gym about a week before my 50th birthday.  It made sense.  We're both hitting 50.  We want to exercise, but we live in SC where it is at 80 degrees at 7 am for most of the year.  When it's cool enough to walk outside, it's too dark.  It wasn't working for us.  I'd thought about yoga classes, but the gym offers yoga among other classes and costs less.  There is that nasty 2 year financial commitment, but that's just incentive to work out, right?


And anyway, Gold's Gym, which we joined had just hired my daughter-in-law.  That didn't work out, so now I feel free to tell the story of the fitness trainer who I thought was going to help me learn to use the machines.  Silly me.

OK, so I go in and the woman I'm supposed to see isn't there.  It turns out I'm scheduled for Saturday at 9 am not Friday.  OK, that's not going to happen, I say.  So they set me up with a guy for Friday afternoon. 

I'm thinking he's going to weigh me, talk about goals, show me how to use the machines.  No.  We did talk about goals, but I'm not sure he heard me.

D: so what are your goals?

Me:  I want to be healthier.  I'd like to lose weight...

D: how much?

Me:  About 50 lbs.

D:  (Raises eyebrow)

Me:  That puts me in a healthy range and if I lose too much weight I'll be all wrinkly.  Like Nancy Reagan.

D:  OK.  (Writes: "Lose 60 lbs." on my goal sheet.)

Me: (Eye roll.)

D:  (Long and boring spiel about rates for personal trainers who will "Kick my butt" and get me into shape.)

Me:  I don't want anyone to kick my butt.  I'm 50 years old.  I want to use the treadmill and the girly weight machines.  Can you show me how to use those?

D:  (More crap about personal trainers, kicking butts, and rates "you can't beat")

Me:  (Eye roll.)  OK, well let me talk to my husband about this.

D:  Oh (eyebrow raise) did you ask your husband if you should buy those shoes?

Me:  (Double eyebrow raise and expression that everyone who knows me knows means get the hell out of my way but D. thought meant he'd brow beaten me into submission.)  (Like the brow pun?)  No, but my shoes don't come with a two year contract.

Then, just because he'd pissed me off, I explained to him that as an INTP on the Meyers-Briggs scale, I tended to believe people who I liked and because of socialization, I tended to want to make people happy.  And that now that I was 50 I'd finally figured out that I needed to walk away from long-term commitments and talk the decision over with other people who would help me put things in perspective.  His gaze went blank, and when I finished, he said, "Well let's workout then."

He did NOT show me how to use the treadmill or elliptical machine, which are much more complicated than they sound.  He showed me one weight machine, but didn't really help me use it, he just adjusted it.  And he had me do these awful squats and weight things.  Then I left feeling kind of crappy about the whole thing.

In fact, I couldn't get out of bed the next day.  My legs would not move.  By Sunday, I could walk, but almost died during the service (Episcopalian calisthenics.)  Morgan laughed at me every time I moved from sitting to standing to kneeling.  The 90 year old people pushed me forward during communion (not really, they were very patient.) 

Bob went to visit D on Saturday and he missed work on Monday.  Why in the world would D think it's a good thing to work two middle-aged people who admitted they hadn't been in shape since the last century (or their last incarnation, in my case) to the point of near-crippling?  Did he think that would make us want to jump up every morning and get our butts kicked again and again?  Personally, I can think of a lot more interesting ways to inflict pain on myself.

Maybe he wanted us to be so miserable, we don't use the gym again, now that they have our two year financial commitment and they still get the money whether we show up or not.   Probably not, I don't think he thought that much.  I think he believes everyone wants to get their butts kicked by muscle-bound personal-like trainers.  Maybe he's INTP and that's his world.

In any case, we went religiously for a week after we recovered.  Life intervened and we haven't been back for two weeks.  We will start again on Monday.  Me on the treadmill reading my Barnes & Noble Nook and Bob on the elliptical watching FOX news alternated with the Morning Joe.  And if we see D, all of us will pretend we have never been through that embarrassing little S&M episode.  At least I will.  I think D has forgotten us already.  I feel so... cheap.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Decade of what?

I am planning to make my 50s the decade of joy, but so far it's the decade of "get the hell out of my way or I'll hit you with a bat."  I'm hoping this will change soon.  Maybe I'll just sit here and rest a spell.

There are already really good things.  I joined the gym and went for awhile.  I'll probably start going again soon.  An old friend made contact after 12 years.  Well, 12 since we talked and about 22 since we've seen each other.  It is really good to hear from her.  I think we both are awakening at 50, but I might be presuming there.  I think I mentioned that I sometimes feel as if I was in a coma for about 20 years, beginning to come alive again at about 40.

The things that are dragging me are the same old things.  Nothing dramatic, nothing I can fight head on, really.

My computer broke.  I'm using an inspiron mini (which seemed like such a cute idea when I bought it).  I'm hoping the desk top will get fixed soon.  Especially since my youngest son is in an on-line virtual charter school.  Computers that you can actually see are really important here.

My dishwasher broke.  I hear it's been fixed.  That's good because I was about to take all of the dishes upstairs and give them a shower.  And by all the dishes, I mean ALL the dishes.  Since my sink drains through the dishwasher, I couldn't even use the kitchen sink without flooding my floor.  Serious bummer.

Mark and I are painting the study/classroom.  I have high hopes for organization when it's done (tomorrow, I hope.)  I often say I can be organized in one area of my life at a time.  I usually pick work.  Now I need to be organized in work and Mark's school.  I am almost wondering if it would be that bad if he went to a school that teaches Charlotte's Web in its 6th grade honors English class.  But then I remember that SC funds its public colleges and universities at about 10% so the tuition to even state colleges is more than the value of my house.  Scholarship, baby.

And then there are the shenanigans at his old school, where a selfish board refused to approve contracts for three teachers (the day AFTER school started) but did find the time and money to buy pretty report card covers and a wand with which to put up school achievements.  Since the twits fallible human beings won't acknowledge the great job of the director and teachers who are committed to multi-age, child-centered, inquiry-based education, I'm not sure what they want to put on the sign.  (The school has made Adequate yearly progress two years in a row, and last year's 6th grade (Mark's class) led the entire district among 6th grade classes.)

I'm thinking that a trip to the gym might not be a bad idea.  Or maybe I'll go upstairs and paint a room, then organize my really cool school supplies.