Joining a health club  

PillsburyCodeBoy 60M
479 posts
9/28/2005 7:26 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Joining a health club


Last Friday, while we were making preparations for the storm that ultimately didn't hit us, my girlfriend and I tried to keep our wits about us by doing normal things. What could be more normal than joining a health club?

It was her idea. She's been dieting lately and doing quite well at it: she's lost 45 pounds since April, most of it in the last two months. But my preferences for exercise, cycling and martial arts, don't appeal to her. She'd rather do abdominal crunches (I'm not sure she really wants to do them; does anyone?), stair machines, and weight training. So she looked into the health club option. Turns out two can join as cheaply as one.

This is not my first experience with a health club. When I lived in San Antonio, before we moved here, I belonged to a major chain whose name you'd probably recognize instantly. I joined mostly because (1) I lived next door to it and (2) it had a pool that, unlike the one at my apartment complex, kids were not allowed to use. In San Antonio in the summer, anyone with a pool is your best friend.

Our local health club is not part of a major chain, and it does not, alas, have a pool. But it's new and in a nice big building.

I got a bad vibe when I walked in the door and saw a very large banner with a quotation from Ursula K. LeGuin: "It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end." Nice. Except they got her name wrong; they left out the Le. Oops!

Then there was the music: John Mayer's "Daughters" to a disco beat. Yikes! And I thought the music at the ice rink was bad. Hell of a time to forget my MP3 player. Note to self: "Next time, DON'T FORGET MP3 PLAYER!!"

Several pieces of equipment were out of order, including one treadmill ("Super Tuff, Built to Last a Lifetime" looks funny with an "Out of Order" sign taped next to it), two stationary bikes, and the one TV that hovered above it all.

Still, there was enough to keep me busy. I found a working treadmill and got started. Later I briefly did some weight machines. I didn't stay at it long enough to get bored, and some of the muscles in my shoulder and neck that had felt sore when I came in actually felt better afterwards.

Eventually I found an empty room large enough to practice my aikido exercises undisturbed.

While I was doing my thing, my girlfriend was taking to all this like a fish to water, moving from one machine to another. I had no idea.

The young man who signed us up and gave us a tour indicated that the club is a work in progress, with some kinks to be worked out but some additional plans in the works. Sounds a little like ... me.

This could be an interesting experience. I'm keeping an open mind, despite my initial misgivings.

berrigal2 60F

9/28/2005 8:44 am

Your g/f sounds like she is in the same stage as I am in. I am just happy that I can walk better now and move since the pounds are coming off. Fat was sort of an insulation emotionally and physically. If someone asked me to do something that was too hard, I could just say...Nope, I'm too big.

Sometimes healthy, active people forget, or have never experienced not being able to move because the muscles have forgotten what they were intended for. Being able to walk a treadmill makes me feel like I can eventually conquer the world!!

She will do great in the zone she is in for awhile. I am. I can't think beyond the machines yet to aikido, yoga or even jogging. Walking and feeling good enough to breathe afterwards is reward enough at this stage. lol

I hope she continues along her health journey. It's nice that you are supportive of her, some of us don't have that at home.

Good luck to you both!


rm_pootle47 58F

9/28/2005 9:46 am

It's all those addictive endorphins. She's like me, SO happy to have a body that still works now the fat has gone, you'll have to watch her with the instructor.

I wish I had a nice space to practice my Kata. I have to do it in the garage, where the punch bag lives. Cold floor on bare feet.


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

9/28/2005 1:53 pm

Thank you, berri. And continued good luck to you.

She's finding out how addictive it is to feel and look better after losing weight. She's already dropped at least one size that I know of and says the size she's at now is feeling loose. Meanwhile, she's getting a lot of compliments at work from coworkers.

Mysterious packages of women's clothing keep showing up on our doorstep. Today it's Lane Bryant and Roaman's. Tomorrow ... ???

She found a photograph last night of the two of us taken on vacation five years ago. I was the heaviest then I've ever been (60 lbs. more than now). We just stared and laughed and shook our heads and asked ourselves, "Who are those people?"


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

9/28/2005 2:06 pm

pootle, finding a good place to practice is still hard for me, too. I lucked out at the health club in finding a room that wasn't being used. But it's hardly ideal. It's got some kind of knobby rubber tile on it, and it's harder than the floor in my regular classroom (which is really just a carpeted floor; I think it should have mats, but it doesn't).

Last night my aikido instructor was out of town, so I went to the club to exercise instead. I found an empty room again and swiped all the yoga mats so I could practice rolls. It worked pretty well. It's probably the best I'm going to be able to do between classes.

Cold floor and bare feet, huh? Somewhere I can hear a voice telling me it's supposed to build character. And calling me "grasshopper."


rm_pootle47 58F

9/28/2005 2:27 pm

All it's building at the moment is arthritic ankles dear. England in late September is cold and damp.

But as my Sensei tonight said "It's only pain, push through it, where's your warrior spirit?"
"At home watching the telly Sensei."

No I didn't really say that, I'm already marked as lippy.

I'm glad I don't have to do rolls. At 5'7" the ground is just too far away. You're a better warrior than I.

I wonder it carpeting the garage would be deemed whoosey?


rm_jayR63 59F
1884 posts
9/28/2005 7:23 pm

If the Sensei prompts you to push through pain, I don't think the Sensei has much sense, eh?
Your body is telling you something. Listen to it before you really hurt yourself.


rm_pootle47 58F

9/29/2005 1:12 am

To be honest jay, he's doing me a favour. The best thing for creaky joints is exercise. Increasing the blood flow cleans away the rubbish, strengthening the surrounding musculature takes the strain off the joint. My back is much better than it used to be from all the work. The real bully is the English damp, and the 4" heels I wear half the time.

He wouldn't let me really hurt myself, he's a complete honey-bunny really and, as Pil says, he's building my character. Although certain people might think I have more than enough character already.


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