Friday, August 05, 2005

The Work Work-Out

I am fully aware of the benefits of "strength training". I get it. I understand that it is soooo necessary for oh so many reasons such as: So your bones don't crumble inside of your body reducing you to a skin sack. And because it helps your triceps from turning into propelling devices, bat wings or arm capes. It helps prevent your butt cheeks from dragging on the ground and helps your stomach from turning into a lava-like substance that can only be contained behind tight, high pants.

Strength training also keeps you from embarrassing yourself in the following situation: You are carrying groceries to your car, maybe three bags in tow. In the parking lot, you drop your keys and when you squat down to pick them up you feel like you have two grown men on your shoulders when you try to raise back up. You try to get up all smooth and graceful-like because you want to pretend -- for the shoppers around you -- that you are not struggling nor are you as weak as you feel; this all resulting in a pulled hamstring.

I am an expert in Knowing One Needs to Strength Train. Just ask me. But for ME to actually consistently weight train falls into the Amnesia portion of my psyche. I am constantly telling myself, "Ok, gotta hit the weights, yes." Weeks later, "Whoa, gotta do some sqauts here." More weeks pass, "Ok, what was I doing with these weights. I know they are good for me." "Today, I will start weight training immediately." And so forth.

Getting to the gym is hard. And carving it into your schedule; writing it on your calendar; pinning a note to your lapel in the morning is the only way to move working out OUT of the Amnesia part of the brain and into the section called Routine. And I had to do that with my strength training - before I forgot.

At work, Kim has made a back office into a great little make-shift gym. She bought equipment on eBay and out of the Recycler and we've all pitched in bringing hand weights and resistance bands. I even brought in a paint-splattered radio with a broken antenna that I bought in 1992 that has sat in my garage for 10 years because the CD player doesn't work. I'm a giver . . . So, when the gym was finished, about a week after I started working there, I knew it was God's way of saying, Get your ass in there 'cause the weights ain't gonna lift themselves. It couldn't have been a more blatant sign if Kim had built the gym right in my cubicle. And I made a commitment to myself to get in that little gym twice a week, during lunch and push some weights around.

Excuse #1: Here is an audio reel that runs in my head every second of my weight routine: One, two -- is ten reps enough? Ok, twelve then. Is this weight heavy enough? I hate when the weight is too heavy? Do I really have to do another set? GOD THIS IS BORING. Ok, six, seven -- ug. What am I going to do next? Will two exercises be enough? One for legs, one for arms? nine, ten. That's good enough . . . It's near torture for me. And I realized (I am constantly realizing) that I can't think, I have to put my mind on mute and just do it for 30 minutes, twice a week. 30 MINUTES. I CAN DO 30 MINUTES, if I don't talk to myself. 'Cause I really can talk myself in and out of anything and if it's remotely a drag, I'm talking to get out. And if it's about eating a COOKIE, I'm talking myself in. So, sshhh, mind, sshh.

Excuse #2: Our adorable little work gym is the hottest room -- in the world. It's like walking on the face of the sun. It is the only office in the building that gets no air conditioning, and when you open the door you see mirages off the carpet. You enter and your face melts. I'm like, "Kim, why do you have us working out in Satan's sauna?" And poor Kim felt so badly she brought in two huge industrial fans that just blow around the swirling heat gasses, but they really do help. Especially when you stand right in front of them. The first day I worked out in there, I did my lunges right in front of a humongous fan; as I counted my reps, my voice warbled and vibrated, that's how close I was to the fan. Kim peeked in. She said, "What? Are you shooting a workout video in here?" I then realized how Beyonce I looked with the hair blowing a la music video and me trying to keep perfect form, and of course I was talking to myself which probably looked like I was lip synching.

Here I am working out.

I've been going. To our little hot gym. Two times a week; Tuesday and Thursday at noon for 30 minutes. Because I just have to. I can do 30 minutes and whine and talk all I want, but I just have to like having to do laundry. I don't want to do laundry so often, but I have to. So, I've been keeping my commitment to my strength training regime. Me and my coworker, Teri; we've been diligent. Teri's got her own staunch commitment that she's sticking to. Maybe not the exact as mine, but I'm sure they are similar. We're not necessarily work-out buddies, but we find comfort in the fact that someone else Means It This Time. We talk a little, but not much, and we lift away. Teri's driven by her own goals, and I try to engage my core and reel in my swinging triceps and pull up my butt that was looking sad . . .Don't be sad, butt because I think I'm on track to finally making this Routine.

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