Tag Archives: gym

Dispatches from the Gym

As of late, I have taken to using the swimming pool at the gym where I work out; a result of some strange twinges in my back that could or could not be a sign to take it easy with the weights or then again, just a sign of old age.

An x-ray and check up with an orthopedist surgeon revealed nothing out of the ordinary and he encouraged me to ‘strengthen’ my midsection, laughing when I told him that 3 sets of 12 sit-ups on the incline bench were already part of my weighty routine.

“Thirty sit-ups?” he laughed derisively, ” you need to be doing at least a hundred or more each day.”

I tolerate his disdain only because a) he is a friend of mine and b) he didn’t charge me anything for the doctor’s visit and c) he is one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the city.

In any case, I have taken up swimming which is a great way to exercise here, as there is no sweating involved, no jarring impact injury potential and it is generally a peaceful experience, when the pool staff isn’t playing the latest David Guetta rave concert at full volume.

Recently I witnessed a classic Merida scene while in the pool. The cutest little three or four year old girl, goggles on, clutching her swim instructor who was encouraging her to kick harder. Her head rested on his shoulder, her tiny hands grasping his neck. Think Dakota Fanning in Man on Fire but even more adorable.

Mom, meanwhile, was in the air conditioned lounging area, updating her Facebook page or some such equally significant activity on her smartphone while nearby, but by no means near the young mother, a rather stocky, sullen brown person ie. her maid, sat looking bored, large bags of clothes and other accoutrements related to keeping her charge (the little girl) at her side.

What a missed opportunity, I thought, in my naive Canadian way, for this Mom to connect with her daughter in the pool. The tenderness of the child hanging onto the instructor for dear life reminded me of the many small kids I taught to swim back when my little ones were, well, little. Memories to last a lifetime. And this woman, evidently, judging (yes I am judgemental) from her clothes, maid and bone structure, from Merida’s clase acomodada, was completely missing out on them.

Kind of sad, really.

Dispatches from the Gym

It has been a while since I last commented on my progress at the gym, the one with all the fancy cars outside and the impossibly fit personal trainer.

I have progressed beyond the exhaustion/vomiting in the parking lot point and have come to enjoy my workouts, actually missing them if I go for more than a day without sweating it out. My physique is slowly but surely changing; there are bulges now where there was only flab or nothing at all and my joints ache, but in a good way, a way that says ‘you are alive, you are getting stronger’ and also ‘don’t push it, you old fart’.

My favorite moments, though, are still those involving the locker room. There is something I find hilarious about all that loud, boisterous male on male banter and the imaginative and creative uses of the hair dryers provided by the gym presumable for us menfolk to dry their hair.

Just yesterday I watched in amazement as a towel clad individual, freshly returned from the showers, blow dried a basket of toiletries.

Two thoughts immediately came to mind: 1) what kind of man is it that has a plastic tray with his shower toiletries? and 2) what kind of man finds it necessary to blow dry this item before returning it to a locker? Presumably his locker is full of moisture-sensitive materials that would desintegrate upon making contact with said moisture?

I don’t know.

Enlighten me?

Day Four at the Gym; on Lockers, Deodorant and Muscle Fatigue

Thanks to the impossibly fit 50 year old personal trainer who leads my bloated self through the intimidating exercise machine routines with their incomprehensible levers and knobs I am once again deprived of arm movement. On my fourth visit to the gym he put me through what feels like a wringer with probably ridiculously light weights which for this old fart seem unbearably heavy and thanks to his next client – a beach-based real estate agent with no fat that I can detect – being late, I got an extra half hour of this torture. Miraculously, my “faint or puke” reflex has subsided somewhat and I can now move from one set of exercises to another with less steadying time in between. Steadying time, for those unfamiliar with the concept which may or may not be a completely original invention, is the time needed to catch one’s breath, balance and allow blood to return to the brain.

I also “moved in” to “my” locker; which enabled me to try out the facility’s showers and change rooms and found that after a workout, it is highly preferable to have on hand a spray deodorant as opposed to the stick version given the limitations of my previously mentioned arm movement. It would have also desirable to have a locker on the bottom half of the row, not the top, for the same reason.

The showers are the push button water faucet variety, which means they save water and you push that button every 75 seconds or so; the shampoo provided feels more like conditioner in that it doesn’t lather up and so the soap dispenser does the job on the hair as well as the rest of it. Thankfully there are few people in the changeroom when Yours Truly visits so there is no need for jovial banter or the like.

Monday is visit number 5. Should anything exciting or untoward happen, I will write about it.