|Day 23/365: The Gym
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
I’ve restrained myself from talking about this previously for the following reasons:
- Talking about one’s exercise regimen is mostly boring to other people.
- Talking about exercising in a gym is boring, full stop.
- Exercising in a gym is boring.
Unfortunately it happens to be the only exercise regimen I can demonstrably stick to for longer than a few weeks. The times in my life I have paid for a gym membership, I have gone religiously at least three times a week for between one and three years.
(Parenthetical interjection: I would request that this not be taken as a cue for people to suggest that there are types of exercise that aren’t boring, and have I tried X, this amazing thing that you enjoy? Yes, yes, I have tried many things, including running outdoors, cycling outdoors, rock climbing, etc. The problem with them is that I do them briefly and then I stop because of weather or lack of gumption. I also do not do team sports.* The gym, on the other hand, I build into my day, and because I’m paying for a membership, I count down the ratio of times I’ve been in v. monthly fee and feel a warm glow of satisfaction as the cost per visit gets smaller.)
I joined a gym in early November, and have been using it as regularly as stated above. Thus I have once again proved to myself that this is the probably only way I am ever going to get enough exercise, and I shall probably be doing this for the rest of my life. I have difficulty accepting that this is not something I can or should eventually stop. It’s not like there’s an end goal, like a degree or an award. Or rather, the goal is “stay fit and healthy”, and to do that, I have to keep going to the gym. Forever. Sigh. It is boring and tedious, but it also makes me feel 9000 times better physically and emotionally than when I don’t. I also sleep very soundly, which is quite helpful when one is perpetually short on sleep.
Now to the really boring bit, in which I witter in detail about my exercise regimen. I have placed this behind a merciful cut.
I started off gently in November, with 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer followed by weight-lifting, for the first couple of sessions. Then I added in 20 minutes on the bike for a week. Then I cut the bike to 10 minutes and added 10 minutes on the treadmill.
I have gradually adjusted the ratios so I now spend either 20 minutes on the elliptical and 30 running on the treadmill, or 30/20, still followed by a quick weightlifting session. (The bike has been eliminated.) This is what I want to maintain, apart from when I have a bit of extra time and can spend longer on it all.
I do the above 2-3 times a week, and then at the weekends, we go to the gym as a family and use the rather nice swimming pool together. The children love it because they can bring their floats, and the whole pool is only 1.2 metres deep although it’s 25 metres long. The bloke and I take turns to sneak into the sauna for 10-15 minutes each as well. It’s great fun, good exercise for the kids, and it makes me remember that the gym can be enjoyable when used in this way although it won’t get me much in the way of exercise until the children can swim independently.
* Don’t get me started on the “if you don’t like team sports you must be bad at cooperation” argument. I don’t like team sports because I don’t like being jostled around or shouted at whilst I’m exercising. I am fully capable of cooperation in many other contexts, including whilst at work, tyvm.
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