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March 15, 2004: A sad excuse for a couch potato

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The last few days my life has been all about exercise, and very little else. I am sensing a growing trend here and Iím not exactly sure itís a good thing. Not, mind you, that exercise is bad. Itís just that I am facing the knowledge that I am going to have to do this kind of thing for the rest of my life and really, where is the fun in that? Sloth is always much more fun than exercise. Sloth with Girl Scout cookies is even better.

After church Sunday I went riding with my dad again, only this time Richard came along as well. We rode over to my parentsí house to pick him up and then meandered all over town discovering parks and streets I hadnít even realized existed. Once we dropped him off again I was still feeling in the mood to ride and Richard didnít have any pressing homework assignments that meant he had to get home right away, so we headed down some of the back roads, up over the freeway and off through the orchards and then back home. Overall, it was a 17 mile ride, but unlike Saturday I was not completely exhausted when we got home. Okay, that is not entirely true. Parts of me were very sore and tired and very glad to be done with the biking for the day, because apparently there is just no bike seat in the world squishy enough, nor is there a pair of bike shorts with enough padding to protect my tail bone. Ow, ow, ow.

Yesterday we got up early and headed off to the gym, where I was able to do the whole workout the trainer had come up for me without wimping out and dropping to lower weights. And by the way I suppose I should mention that Iíve left Curves and joined a gym with Richard. I really liked Curves and it worked so nicely into my schedule to go work out at lunchtime, but in January I started noticing that all the machines were getting too easy. Since theyíre all resistance machines itís not like I could increase the weight to make it more challenging. Plus the new gym has treadmills and elliptical walkers and ski machines and all manner of other complicated equipment that makes me feel clueless, so after almost a year at Curves, what better reason to switch.

Iíve been going to the new gym now for...hmmmÖexactly one week, and so far itís okay. I cannot say that I really enjoy it because the truth is that, since it is exercise, and stinky sweaty exercise at that, the best I will ever manage is a resigned tolerance. I am never going to be one of those people who actively looks forward to going to the gym, especially since I sweat buckets the minute I start moving around, so I end up looking and feeling like the monster from the swamp by the end of the hour or so I spend in there. Luckily everyone else there is our age or older (at least the regulars who get there at 6am like we do Ė wince) and they have a tendency to spend their time there looking pretty tired and sweaty too so I figure I fit right in.

If heaving weights around for an hour in the morning wasnít enough fun for one day, last night was the first practice for the season for the Masterís Synchronized Swimming team in Sacramento. Iíve been doing my best to talk myself into going to the practice, and only the guilt over the fact that they actually moved the practice from Wednesday to Monday nights just to accommodate my schedule made me go last night.

It was nice to swim though, even if my calves did spend all last night not speaking to me in as loudly painful a way as possible due to all the eggbeaters I was doing. I need to buy goggles and I need to buy a swim cap and I need to resign myself to reeking of chlorine for the next 24 hours after each practice, but it was fun and I didnít hurt myself and the best part is that in the pool it doesnít matter if Iím sweating, which is, sadly, one of the main reasons I have always preferred swimming to any other type of exercise. It was so fun that I am ignoring the fact that I spent last night with my right ear clogged entirely by pool water and am already looking forward to next Monday when I can clog it back up again. Yay!

This morning was more biking, but this time it served a dual purpose. Richard and I have been trying to find ways to be more environmentally sustainable (hence the order for the Prius, which may arrive sometime in my lifetime, or so the theory goes). Weíd pondered alternate ways of getting to work, but the bus is extremely inconvenient, plus more expensive than driving. Carpooling seemed out of the question because we work on opposite ends of Sacramento and there usually tends to be lots of traffic in between. However, my boss cleverly pointed out that Richard could drop me off with my bike at Raley Field, and I could pedal through Old Sacramento and then down into Discovery Park and make it to my office in only a few miles, without putting him too much out of his way. So today we gave it a try, and it actually worked out quite well. I figure we can do this two days a week, which saves us two round trips to Sacramento with the cars, and plus it has the added bonus of giving me about 15 miles per week to add to the slowly growing total for the year.

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