Friday, January 18, 2013

Fit to be Tye-died

I finally got to the fitness center I joined a week ago. I didn't get lost, but had the type of cold that made everything painful, even the thought of going to a fitness center. I joined with our daughter, Michelle, and the compelling sales point was that it's a 24/7/365 operation through the magic of a doodad on my key chain that serves as my pass.

I went  for the specific purpose of NOT using the elliptical trainer, I have one in our basement now, but, rather to learn to use machines about which I knew nothing. Mission accomplished. I still know nothing. At some point when my heart slows down I'll tell you about my misadventure aboard the "885 with Open Stride Adaptive Motion Trainer." For now, let's just say, large fun ensued.

I started at a machine for Triceps, perhaps a press, perhaps one of the names that I had for it by the time I almost injured myself not understanding how it worked. I sat with my back against the bench back and pushed straight down on the two handles flanking the seat.

I feared it wasn't turned on since nothing happened but I was wrong. There's a series of pulleys and weights and who-knows what that puts the "re" in resistance training so I get to learn about math and to practice my reading. Here's what I have so far: Resistance is futile..

When the machine is rigged for 270 pounds of weight, my pushing down on two sticks with my upper body while seated will create a beet red face on the front of my head and little else. I had to move the little thingamabob to 170 pounds before I could do one iteration of an exercise. And one iteration is useless. Give me those word problems with 'two trains leave from two different cities at two different times and speeds' any day. No, I won't get those right either, but I'll have a fighting chance of it.

I believe it's ceps in general that I'm gonna have problems with as I went next to a biceps building machine so carefully calibrated in terms of resistance it almost hurled me from my press bench in front of it as I attempted to work it. This is all my fault by the way. There are instructional videos on each one of these devices I can watch in the center or on line, perhaps while texting and driving.

What will really be needed is for me to stop in when a trainer is there and have them walk me through the different machines as that's my 'learning style.' I spent my earliest years hunched over a wooden desk in a crowded class room while a Sister of Charity displayed very little of it, and anything else come to think of it, while droning on in the front of the room about history, English, penmanship and religion, often all at the same time. And people wonder why I avoid the penguin house when we go to the zoo.

Now I'm part of the "demo-perf continuum," in other words more of a show-me guy though I'm pretty sure I have never been in Missouri. I handle in-person instruction better than video or distance learning. I can't believe I took a course on how to take a course, but I did and I'll continue to try to be the best me I can ever be even if it kills me. Because that's what I want from life, at least so far today.
-bill kenny

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