Back From the Gym

Yes, that was me that just said I was back from the gym.  I’ve belonged to my local gym practically since I moved here, joining because it was the only place with a pool, but I am the first to admit that mostly they’ve just been taking my money while I prided myself on my lovely gym bag and all the things I could do if I only went.  But I didn’t.

My Boston gym was for women only, and I loved it.  No one was in competition, no one was showing off with assorted super-cute super-tight workout clothes.  Equipment was scaled better for women – and there was an elevator that people with injuries could use to go from one floor to another.

My new(er) gym is definitely co-ed with some seriously muscled men front and center when you walk in.  Everything is bright with acres of equipment, bazillion pounds of free weights, a 5-lap pool, a spinning room, raquet ball rooms, and class space for a variety of things that look energetic.  Almost all the cardio equipment is located up a big staircase – lots of everything, but you have to climb up and down to get it.    It’s pretty intimidating.

But I met with my new personal trainer last week for the first time and feel better about it.  She is small but powerful, motivating but also understanding that I am not in good shape and need help within my physical limits.  One thing she said last week that’s stayed with me was not to be afraid of knee pain, but to be conscious of it and be able to not just say, “Ow, it hurts!” but to be able to describe the pain (sharp, stabbing, throbbing, dull, etc.) and on a scale of 1-10.  This makes sense to me.

We will be spending most of our time this summer in the pool, exercises, weights and walking laps without doing water aerobics, since even in the buoyancy of the water, that’s still a lot of impact on already cranky joints.  Last week she also showed me alternate ways to do squats, Pilates bridges (which felt fabulous), and work on some of the equipment.  I always liked using the machines as long as I knew how to use them properly, and it actually did feel good to use them again.  Who knew?

So today I did it again, leaving work early for a visit to the health center, then heading for the gym to (theoretically) work out before it got crowded with after-work people.  I climbed the big stairs and did 15 min. on the treadmill at 2.2 mph, and then went down to work with the equipment, trying to remember what we did on Saturday since I couldn’t find my card.  I was super happy to find and use the adductor and abductor machines (the ones with the legs wide apart while you move them in and out slowly).  And to do it at 100lb weights!

One thing about being a fluffy person – we have strong legs.