I just enrolled in an athletic club determined to try it for a couple of months to see if I have the discipline and time to stick to it. I also bought a copy of the SOUTH BEACH DIET and intend to carry it when I use the treadmill at the club, understanding that a little extra weight helps burn calories.
Positive results are already becoming apparent. Without counting carbs and practically no effort, my wallet has lost weight.
It’s been hard to avoid the signals that something has to be done. When I go through checkout at the supermarket, the baggers ask if I want them to push my cart to the car.
The unkindest cut of all came when I went to pick up a 40-pound bag of fertilizer at a local garden store, and the middle-aged sales lady asked if I was sure I could make it to the car. “Are you suggesting it’s time to try a little GRECIAN FORMULA to get rid of the gray?” said I. Slowly looking me up and down she responded: “It wouldn’t help.”
To a “seventy something” first time visitor to an athletic club the initial impression can be a little intimidating despite management’s obvious effort to make the place as attractive and user friendly as possible. At first glance the only piece of equipment I’m sure I’ll know how to use is the overstuffed couch in the snack bar. Beyond that are row upon row of solidly built apparatus, some of which look vaguely like the rack used by the Inquisition to convert heretics to believers.
There are hundreds of ways to rupture one’s self scientifically while watching TV or waiting for your digital heart rate monitor to “flat line.” The combined weight of all the exercise machines, barbells and dumbbells has to exceed the total poundage of the asteroid which hit the earth a few million years ago and wiped out all the dinosaurs.
I did sit down on one of the machines despite a suggestion by the pretty trainer who sold me on improving my physique that I first purchase a “gel pack” (a comfort aid designed to come between an aging butt and a new stationary bike seat).
A couple of rows in front of me an absolutely gorgeous, flawlessly fit and tanned, blonde, fellow club member was using a bike just like the one I was on, effortlessly pedaling in a symphony of perfectly articulated grace, if you get my picture. I studied her technique diligently determined to observe and apply all I was seeing to my own efforts.
Sure enough, in no time at all my heart rate had increased dramatically and I had broken a light sweat on my forehead.
Then, with a final appreciative, head-to-toe appraisal I decided, “Well, old man, it’s about time to stop staring and start pedaling.”