Thursday, January 12, 2012

Elliptical

Oh, hey there.

Just been working and working out, which explains my extended absence (again).

December was pretty much a loss when it came to exercise.  Between being busy and doing some physical therapy to get my upper body loosened up, I didn't spend much time in the gym.  I returned to it this week to find it way busier than I'm accustomed to.  I don't know that it was New Year's resolution overflow--almost all of the exercisers were students--but regardless of the reason, I had a problem.  All of the recumbent bikes and treadmills were occupied.

One of the elliptical machines was free, so I thought I'd give that a shot.  I quickly discovered that it required a new skill set.  I found it tiring faster than what I'm used to doing, but then again, I'd kind of taken the past month off.  Obviously I wasn't going to jump back into exercise with quite the same stamina.

As the minutes ticked by I entered into the usual bargaining that comes when wanting to be good and exercise yet not thinking I can finish the whole hour.  If I can get to a specific time short of the target, I'll stop then.  Reach that time and set another one.  I made it through the hour workout.

I decided that mixing up what I do isn't such a bad idea, so for this week I'd stick to the elliptical machine.  That plan was all well and good until I got to the gym today and saw them all the same ones in use.  I mistook a cross country skiing machine for the same thing and hopped on it.  Again, it didn't take long to find out that it presented a new set of challenges even if it was mostly similar.

The main thing I noticed is that it felt like I was having to do the exercise with slightly bent knees the whole time.  Basically it was a very mild crouch but enough of one to make the legs work extra.  I thought there was no way I could last long doing this.  The posture felt strange, and the exercise was wearying.  Ten or fifteen minutes in I hit a rhythm where I felt I had the knack of it while thinking there was no way I could last an hour.  If I could get to a half hour, perhaps one of the regular elliptical machines would be free.

Just before I was to finish on the machine and get onto another, the last free one became occupied.  All right, I guess I'll have to press on for a bit more.  Again, I was more than ready to stop at the first sign of another machine freeing up or when I hit 45 minutes.  In the end I completed an hour on the machine I started on.

Although I wish I were already in better shape and had dropped more weight than I did last year, I have to take some satisfaction in the four hours of exercise I've done this week.  My conditioning is decent, and my mental stamina must be too if I can push through two workouts that I really didn't feel like I could finish.  Perhaps switching up the machines I use will keep me from feeling like working out is less of a chore on those days when I'm not feeling like I want to be in the gym.

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