PUMPING IRONY: Random Acts of Fitness

At the dentist this morning, the hygienist took my blood pressure: 119 over 84, which she told me was “very good.” My resting pulse was 59. Also pretty good, I’m told. I’m trying not to feel smug, which is pretty easy, since I’m so sore from last night’s sweatfest. Or is it still lingering from… Read more »

At the dentist this morning, the hygienist took my blood pressure: 119 over 84, which she told me was “very good.” My resting pulse was 59. Also pretty good, I’m told.

I’m trying not to feel smug, which is pretty easy, since I’m so sore from last night’s sweatfest. Or is it still lingering from Monday’s workout? My hamstrings and glutes were still barking yesterday, so I climbed on the old reliable EDM to work out the kinks. Thirty minutes later, I figured I’d do some stretching, but all the mats had been grabbed by a particularly large aerobics class. So no stretching.

That’s the thing about this whole fitness mission:

You can plan the coolest workout routine, but reality can intervene. I was planning to hang out in The Pit and do some upper-body work, but when I got there I noticed some guy perched on his elbows on some contraption that allowed him to swing his legs up and to the sides — a core move that looked pretty interesting. So, I stood out of sight and stretched my calves a bit, waiting for him to finish up. But, then, when he did, some other guy grabbed it. So, no core work, I guess.

The Pit is like that — a bit more chaotic and random than the resistance machinery. There are people who clearly have a set routine, real pros who will cut in like Fred Astaire when you’re stepping on Ginger Rodgers’ toes, and get their reps in between your paltry sets. It hasn’t happened to me more than once or twice, but it’s always kind of embarrassing: You put down your iron, which seemed plenty heavy at the time and then you watch this guy slap on an extra 50 pounds. Very humbling.

Anyway, I had upper-body work on my agenda, so I left my core dreams behind for the moment and grabbed some dumbbells and got to work on some overhead presses, when I noticed this guy next to me doing what looked like a really cool balancing move with a dumbbell — one leg up, leaning over and hoisting maybe 25 lbs. toward his chest. I’m thinking I’d like to do that — and maybe the lat raises this guy to my left is doing. But it feels goofy to imitate exercises — even cool ones. So I didn’t.

Still, I got my work in despite all the distractions, and I was heading out of The Pit when I spied that core contraption one more time. Nobody was on it. Maybe I’d sneak in there for a little last-minute push. . . . Oops, too late.

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