In about half an hour, I’m going to the gym. For the first time. I’m terrified.
I’m really enjoying the biking now that Kiddo#4 is in school, but the two times I’ve tried biking in the cold, I ended up unable to breathe and unsure why that felt familiar… until I remembered, oh yeah, I had asthma as a kid. Cold weather activates it. And I can’t bike inside my house.
I looked into the gym membership because I could bike inside their house, but people told me I should do more than just bike. (Note the phenomenon of ‘mission creep.’ I wanted to bike.) They told me I could cross-train and change things up and work different muscle groups, etc. So I got the Couch To 5K program instructions. I was only interested in building up my stamina and heart/lung health. I don’t really care about the rest.
And then I got a book out of the library, which warned me about Dire Consequences if I only did cardio stuff. No, you also need resistance training.
Right. Mission creep. Remember, I only wanted to bike.
I’ve been looking at exercise bikes and treadmills on Craigslist. I think 50 are listed every day, “Like new! Only used five times!” but this week, I’m trying the free one-week membership. There’s babysitting. There’s classes (and everyone tells me I want to attend the classes. Remember, I only wanted to bike.) You get a session with a personal trainer who will tell you you also need to do free weights, mat exercises, and a pilates class (mission creep).
But mostly, I’m intimidated. Because when I read that book (which for some reason didn’t magically get me into shape) they had all these rules. Don’t exercise the same muscle group on two consecutive days. Do 2 sets of 12 repetitions unless you fit the following criteria, and then do one set of fifteen. Do exercises that strengthen different muscle groups unless you’re doing exercises that strengthen multiple muscle groups at the same time.
The only conclusion: I’m too stupid to exercise.
Everyone agrees that you need to consult your doctor before you begin an exercise program. I never did that before I put myself on my bike. But two days ago I saw the doctor for an ear infection, and before she left the room, I said, “One more thing. I wanted to join the gym across the parking lot. Do you think I can do that?”
She looked at me as if I’d said, “Would it be okay if I breathe oxygen?”
She said, “Yeah. Go ahead.”
So at least I’ve consulted my doctor. But if you never hear from me again, please send a search party to make sure I’m not wrapped around an elliptical machine.