Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sweating with the 'Oldies'

About three weeks ago, I walked into a gyms. My workplace is offering this incredible program, called 'McHealthy'. By signing up for it (it's free!!), I have access to the various gyms owned by the hospital I work for, including the cardiac rehab & physical therapy gyms. I chose the small one in the city I live in.

So, with much trepidation, I walked into the gym, a tote bag at my side. After changing into sweat pants and a tank top, I tentatively looked around, trying to get a sense of the place. What I saw were over a dozen odd looking machines, ones I could not discern how to use, or what their purpose could possibly be. It felt like walking into a sweaty modern art display!

Finally, I discovered a smaller room, with a few treadmills, stationary bikes, one elliptical machine and some sit down stepper things. Okay, this I could understand. I stepped onto the treadmill, and found myself faced with a display console that looked like it belonged on the Enterprise. Where's the on button? What's this? Cardio program? It wants my weight? Why?

"Just push the start button, honey." I look over at the treadmill next to me, and saw Shirley, a sweet, petite, older lady, dressed in Capri's and a pretty top. She was walking on the treadmill, a book propped open on the console. So that's what those nubby things sticking up on the bottom of the console are for. A book holder!

So I follow her advice, and hit the start button. On the display it says '3...2...1..' and I'm off. The treadmill starts moving at a gentle pace. I look over at Shirley. She has hers up to 3.2. She explains to me how to up the speed on mine. So I do, to 3.2. Not a good idea.

While for Shirley, who has got to be 25 or more years older than me, that's a gentle stroll, easy to talk to a befuddled newcomer, or to read her novel, while swinging her arms as she walks... but for me, I'm clinging to the handles, desperately trying to reach the buttons! I finally find the pace that's right for me, today. A number much lower than the octogenarian beside me. I walk for 15 minutes (I know this, cause the display tells me so). And I'm done... I have to turn the machine off, and head off to try the stepper thingy. While Connie, another let's say, older person, explains that machine to me, I watch in astonishment, as Shirley keeps on going, not even breaking a sweat!

I have since returned, and now my speed and time on that treadmill are longer and faster...but I still have a long way to go before I can match Shirley!

No comments: