Getting Back to the Gym

So my wife and I joined a gym to get into shape and let me tell you, it has been a long time.

Aside from the aimless wandering around the freeweights and universal gyms, looking for the elusive lower back machine (if there was any part of my anatomy I want to shed pounds from it probably isn’t my lower back), I have had 2 near-most embarassing moments on the same day.

I decided to do a bit of cardio (aka hide) up on the balcony level so I could scout out the rest of the weight machines below (and men and women with much much more defined bodies than mine whom I didn’t want to work out next to) looking for said piece of equipment. I hung my windbreaker on the railing in front of me and turned the treadmill for .5 miles. Not quite the 45 minute run of all the other 50 people up there, but I could easily pass it off as just a warm up.

Well, not 20 steps into the “run,” my jacket magically falls off the railing and onto the tread mill I’m running on. The first thing that went through my mind is, “Oh God, I’m gonna slip on it, fall flat on my face, be spit out the end of the treadmill, and they’re all gonna laugh at me.” My second thought was “My jacket is gonna get caught in the belt, jam up the machine, break it, and they’re all gonna laugh at me.”

When neither of those scenarios happened my next thought was to retrieve my jacket and somehow make it look like I meant to leave it in the middle of the walk-way behind me. Unfortunately I didn’t locate the ‘kill’ switch when I got on the machine so I didn’t know how to stop the infernal thing so I could suavely “re-tie my shoe” while I grabbed my jacket out of the walk-way in a very cool, smooth, “meant to do it” way. Turns out, there is no such way.

And wouldn’t you know it, as I was contemplating this my shoe actually became untied. Now I really DID have a problem. My jacket is in the middle of the walk way, I have a shoelace flirting with the edge of the belt threatening to lodge itself underneath it at any second, my jacket is still sitting in the middle of the walk way, and I still can’t figure out how to turn this darn thing off. And now my shoe is coming off.

I knew that simply stepping off the treadmill would be instant disaster. I had it set well above 6.5 and I would end up flat on my face or my back one way or another so I just kept on going.

On the verge of immanent catastrophe, I finally found the ‘stop’ button (aptly named “END”). I pushed it, tied my shoe, grabbed my jacket, and promptly ended my ‘warm-up’ at .14 miles.

As I was walking down to the workout machines thinking “Man, I dodged a bullet there,” I still hadn’t found the ‘lower back’ machine I had originally sought out but found an ‘inclined high-pull’ that might work for my upper back.

For those of you that don’t know, an inclined high pull machine has you leaning forward at a 45 degree angle, your feet resting on a traction pad, your torso on a forward incline. In front of you on the ground is a set of handlebars that holds however much weight you would like to “pull up” to your body.

Well, I thought I my shoulders were in pretty descent shape so I left the 45 llb weight on there and assumed the position.

The first pull up I knew something was not right. I had neglected to adjust the ‘traction pad’ for my feet and apparently a hobbit had been using it before me and just the very tips of my toes were holding me to the ground.

Now that I had lifted the weight, my toes no longer would support the weight of my lower half and my upper half threatened to “become” my lower half by propelling me headfirst over the device into the ground.

One foot slipped. I teetered forward. My second foot threatening to give way at any second. I begged my other foot to hold on until I could set the weight down in a calm, collective fashion.

Luckily I was able to set it down, but that would have been disastrous if my other foot would have slipped. So, after 1 rep on that machine, I called it quits.

Thus was my first day at the gym. I still can’t find that lower back machine.

[reposted from my previous (since retired) blog]
Jason Reynolds
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Jason Reynolds

Jason is a freelance photographer and graphic designer. He is also a parent of Jonny (9) and Jonah (4) who was diagnosed with Autism in December 2016.
Jason Reynolds
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