Sunday, January 29, 2012
Cardio Queen -April 2010
I am a people watcher. It is entertaining and educational. When I started at the gym that I am currently patronizing, I did a lot of watching. I wanted to learn how to use the machines, weights and cardio, without looking any more like an idiot than I already did. Plus, I was learning my own routine and how all of those things, as I learned how to use them, fit into what I was trying to accomplish. So, therefore, a lot of watching. Watching where something turned on, how did that person adjust this or that, or even how did they use it and what weight are they doing.
So, when I first started, there was a girl, probably late 20's to early 30's of normal size and fitness, nothing remarkable about her, she didn't wear fancy workout clothes, she wasn't social or didn't appear to be a gym rat. But, when she arrived, she walked straight to the first seated bike, put her jacket on the back, sat down, pulled out a book as thick as my thigh and started peddling. She would peddle at a good clip for about 45 minutes. Then she would go outside for a few minutes, come back in and get on the elliptical machine and wear it out for 45 minutes to an hour, still reading. While she rode, many would mount an elliptical monster, ride 15 minutes, maybe, then take a big breath, get off and wipe sweat off their brow like they had really done something big. Yet, there, still was the Queen of Cardio. They came and went, yet she rode on. I was amazed b/c, first of all, at that time, I dare not get on an elliptical unless I was hungry for a good helping of humiliation. Secondly, b/c she rode it for an hour ... after the bike! At that time, I could barely run 3 miles without blacking out. She was now my goal. One day, I thought, I'm going to saddle-up and ride beside her and show these cow-pokes how it is done (of course, I would be watching TV .. nevertheless), unike these other losers that quit after 10 minutes, like they meant to quit after 10 minutes. Please. We would own cardio. So, one day, she finished on the bike and headed outside. I was finishing up, and left a couple of minutes behind her. As I entered the parking lot, there she stood leaned against her car, reading, of course.... and SMOKING!!! I almost stopped in amazement. This! This is what you do between workouts! I couldn't believe my eyes. All that cardio work up in smoke! Why?! I was heart-broken, and, of course, the fact that a smoker could give me a cardio-wedgy every day didn't escape my pride. But, still, why would she kill her lungs when she spent so much quality time saving them.
For weeks after that, I judged her harshly and was unimpressed with her work on the cardio circuit. I felt like she was frivolous with her potential and she just seemed weak after I saw her giving into that dirty, nasty habit. I had lost my respect for her. Keep in mind, this girl had no idea I even existed. I have not seen her at the gym for months. I thought about her today for some reason, as I rode the bike, then got on the elliptical. Then I thought about her again when I was at Publix buying brownies b/c it suddenly hit me like a calf cramp. I was no different than her. I had just spent almost two hours with a pretty focused, moderately intense routine, then was about to blow it because I thought I really needed brownies. It's the same. What? I get a pass b/c bad eating habits are not dirty, nasty and stinky, and don't kill people around you. Well, guess what, they kinda are dirty, nasty and stinky. It can make your belly sick to see an overweight person eating unhealthy b/c you know what that food is doing to her body. It is not only killing it from the inside out, but has unattractive physical consequences. Just like smoking does. They are such similar evil habits, so similar that many of the treatments, or steps to conquer each addiction are the same. I'm such a hypocrite with that, and tried to hide my own addiction/habit with workouts. Probably the same as what the Queen of Cardio thought. The idea is that if I workout enough, the weight will even out. In a new book, "This is Why You're Fat", by some fitness lady - Jackie Werner, maybe - she says that losing weight is 20 percent exercise and 80 percent diet (and, I'm using the word "diet" as it's true definition, as in what you eat, not as in deprivation). So, I personally, have to wake up, smell the lemon in my water. I don't know if I have an addiction or if it is just laziness or what it is that makes me buy those brownies. But, whatever it is, it is learned, therefore can be unlearned. Good luck with your own kicking of habit.