Tag Archives: gym

Cycling to the Gym (clocks go back)

Today was Sunday 24th October 2015 and I am making the most of the clocks going back and the extra hour of daylight at the start of the day…

I am out on my bike and finally tackling the road into Southam. Five miles there, five miles back and possibly with a slightly larger fear factor than any of the other roads near by…except possibly the road over the motorway… as the traffic zips along this twisty bendy country roadt regularly at speeds over the speed limit.

But I made it…I was so proud it made me want to take a photo of my bike to prove I did it but as usual I didn’t have a camera on me.

The other high spot in today’s exercise attempt was that I tried to run. I started following a programme called “my first mile”. The first 3 sessions are manageable but then week 2 takes a leap in ability from week 1. Week 1 asks you to run for a minute and then for 2 minutes… week 2 expects you to then be able to run 500m…

Cycling back I felt at one with the world it was  a perfect autumn day. I was not alone in enjoying the world from my bike several cycling groups had also popped out to make the most of the day. The first group I passed even nodded smiled and waved… the other 2 not so much but hell 1 out of 3 is a start

After such a good start to the day I felt like tackling other stuff so we emptied the garage… that was slightly soul destroying but at least it means there is more room for repairing Candice.

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Finally the Gym

There is not a lot to say about my first attempt at the Gym… it passed uneventfully and, as everyone told me after last Mondays failure… there was nothing to be scared off and no one else will even notice you are there…

And that was the truth… so much so that no one noticed me struggling to work out how the stationary bike worked (for the warm up) and after wasting 10 minutes I did think of skipping the warm up but then asked someone – “it starts automatically, just pedal”

And then suddenly it was all over and I was waiting for the Boy in the corridor like most weeks

He had some exciting news, he has moved up a group… yet there appears to be no room in the Saturday or Sunday stage 5 lessons… so maybe my early morning gym sessions are over before they begin?

Sunday it was more of the same – having acquired a pair of groovy shark shaped earphones to go in my phone – because pumping Iron is dull… (I discovered that in the first 30 seconds) – I then forgot to bring them… my second session was faster than the first… but no less dull…I  ended up watching the revamped Thunderbirds which was playing with subtitles over the gyms TV…

Episode 1: In which the Slug tries to go to the gym… with predictable consequences

So… on Friday night I joined the local leisure centre… because I get a discount due to the Boy’s swimming lessons and it means that I can now go swimming with or without the Boy without it costing money (5 swims and my membership is recouped)

Also it means I can cycle at night indoors all through the winter…

To be honest that pretty much fits my needs, a bit of cycling, some swimming and maybe the occasional Pilates class.

Anyway, they insisted that before I could use the facilities I had to attend the gym induction even if I had no intention of using it, in case I did accidently use it…as if !

As mentioned in my previous post, Saturday morning (whilst the Boy was slowly drowning by instruction) found me stood in the Gym next to a chunk of muscle called Alex who was explaining how it all works and talking me into a gym based training plan as he convinced me that the reason the cycling wasn’t causing me to lose weight was because I need to do some resistance based training to improve my muscles and get them burning the fat better…

I only have to do this twice a week for about 25 minutes with an optional 3rd visit which this week happens to be 30 minutes of swimming

Last night after dinner (having only had lettuce for lunch I suspected I’d pass out if I tried it before dinner) having left time for my digestion to work I headed the 5 miles over to the local leisure centre, turned into the car park, drove past the lit front window of the gym where you could see people pounding away on treadmills and stationary bikes…in fact there were a quite a few people in there, a lot of people, in fact it seemed to be heaving… and then kept driving past, out the car park and back home again…

Yep.. I bottled it… take 2 to follow… hopefully it’s quieter…

Tuesday I was all fired up. I was going to do it this time. I am a strong confident woman, I am going to be Queen of the treadmill… I am going to own that Gym…

However it took me some time to get to this point, the drive to work had me all wound up in a knot of anxiety about being such a feeble coward…

It was just before I left work for the day (in Reading) that I realised I had accidently booked myself in for the Group Cycling this evening instead of next Tuesday… and they charge you if you cancel within 4 hours of the booking (or just don’t turn up) and I am far too tight to incur additional costs…

So I went to Spin Class instead… this time with the computer… and although I can’t keep up with all the class do I held my own most of the time (and cycled over 10 miles at a sweaty rate)

But sadly I am still at this moment a gym virgin…still too scared to pop my weights cherry…

Friday Night/Saturday Morning

So Friday night I bit the bullet and joined the gym at the local leisure centre. I was intending just to use it as a source of indoor cycling and the occasional bit of swimming.

Somehow though I find myself agreeing to come in 15 minutes earlier than I normally do on a Saturday (for the Boy’s swimming lesson) for Personal Goal Setting.

I have a cold so they can forget any idea of getting me to try any gym equipment. I am not going to allow them to talk me into anything but what I have decided I am going to do… exercise refusniks like me need to take things slowly thank you very much

Anyway I walk in and there is the sadistic instructor from last Tuesday… and then I find myself wondering around behind him watching him flex his muscles as he demonstrates how to use the equipment and somehow when I go back through the double doors to collect the Boy I find he has talked me in to doing a beginners training programme on the weights machine thingamabobs… apparently I need to do some resistance training

I don’t need training in resistance. I am very good at resistance… I have been resistant to the idea of exercise pretty much since joining secondary school…

A combination of my cold, a small hangover and the fact that my friend Wingnut was coming over later to drag my lardy ass all over the Warwickshire countryside geocaching meant I postponed the planned cycling. I’m in danger of postponing Sunday’s trip out too as the geocaching left me in pain for other reasons as my boots don’t fit…

This whole exercise lark is reminding me not to be complacent about good equipment and taking one’s time to ensure a good fit. My previous boots lasted 13 years and had been all over the world. Unfortunately they died last bank holiday when the sole came apart from the uppers…the ones I used today came from TKMax and are supposed to be technically superior which is no bloomin good if they are too narrow…

Talking about good fit. I now need to work out how to fit 3 sessions of gym based resistance training into a life already overstuffed with deadlines and commitments.

So… I may have accidently joined a Gym…

I have been watching the light fade these last few days…I’ve been watching it fade earlier and earlier and wondering what I am going to do for exercise now that “winter is coming”

The options seem to be either I embrace the dark and cycle in it; obtain a turbo trainer and attach my bike to it…or a bike to it; or go over to the dark side and join a gym

Now I am not keen on exercise as you have probably gathered by now. The cycling is ok as its exercise by default mostly it is about being outside on the bike and seeing the world I miss when I speed by in the car. Joining a gym would be exercise for exercise sake, personal bests, targets, pushing yourself more each week in fact possibly all the things I probably need… but at a gym you can’t pretend you are doing anything else but exercising (except when swimming).

So canvassing views from the office MAMIL’s I get a surprisingly mixed view of cycling in the dark…one absolutely embraces it, says as long as you have a good lighting set up then there is nothing wrong and he loves it… mind you he thinks I’m weird because I like cycling in the rain…another does it but with some fear and trepidation and the third just won’t go there.

I have just upgraded my lighting set up. Not because I am going to embrace the night but because colleague 1 convinced me my lights were inadequate. Yes my original lights make me legal but choosing them because they look cute, are in fetching shades of purple and were very very cheap was apparently not the criteria I should have used…

4 years as a personal injury lawyer (many many years ago… I am reformed !), plus the fact that I would be a girl alone at night on country roads are possibly the greater negatives for me on cycling at night. (the older you get the scareder you get but weirdly more confident about other things !)

I haven’t ruled out a turbo trainer. I suspect it will require 2 bikes as I fear that attaching it and unattaching it will be too much faff for me as I don’t intend to give up my outside cycling entirely. A friend has one she doesn’t use and is lending it to me over the winter in exchange for dinner this Saturday.

So that left the gym. Which is an unknown quantity as I have reached the ripe age of 44 having never darkened the door of one. However my enlightened colleague also mentioned that he did not thinking that cycling was enough and that I should think about cross training…

Now apart from the fact I hate exercise I have always found the offers and contract relating to gyms and gym membership rather confusing. Take our local one which is simultaneously offering membership for £1 and join now get 3 months free… feeling thoroughly confused I decided to email the local leisure centre for an explanation and ask about their group cycling (whether it was suitable for exercise refusniks) … and amazingly within about 90 minutes they responded which is how I found myself on Tuesday night puffing away like a sweaty out of breath thing on a stationary bike

It was a trial session but there were no concessions for being a newbie… you were just tipped straight into the fray…