Sunday, December 02, 2007

Plowing Through the Snow

AS PREDICTED, WINTER ONCE again offered the NYC area a foretaste of its talents with a blanketing of snow this morning. Even with the dawn still some time off and my glasses on the nightstand, I could see the glow of new-fallen flakes on the lawn and tracks next to my building. With blades of grass still poking through the white, I knew it wasn't too deep, and wouldn't be too difficult to clean off my car. Certainly easier than the freezing rain and sleet predicted for later this evening. With the arrival time of this blight a big white question mark hanging over the land, I kept with the original plan and got out to the gym shortly after the open.

Another recitation of this gym routine will sicken all five or six of my regular readers, I'm sure, but it's important to me that I document my efforts here. I know that when summer returns, or even sooner, when snow far deeper than what we got today entombs New Jersey, it will be more difficult to sustain this rate of attendance. (Summer is tough because it takes me a long time to fall asleep in hot weather, and I won't be able to wake up as early.)

It amuses me how easily people at this gym get upset when pushed out of their own routines. When the spin class instructor is late, they mill about anxiously . . . instead of taking advantage of one of the many exercise options also available to them. Believe me, this is a well-stocked fitness outfit. I try to use a variety of cardiovascular machines, so if some are full up or out of order, I've at least got some experience with another device. I have to fight against the tendency to settle into ruts myself, and changing things up can keep your muscles and nerves guessing and ready for anything.

I'm usually very quiet at the gym. I see it as a workplace. I don't get caught up in conversations, drama, or any of that. I used to be a real sucker for that at previous workplaces, but I try to limit it now. The watercooler is for water. Likewise, I don't pay the club each month to go there and do anything but whip my doughy ass into shape. There were times during the last job when the morning gym visit was the high point of the day. I could control nearly everything that happened during that hour, whereas the rest of the day could go off the rails at any time. Now, things are much sweeter at job, but I still need the mini-vacation from everyone and everything that the gym represents. So: No cellphone, no chitchat about last night's dance-based reality show, no sympathy for whiners who don't want to wring every penny of value out of their membership dollars.

Sometimes I wonder, when a cluster of these types assembles around the spin area or the free weights (where I can't avoid them), if the club would take an extra $10 per month to give me a key and the alarm code so I could come in at 4:00 . . . and lock the door behind me.

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