Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I WOKE UP AT 5:00, pulled on my gym clothes, and ran out the door to keep up with my usual program. I had been looking forward to this yesterday, because today's scheduled routine was to work my legs and shoulders — both of which felt a little weak over the course of Tuesday. The slightly erratic protein intake of the weekend, and the one-day delay in getting to the gym, cost me just enough muscle to make a noticeable difference. Nothing I couldn't remedy. Besides, the back/chest routine yesterday was great; I actually added weight successfully to two movements.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I — a Fat Man on the Move, ready to push back against the Great American Disease — reached the gym and was told, by a fellow patron heading out of the facility, that they were closed.

She couldn't give me a reason, so I headed in to find out. The desk clerk told me there had been "fire department activity" last night, but that my pass would be cross-honored at the other two clubs in this chain across the county. She also gave me a sheet on which I could record my name and phone number so I could receive a call when they were open (they anticipated 11:00 today). They would also credit me for the lost day.

I wrote down my number and left, too thrown off to ask what precisely constituted "fire department activity" (a fire? failed inspection? a fundraising dunk tank ruptured and flooded the spin-bike room?). No sense in getting angry at them — hell, I could've lost a club, and they or their coworkers could've lost their jobs or lives. Not much else I could do, as pissed as I was, aside from slamming my front door upon returning home. I spent a fruitless hour trying to fall back asleep before arising at 6:00 to fuck around on the Net for a stretch, still stewing a bit over the lost opportunity.

But I have to trust myself that I will be able to overcome one day of interruption. Eventually, I will get a cold, or some other illness, that will force me to stay home for a day or two. All I need to do is see how much muscle I have left to work with, adjust the weights accordingly, and forge ahead. My weight didn't change between today and yesterday, and my eating plan was within tolerances on Monday and Tuesday, so I've done all I can. I did let a weekend indulgence — homebrewed coffee — creep into this morning's intake as a way to soak my frustrations. If I eat properly, hit the gym tomorrow (or maybe even sneak a cardio session in tonight if they're open), and work with what muscles I've got, I should do well this week. I'm looking at a loss of 4.5 lb. since the first day of the 30x40 challenge, and 9 lb. since my 232.5 peak after the birthday–July 4 weekend week of Cookie Monsterish consumption. With a projected goal of losing about a half-pound of fat per week, I'm on target.

It's the stress-relief aspect of the exercise that I will miss today. This work week so far, and all of last work week, have seen me in a state of simmering anger. My daily workouts have been the antidote so far, the high points of these days. And as Howard Dean and George McGovern will tell you, peaking early is no blessing. I have to sit through a staff meeting today, during which I will sorely miss the endorphins. So wish me strength until I can get to the gym and give myself the next good push in my ongoing physical rebirth, and set in pixels here the reasons why I feel more done than ever with this stop in my career.

No comments: