Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gray Leg Day


Yesterday was a Monday in every sense of the cursed word. It was gray and rainy and dreary. I was tired and depressed and not feeling at all like going to the gym or working out. I knew I needed to go anyway. Exercise actually makes your brain and body release chemicals and hormones that make you feel better. And oh how I needed them!

Over the weekend I went to a meeting of FCA people. That's Fellowship of Christian Athletes, if you didn't know. It doesn't really matter. Anyway, almost everyone there is either a triathlete, an iron man or iron woman competitor, or some sort of rock climber. And then there's me, the former track competitor who now just sort of does odd athletic events for the hell of it (can you say 'for the hell of it' at an FCA meeting?)

The other athletes

Everyone looked like a fitness instructor or model. Some were still in their fitness clothes after having worked a half-marathon event earlier that day. Some ran it, others ran it in the sense that they organized and helped put the event on, even handing out water at stations, etc.  One of the women, the wife of a guy I went to school with years ago, looks like a movie star.

And again, then there's me.

Then there's me
I definitely don't look like any fitness model or marathoner. I look more like the guy you call when you can't get your computer to work (Don't call me, that's not what I do.)

The great American mystery

I'm currently reading a book, I can't remember the title exactly but its something like "why we get fat" or something. It details how certain events can trigger a slight change in the way your body handles calories, shifting things slightly towards fat cells so that the proteins, carbs, fats and sugars you take in which normally would go to your muscles to replenish them and then to your fat cells when your muscles don't need them, now move just a bit more into your fat cells even though your muscles need them and are trying to get them. This causes weight gain which no amount of dieting can do much about. This was my exact experience following knee surgery. Every year, 5 more pounds appeared even though I was stricter with my diet and kicked up my exercising to try to stop the gain. 20 pounds of useless fat cells later, it stopped and held firm. Again, no amount of exercising or dieting made any difference. It wasn't going anywhere.

Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not a dietitian!
I went to a doctor. He told me what I described was impossible. I went to a trainer. He told me I needed to pay him for more workouts and just come in more often. I talked to a dietitian. She told me that perhaps I needed to take in MORE calories because my regular diet was too low for my height according to her charts and diet doesn't always work the way people think it does.

You're fired!
I fired my doctor and my trainer.

You aren't baffled by my totally incorrect explanation of thermodynamics?!

To be fair, my doctor was a cranky old ass whom I probably would have eventually fired anyway even if not for the screaming argument we had in his office in which he told me that the laws of thermodynamics state that what I was experiencing is simply impossible. I informed him that my field of expertise gives me greater understanding of thermodynamics than a family doctor and tells me that thermodynamics has absolutely nothing to do with the problem.

Stop calling me Fonzie
My trainer is another story. He was ... how can I put this ... crazy. No, no, not crazy. But he was having some sort of crisis and it seemed to cause him to say things which a person not having a similar crisis might interpret as being crazy. Or at the very least, annoying as all hell. I'll just say this, most of the insane crap the "Occupy Wall Street" communists were shouting about Zionist Jews controlling the big international corporate banking institution and capitalism being the devil and all that stuff coincided exactly with the training advice he was giving me and I was paying him for. Needless to say, or perhaps not needless if you are a communist, this advice about Jews and bankers and conspiracy theories was unhelpful to my efforts to build muscle and burn fat. I saw little reason to pay for it. So we parted ways.

Leg day

So yesterday I went to the gym and did my leg day workout. I'm dropping Bodypump Class for now because I did it for over 6 months and I felt like I needed to change things up. Technically, you're supposed to change things up every 6 weeks, but I am a stubborn man and I waited all this time before switching to a strength-focused free-weight routine for awhile. I did my legs. I was not in a happy mood. I don't know what the expression on my face was, but I think people in the gym could tell that I was not in a happy mood because they got out of my way a lot. Overall I did a good workout. I stayed focused. If there were any good-looking girls there working out alongside me I did not notice them. I kept my eyes on the weights and my mind on the workout and tried to clear my head. And then I ran a mile as a cool-down and showered.

And I forgot to stretch.

I am drowning in work at my job. Apparently at the end of the year there is some sort of big push to get everything finished and out of the way so that we can do it all again next year. I'm not sure the reasons, but I'm guessing it makes sense to people in accounting and not so much where I am. Whatever the case, my stress levels are up and my need for good workouts is up with it.

Oh, and I haven't played my guitar in nearly a week. But the last time I had it out I learned half of a cool AC/DC song that I like, which was fun. Except that I currently play it like you might hear if you had the song on vinyl and could set your record player speed to 16 instead of 45. Do you know what I mean?


  1. Well, it sounds like you're at least trying to do all the right things.

    That's got to be better than not doing anything.

  2. Ute, my legs sure don't feel like I'm doing the right things. They hurt like hell today. I'm walking like an old man.