This morning I got on the scale and saw what I’m sick of seeing – no movement. I’ve got these 4 1/2 pounds to lose, dammit, and they are staying bloody well put, despite all of my heroic efforts to avoid the catering landmines in my path this week.
Something had to change. So the first thing that changed is I ate a croissant around 11am. The next thing was I had a chicken enchilada along with my salad-covered-with-taco-fillings. The next thing that happened was that I had a small cube of cheesecake and a small cube of carrot cake with my lunch. Then I had a big warm pretzel with my afternoon coffee. Then I had a cocktail with a co-worker up from the LA office, then a surprise dinner with my co-worker and my old boss (who was unceremoniously sacked over the summer and whom we all miss terribly) and another cocktail.
I think you see where this is going. I relied too much on willpower throughout the week and then the bad reading on the scale this morning sent me over the edge into an orgy of shooting myself in the foot. The one thing I wasn’t going to screw up was my gym time though. Even as I ate dinner (delightfully tipsy) I knew I’d be going to the gym that night. However, the office gym closes at 7pm, and when Tom showed up and Sara invited me to join them for dinner, I knew I’d need to make another plan.
I needed something new, because doing the same things I’ve been doing over the last several months was giving me the same results I’d been getting, and it hasn’t been what I’ve wanted.
About 6 months after I started working at the place I currently work, a building across the way from my office started showing signs of renovation. Somebody had clearly bought the large office complex and was doing something with it. I had been interestedly watching the progress on my near-daily lunchtime walks. My building sits on a block with an empty lot, and the next block over, across the empty lot – a building I walk past on my walk around the block – was something interesting going on. It seemed like they were working on it for months, and then one day, about a year ago, the sign went up – 24Hour Fitness. I just so happen to have a membership to 24Hour Fitness which I rarely use – I got it as one of those “buy 3 years at once and your annual fees after that are pocket lint” years ago, so it’s pretty much free these days and I treat it with the disregard that one does for things that come for free. Plus, I hate hate HATE how crowded their gyms are, so I almost never go. Haven’t been to one in probably a year. So anyway the new 24 Hour Fitness across the empty lot from my office finally opened about 6 months ago.
But I digress. Anyway, as the hours ticked by during dinner and drinks I knew it was the day to finally try the new 24 Hour Fitness. I looked it up and to my delight found that they have an indoor lap pool! I haven’t been swimming in about 2 years, but I love swimming! I’d love to have a regular place to go swimming again! So I headed there, still slightly buzzed from cocktails, right after dinner. I found that I’d have to upgrade my 24 Hour Membership to get to come back to this gym because it’s a special super-fancy one, however I only have to go twice a month to get my money’s worth (but I could try it today for free). So I told the guy I’d think about it and come back after my workout if I liked it.
Finally I got in the water and remembered that when I’m swimming I feel like a slick silver blade slipping through the water. I feel slippery and fast and light. I’m an excellent swimmer, I learned at a young age from my sister who went to the Olympic trials for breaststroke in 1976. Swimming was very important when I was growing up. I do good strong strokes – breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, and when I’m in better shape, a few laps of butterfly.
Sneaking up on a Century
I started out and my initial goal was 50 laps. Fifty laps seems like a reasonable goal for somebody who hasn’t swum laps in 2 years. As I closed in on 5o I thought that perhaps a longer workout was a good idea, considering the kind of eating I’d done today. Fine, I thought, let’s go for 75 – for somebody as out of shape as I am 75 is a fantastic goal. Well, 76 because otherwise I’d be getting out at the wrong end. As I finished 76 I thought, oh hell, let’s just make it an even 100. Let me tell you, I do counting laps by groups of 10 and the 80s were definitely the hardest decade. I felt like I counted 84 about 12 times because the 80s just stretched on forever. When I got to 90 I seriously considered quitting but that would just be stupid – to come here and report that I did 90 but not 100 – so I pressed on and finished my 100 laps tonight. It took me about 65 minutes. I’d say I did 60% freestyle, 20% breaststroke and 20% backstroke.
As I pulled myself back and forth through the water I marveled at my ability to start right back in again after so long. My body is a workhorse. Sometimes, it amazes me. I’m going to be sore tomorrow, particularly in my shoulders, but it will be the good kind of sore. It reminds me that regardless of a number on a scale, my body is amazing. I needed the reminder.