After several weeks of false starts (three attempts at faxing the doctor for permission), today I joined the gym at nearby University of Southern Vacationland. They have a special area aimed at the non-young among us who want a little extra attention and not the typical gym environment.
By this I mean that in a busy room, there were no ear buds to be seen. (Also no Crackberries.)
Yesterday I went for the required fitness evaluation, and I’m glad to say my overall fitness does not stink. The only things that were "poor" were hip flexibility and strength. My blood pressure, the source of this great effort to take care of myself, was FABULOUS: 100 over 62. That sounds like what I remember from my younger reality.
Today I had an orientation to the gym equipment, and the next two visits will also be supervised. They they will turn me loose.
It felt great to use the weight machines, and I also enjoyed trying the Nautilus Tread Climber. It’s sort of a cross between a treadmill and an elliptical, and it seems I was lucky to get a turn on it since it’s new and popular. I wasn’t sure if the combination would be good or not. I injured my sacro-iliac on our elliptical, and I have an old ankle injury that is usually exacerbated by the repetitive nature of treadmills. Would it be the worst of both worlds?
Not at all. It was the best of both. The variability of the treadles meant my ankle did not hit the same way each time, and the subtle shifts were not so circular that my hip and back would be bothered.
Probably the best moment of all was at the Chin-Up and Chin-Dip machine. I had to step up high and grab some handles and lift myself. After ten repetitions, I turned to the trainer and said, "I’m glad I’ve lost 50 pounds! I wouldn’t have wanted to do it the way I was then." He smiled gently and said, "I wouldn’t have had you do it."