It’s been quite a long time since I had last exercised in a gym. I’m not the sportiest person but I enjoy taking long walks alone or with my daughter and our dog in our pretty neighborhood. When I was living in Germany, in Munich to be more precise, I used to drive my bike quite often and in Summer I used to go swimming in a small lake close to our home. It is called the Olchinger See, Olching is the town and see means lake. This was also a nice walk in the Fall and during quiet snowfall in Winter.
I’m currently living in Mexico city, with only the Chapultepec lake close to our home. However, you could’t swim in there and the walk takes longer. After initially starting a new life, settling in a very different surrounding and feeling well in my job, I have finally decided to start moving again.
In Germany I went for about a year to a gym that had training machines and offered some courses, like yoga, Pilates on the floor, spinning and some stretching. I got a trainer, who by the way was the father of some schoolmates of my daughter, and who skyrocketed to almost two meters of height. On my side, you have to substract half a meter to that measurement to know my height above the floor. So, well, this trainer, Peter, told me what exercises I should do and what courses I shloud visit. The training program started with bike riding, in a gym, not in the fresh air, which I accomplished bravely. The next machine was the so called ellyptcal trainer and as soon as I managed to get on the steps I realized that I was too small. With my strenght and lenght the machine didn’t move, so my trainer just told me! ‘leave it, there are other machines ‘. However, I had the feeling that everything was too big and I didn’t feel quite well on the torturing machines.
After more or less a year, I left the gym and my fitness plans.
Almost 10 years later, I have decided to give it another try. This time I went to visit the gym very close to work with my daughter, now 21 and a friend who works at the same place as I do. She is more or less my age and just a couple of centimeters taller… well, I think almost everyone is taller… This gym or better this sports club, has everything from trainig machines to a small swimming pool, a tennis court, squash and paddle courts. Oh, and the very best thing, I can look at almost all of the trainers into the eyes, that is, they are not 2 meters.
On our first visit, we met our trainer, a young, short and very muscular guy with an American name. He asked us some questions and after having confesed that we hadn’t exercised for years, we got a simple cardio training program, walking, ellyptical and cycling all at almost level zero or 1. He told us that after two or three weeks we should look for him.
Three weeks later and feeling very athletic, my friend and I looked for our trainer. He had already warned us that we would have to train with weights. He looked at us and said: We’ll start making muscles… He gave us a printed training plan where we wrote our names and height (I still don’t know why the height). Our program consists in 15 repetitions of about ten machines and that in two rounds. Some of the machines have menacing names, like the Leg Press and other look quite menacing. We started with the first one, continued to the second and so on, till my friend asked the trainer:’ Sorry, this is still the first round, but we are very respectable ladies, could we maybe continue next time?’ He looked at us with an amused smile and said, ok look for me next time.
A week later we got ot the gym and I looked for a dressing cabinet, where I proudly took out of my bag my new and shiny training bra. I put my arms through the bra and started sliding it down. At a certain point I couldn’t move because the bra wasn’t elastic enough and it got stuck on my neck. I started panicking, but thought of how embarrasing it would be if I started shouting: “Help me out of my bra!” So with a yoga movement I finally got out of it and into my everyday bra, hoping it would really be a wonder bra and would help me through the training session. Thank god for modern lycra!
The day hadn’t finish yet because when I returned to my locker I couldn’t open it. Just some minutes before I had thought, what if I forget my locker number or the combination… and it had happened! After some tries and even trying other lockers I finally told my friend that I had forgotten where my locker was. She looked at me thinking I was joking, but noticing that I was sweating more than in the previous training session. She and other ladies tried to help me to find the right cabinet, but none seemed to open. I fianlly asked the person in charge who told me that I only had three chances to gues my combination or my locker. I was quite sure which one it was, so I pointed to the first one I had tried, and, yes, I was right from the beginning. The lock was stuck and therefore I couldn’t open it with the combination I had entered. When we got home we went directly to bed and could’t move till next morning… and you won’t believe it, yes, we indeed could move.