Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So that's where that tuna melt went.

I couldn't turn my back on it any longer – I had company coming. Saggy and worn out from years of abuse, it certainly didn't owe me anything. The seat cushions were lumpy and out of shape. It was ugly and faded from too much sun, and had stuffing sticking out in places I could no longer cover up.   

My body was shot. 

Quite frankly, I was tired of all tugging and stretching to cover this thing up. Yesterday, I called in a professional. An interior/exterior decorator of sorts. I called The Courtyard and made an appointment with a personal trainer. 

Heck, I do work for them and they've been offering for years – dropping subtle hints like, "Hey, big girl! Did you know we have a state-of-the-art gym upstairs?" 

They set me up with Amanda Pickett. Amanda is one of those perky, petite, student council types I normally avoid. Waving a list of credentials longer than her years, she greeted me with a big smile and an optimism I was determined to squash. I hated "working out" almost as much as I hated accidentally wandering into the petite section. I hated running. And aerobics. And my thighs. And I told her so.  

The Courtyard in Bayer's Lake is an amazing tennis club, but most folks don't know it is also a fitness centre and FBI torture facility. Amanda lead me past row upon row of shiny machines designed for a variety of muscle-specific manoeuvres to make people talk. Those would come later she explained. But first, a little cardio.

A little cardio to that pint-sized dominatrix was a half hour on a elliptical machine – which would have been fine had she kept her boney fingers off the "resistance" button. Bench presses, followed by push ups (2) and free weights and I was about ready to walk out the door. What made it really unbearable were the wall-to-wall mirrors. My house has one small, face-height mirror over the sink for a reason. 

One nice thing about being old is you generally know thyself. For instance, I know if there's a man pumping iron in the free weight zone, I won't be going in there, even if you throw in a chocolate bar first. I also know exercise needs to be mindless, fluid and and somewhat enjoyable if I am going to stick with it. Like biking, or binge drinking, or tennis. I want to trick my body into exercise. 

I watched Amanda do a few crunches and decided that really wasn't for me. Nor were the things you do bent over in front of the mirror (to check your position) with a big toaster sized hand weight. Apparently it targets upper arm waddle, but I've suddenly grown fond of my waddle. I also liked to sit on the big bouncey ball, but rolling around on it looking for my core, that just took all the fun away. Thankfully, I actually, really, honestly did like the torture machines, especially the Suzanne Somers-on-steroids version of the thigh buster. Those were awesome.    

My body, Amanda diagnosed, has the equivalent of A.D.D. A fleeting attention span and a free spirit. It wanted to play the 'chase the fish' game on the rowing machine for 3 or 4 minutes –and not do lunges. It wanted to channel surf and yell "wheeeeee" when the elliptical goes too fast. My body wanted to be lied to, and distracted into sweating for an hour. (Hey, that's sex!).  

Amanda was great. She listened, and understood I was frustrated with the ugly old couch, and was ready to commit. Sort of. She wanted to know my schedule and eating habits, and there was no point in lying. I told her my danger zone was between 2 and 3 in the afternoon when I started Hoovering cookies out of the sofa cracks and getting really sleepy. I told her I was stressed and looked forward to a little box of wine in the evenings, and I wasn't prepared to let that go. She then told me how many minutes of cardio it takes to burn off one glass of liquid 'who cares'. That little twerp was evil. I really liked her.

So here I go. No more XL throws to cover up old lumpy. No more painting the walls around lumpy so folks won't notice the Halloween candy wrappers falling out of the cracks. Three afternoons a week, around cookie hour, I'll be working on a little reality renovation I call, "Me".

(Oh, there's a fun-house type mirror in the ladies change room at The Courtyard, that makes you look all Olsen skinny. I am going to steal it, but don't tell anyone.) 

Wish me luck.


The Courtyard has Personal Trainers and some great new (so they tell me) Ab classes, Kickboxing etc. 
Class schedules are online at www.thecourtyardclub.ca or call 450-1016