Like most people I’ve got a morning routine. Part of that routine includes 30 fast minutes on an elliptical trainer, but only after I’ve had two mugs of coffee to help me rediscover who I was when I went to bed the previous night. By the way, I’ve never taken the time to learn exactly what ‘elliptical trainer’ means. Does it mean that only elliptical people should use it, or that it will teach you how to be elliptical?
I use it every morning except Sunday because I’ve convinced myself that I need one day of rest during the week. I don’t like riding it. At about the two minute mark the muscles in my legs and arms begin to protest, as do my lungs, but gradually they settle down and accept their fate. And there is benefit from using the machine. For the first 10 minutes I let my legs do most of the work, and I can feel them tighten and tone. The next 10 minutes I use only my arms, with the same results. The last 10 minutes I use arms and legs and speed up to get a cardiovascular workout.
It is a strenuous but boring 30 minutes. To help take my mind off the torture I’m going through I turn on the radio. Probably most people who do that listen to jazzy workout music. I listen to new-age like Enya and Yanni. There are other things to distract me. The machine is next to a window so I can see what’s happening on the street. It’s not a great view and there is not a lot going on but there are some things to occupy my mind for a few minutes. For instance, there’s a fish peddler who every morning parks his fish cart directly below my second-floor window. He has a bullhorn and for about 15 minutes exhorts people to buy his fish. He thinks he’s a stand-up comedian. He says stuff like his babies will starve if no one buys his fish, or eating chicken causes cancer. Usually he has a few customers.
I work up a pretty good sweat during the workout. When it’s finished I hang the gym clothing to dry, and then usually sit at this computer reading the news and waiting for my body to cool down so I can shower.
This morning I turned on the radio, got on the bike and started peddling. Then I became aware that I did not want to do this. I told myself that this isn’t Sunday; to remember the physical benefits; that there is no reason not to do it, etc, but I got off.
Now it will be on my mind all day. The guilt may even reach the point where I’ll do the 30 minutes this afternoon. But probably not.