Thursday, May 17

Me? A Gym Rat?

Johnny Walker was there waiting for me. He re-introduced himself. I introduced him to my limp, and told him I was just using him for cheap physical therapy. "I'm a fat old lady. I don't want to get skinny; I don't want to lift weights; I don't want to run for head cheerleader. I just want to walk again without a limp."

Johnny Walker just grinned. "We'll see."

Johnny Walker knows his stuff. Turns out he's been a life-long gym rat, and actually loves this stuff. He directed me to the bikes. Told me to get started, then sat beside me and we started talking.

"How bad does it hurt?"

"Not at all, when I'm sitting on this bike. Just when I walk...or climb stairs...or stand up."

"We'll get you back into shape."

I did not like the sound of that. But whatever. I had a six-week membership, and I thought maybe I'd abuse the heck out of it.

Somehow getting my money's worth out of ten bucks seems a lot more fun -- and challenging -- than getting my money's worth out of the spendy gym memberships I'd signed up for in the past. Perversely, when I put 500 bucks of gym membership on my credit card, I feel justified in working long hours to pay for it, rather than going to the gym and using it. Going in and cancelling gym memberships was a pain in the backside -- they'd always put their best salesman on me and bully me into "just another 30 days".

But this was easy. My six-week membership started my first day at the gym, and expired 45 days later, whether I liked it or not. It was going to be the best ten bucks I'd ever invested. And that's what I told Johnny.

He just grinned. "Okay, let's see what else you can do."

By the end of my hour, I was sweating. Not much, mind you. But I don't think I've ever sweated before -- certainly not on a 50-degree day in Seattle.

And it wasn't terrible. And by the time I walked out -- walked out -- mind you, I was limping about 2/3rds as badly as when I'd gimped in.

It was a start.