Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

An exercise plan

Taking the guilt out of one of my guilty pleasures

Over the years, Pat has bought many pieces of exercise equipment, with the idea that we could both get into shape. Until recently they have all been dismal failures, for two reasons. First, Pat has gone for inexpensive – OK, let’s just use the real word – cheap equipment that hasn’t been solidly built, so the workout experience hasn’t been pleasant. Thus, for example, Pat got an exercise bike that is so flexible, a lot of energy goes into bending the frame rather than making the flywheel fly, and we worry that the thing might fall apart beneath us. Second, Pat has gotten types of equipment that aren’t suited to our fitness needs, such as the resistance-training machine that, in addition to having bungee cords rather than solid workmanship, did nothing for the aerobic training that we really need.

About a year ago, Pat finally made a purchase that made sense: He got a high-end treadmill that is solidly built. It took a hefty chunk of cash, but from the beginning, it’s been much more used than all of the other worthless cheapo devices put together.

Especially now that we have the Etchells, Zorro has Pat on a fitness plan that includes exercises to strengthen particular muscle groups. Pat’s really been racking up the mileage on that treadmill as well, and the result is that he is less blobby in the middle, and he also has considerably more endurance.

In order to keep up with Pat and also work on fitness for the next Adams Cup, I’m going to have to get with the plan as well. The problem for me has been that I just can’t stand the trudging on the treadmill, boring, boring, boring … and the motion of the treadmill makes reading while trudging impossible. I love hiking with Pat, but since I’m teaching night classes four nights a week this term, that’s not an option. So what to do?

Enter my secret pleasure. There is a television daytime drama (known in the vernacular as a “soap opera”) that I enjoy watching. No, it’s not high art. It’s moderately morally uplifting in that, eventually, the baddies get what’s coming to them. It doesn’t engage the brain on a high level, but the plots are interesting enough that I am entertained. In short, watching it is the perfect thing for me to do while on the treadmill, instead of sitting in my easy chair.

When we bought the treadmill, the installers had to partially disassemble it and then reassemble it to get it into the guest room, so we can’t easily move it to the living room, so we’re going to have to get a small television for me to watch while I’m trudging. And since I have a daytime class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have to watch my soap on a tape delay, we’ll need to get one of those televisions with the built-in VCR. But once we have that, there’s five hours a week that I’m going to be working out.

Come to think of it, given the name of the soap opera and the general goal of a fitness program, of improving the quality of one’s life because it’s the only life one has, there’s a certain appropriateness: “The One Life to Live Fitness Plan.”


Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...

Carol Anne-

Get a good medicine ball. Strengthening your core muscle groups are going to be key to good sailing performance, especially at a competitive level. A medicine ball, even though it is a bit primitive, is probably one of the best ways to strengthen the core muscles of the back, abdomen and thorax. :D It might also be good to get a DVD player for the TV near the treadmill. You can watch sail racing DVDs and brush up on those skills while you're getting your cardio workout.


Thu Sep 14, 06:40:00 AM MDT  

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