Thursday, April 28, 2011

Working Out Difficult, Overrated

Working hard < Working smart
 I finally ran out of excuses. Any attempts to blame a lack of home base, a dearth of viable options, or lingering cost issues have faded...the stars have aligned and there is simply no reason why I can't go to the gym now.

After my half-baked attempts to work out in Sri Lanka failed miserably, I reduced my entire workout regimen to a handful of situps between swigs of ayurvedic tinctures that promised to make me skinny and healthy. Shockingly, the aged berry potion I purchased from the "doctor" in Kandy didn't magically make me lose 30 pounds as he promised, but I took the failure in stride...hell, even some roadside miracle tonics don't perform up to standards. But cmon, this was Sri Lanka after all, so I gave myself a free pass on fitness until I returned to civilization.

Friends of the blog may recall that as my time in South Asia wrapped up, I made a New Year's resolution to do 10,000 pushups in 2011. I wasn't about to let everyone down, so when I settled into my comfortably white-washed life in Geneva, I kept pace and am proud to report that I'm well on my way to meeting my goal by year's end. Sadly, however, I took this somewhat minor accomplishment as a sign that my body was improving itself despite the kilograms of falafel and gnocchi I was pumping in to it. As a reward, I gave up on even attempting to join a real gym or go running outside or anything silly like that. No, I was contempt to drink cheap Swiss pinot noir, crack out 50 up-downs and contentedly fry up some garlic for my "healthy" pasta dinners.

Sadly these blissfully excused days of laziness have drawn to a close. I've got a dresser and a shower to call my own, and there are plenty of cheap or even free work-out options in and around NYC. So finally this past week, armed with freshly washed gym shorts that had seen little action that hadn't involved watching Hulu from a desk chair over the past 8 months, I laced up the cross-trainers and hit the gym. 

And the second I hit the gym, it hit back. My back hurts. My legs hurt. My arms? Well they don't hurt that much but they certainly aren't at 100%. It turns out that doing almost no physical activity for three business quarters atrophied my body such that after just two days of diligent gym-going, I'm calling it off today so I can rest. Possibly also so I can take an ice bath. Alarmingly, despite 4 total hours of gym so far, I haven't seen the drastic physical transformation I had expected; nothing that a deliciously heavy pasta dinner can't cure though.

Today might be a loss but come rain or snow or sleet or shine, I'll be making a concerted effort to get my butt to the gym at least 3 times a week, hopefully even more than that. If nothing else it will seem like a nice way to feel productive while I fail time and again to get a job.

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