Monday, January 28, 2013

Two Things the Gym Won't Fix

I decided it's time for another gym update. The big news is I have managed to drag myself there for the whole month of January. That might not seem like big news, but when going to the gym includes going out in the freezing cold at 6:15 in the morning, scraping the ice and snow off your windshield, and getting into a vehicle that resembles a block of ice on wheels, I think it qualifies. I credit the seat warmer with my continued dedication. Best automobile invention ever!

In other gym news Curly, Moe and Larry have been replaced by Squirrel Lady. Squirrel Lady is a perfectly sculpted, petite bundle of energy that, and I know this is going to make me sound petty, makes me crazy. Crazy maker number one is she is chatty. It reminds me of when you walk near a tree that has a squirrel in it. Non-stop, annoying and loud. Crazy maker number two is her habit of doing one set of weights or one machine, then hurrying over to her bag to grab a handful of nuts to eat. I'm sure I don't need to spell out the connection here. Not only is it weird, it seems fairly unhygienic to me. First you hang onto a piece of equipment that dozens of other sweaty people have just held, then you go dig in your bag for food? Gross.

After going to the gym for just over half a year I have to tell you there are two areas that have seen no improvement. Realistically it wasn't like I was expecting improvement in these areas, but being an eternal optimist I remained hopeful. I have noted that no matter how toned and firm my muscles become, my skin remains loose. This seems grossly unfair to me. Why is it that as you get older your skin becomes more pliable and you mind less so? If I ran the world I would reverse this.

Which leads me to the second area that has seen no improvement. My memory. I'm sure I read a study somewhere that talked about a connection between exercise and improved memory. At least I thought I did. If I remember where, I will come back and include a link.

I have a theory that as you get older the problem isn't that your capacity to remember things decreases. No, the real problem is mind clutter. An example that perfectly illustrates this happened this past weekend. Every month or so my friend Hilary and I schedule in a phone call. In order to make sure I wouldn't forget the call I put Post-It notes in two different locations to remind me. If my mind wasn't on fifty other things at the same time I don't think the Post-Its would have been necessary. Then, during the course of the conversation, Hilary recommended a movie. I told her I had watched it after she had recommended it in a previous call (one she didn't remember having). I could even remember her description of a particularly funny scene. Why, I ask, was valuable brain space being used up by this insignificant detail? Mind clutter. If there was a delete button for this kind of stuff, collected over the decades, I think there would be a much better chance of me remembering why I just walked across the room.

This last bit doesn't go along with the topic of this post, but I thought you might be interested in an update on the family shoe rack status. After posting this picture last week I asked David if he could please move his leg.




This wasn't what I had in mind.


20 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean by that nasty muscle/skin dichotomy - maybe it's a 50's thing? Good for you for braving icy mornings to go to the gym, though! Winter is one reason why I work out at home...I do remember reading somewhere that people who exercise regularly seem to get fewer colds than those who are sedentary, if that's any consolation for the not-improved memory! Although surely all that enhanced circulation has to be good for the brain!

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    1. I fear you are right - it's probably a 50s thing. :-(

      Working out at home sounds very appealing. I have been thinking about how much my gym fees are over the course of a year compared to the cost of buying something to have in my own basement. It is very tempting.

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  2. I always love it when a post makes me laugh out loud and this one did a few times...Love the leg pics.
    Just last week Emily asked me in a frustrated tone why I don't remember things, usually she is referring to a specific line in a movie or the name of an actor... I answered that my brain is full of 20 years of nursing and info about my family, which is a lot of info and there just isn't as much room as there used to be...roll of eyes!

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    1. I'm glad I made you laugh, Karen! At least you know David in person, so know the leg pictures aren't photoshopped. :-)

      I like your answer when Emily gets frustrated with your memory lapses. Give her a few more decades and she won't be rolling her eyes. She will be nodding with understanding.

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  3. Had to laugh to myself over David's leg! A sense of humor is a wonderful thing...

    Can I just admire you from afar because you actually go to a gym? And the admiration stems not just from getting up so early in freezing temps, but for the mere fact that you go. I joined a gym once. I paid for six months and went once. I was so self-conscious that I didn't dare look around to identify any Moe, Larry, or Curly, or an unhygienic squirrel woman, although I'm quite sure their counterparts were there. Although they were probably identifying the extremely nervous chick trying desperately to go unnoticed.

    Such trauma. Will the middle school nightmare never end?? I think I'll pull my sagging skin up and head to bed now. :-)

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    1. Amputee humour is in a category of its own, trust me. :-)

      As far as the gym goes I'm pretty insecure there myself. I stick with the machines that David showed me how to work, and am afraid to go try anything new. And I don't think I could ever get up the courage to do one of the group classes. I guess you could classify me as a gym hermit.

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  4. You really make me laugh, great post!

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    1. Trust me, the whole gym thing is a lot funnier in writing than it is in person. Glad I could make you laugh!

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  5. hahahaaa, very amusing, made me chuckle. Also love the image of squirrel woman ....

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    1. Squirrel Woman is quite the character. Glad I could give you a chuckle!

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  6. It must be my age too my memory is not what it was! I put it down to so many things to think about at once! At least David moved his leg, that's boys for you! Sarah x

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    1. I am sure it must be too many things to think about at once and not our age! :-)

      Yes, he moved his leg, which means he technically did what I asked. He reads my blog and I suspect he put it on top of the shoes just to give me a hard time for posting about it last week.

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  7. That's good news about Larry, Moe and Curly...not so much about the Squirrel Lady. I don't think I've ever encountered the latter. She would creep me out--I don't even like grabbing my water bottle when my hands are contaminated from gym equipment!

    Some things don't need to be fixed--I hear ginkoba aids memory.

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    1. Than you for saying Squirrel Lady would creep you out, too. Sometimes I wonder if it just me that finds people/situations like this weird. Which would, of course, mean that I am really the weird one, not them. :-)

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  8. Good post, Kristie! David's leg..that's funny! And typical of the male species, I must say.

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  9. This post is hilarious. At the end of a long, frustrating day I needed the laugh. Thank you. And I've said often that I think getting my PhD make me 'more stupid' (see?)...trying to cram too much information I'll never use into a space already full. I think the new information kicked out some of the essentials.

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    1. If only we could all figure out how to get rid of all the information we will never use! Glad I could give you a good laugh at the end of a long day. :-)

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  10. As usual, your description of the crazy gym people had me laughing at my desk at work.....not good........lol You have such great writing talent!

    Your blog never bores me!

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    1. What a nice thing to say Kathy! You might want to take back what you said about my blog never boring you after you read my next post about trying to add spelt back into my diet. :-)

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