I’ve made a few changes in my fitness routine. I won’t go into the details because I don’t know how much of the new will “stick” and how much of the “old” return, or if at all. It’s also more complicated than just feeling the need to change things up; although that was part of it.
In the midst of all of the change and transition I’ve realized something about myself.
I would make the worst workout partner on earth, possibly the universe.
Exhibit A: I’m on an elliptical next to someone else on an elliptical. I’m barely able to keep the machine going under my own power. That someone else inches from me is going close to 100 rpms (or whatever) while texting full conversations and listening to an iPod, like it’s no big deal.
I realize we look like an exercise infomercial, and he has no clue what he’s doing (and how his actions may be effecting the self-image of others.
I resist the urge to push him off the elliptical, mostly due to my personal safety (balance) than any other repercussions.
Exhibit B: I’ve just finished up a few minutes on the recumbent bike. A feat that would have been laughable not that long ago but now I can keep a steady (albeit painfully slow). The seat also has to be “just right,” pretty much the ultimate short people setting but not quite. I hear a lady behind me say she hates the bike (can’t say I blame her) because she’s too short (she’s actually a little taller than me). I think, she’s going to be pretty surprised when she realizes she’s going to have better luck today.
I watch her out of the corner of my eye and she peddles twice (or maybe it was four times) and quits.
I resist the urge to give her a five minute lecture on how it took me years to do what she just did and she gives in, because she probably surrounds herself with people who allow her to throw in the towel far too soon.
Exhibit C: I get to the pool 5 minutes “late” (5 minutes after opening) so all the official lap lanes are taken. I “trudge” down the pool ramp wishing it was deep enough that I could roll my wheelchair to the edge of the pool and “jump” in.
The lady in the lane next to me is doing “the old lady dog paddle.” She shouts to my mother (who has to bring me to the pool because of a lack of automatic door openers) that she forgot to close the door (the door closed by the time she got back to it). She does 2 more laps before getting out of the pool. She uses the ladder (which happens to be in my lane), she almost kicks me in the head in the process.
I stop myself from wanting to shout at her about noticing an opening a barely open door yards away but she can’t manage to keep her heals within striking distance of my eye.
Exhibit D: I’m using the upper-arm bike trying to keep a pace in the 50s rpm range. I realize I’m actually keeping steady in the mid-60s without much difficulty. Someone is using the upper-arm bike next to me.
It doesn’t take me long to realize I’m trying to out due them, without knowing how far they’re going or who they are. But I did get to 70 rpms.
Exhibit E: Lest we forget why I spend the extra money (which I don’t really have), because I’m not the best person to be left to their own devices. For all intents and purposes I need a “babysitter,” because if you tell me to do 3 sets of 10 of anything and walk away I’ll just make it look like I’ve done 3 sets of 10 & then lie to you about it.
But at least I’m honest about my dishonesty, within reason.
Exhibit F: Even when I win (a board game, cards, anything) I don’t consider it a real win unless it’s by a fairly large margin.
My name is Sarah, and I think I have a problem.
*A similar version of this post was written on October 15, 2014