Sunday, June 21, 2009

That which does not kill us...

Friday, I went to renew my gym membership at the, ahem, Buffalo Athletic Club downtown. From now on I decided I will go only to places with stentorian names. The Buffalo Athletic Club. The Lockport Town and Country Club.

When I went to renew my gym membership here is what was an outrage. They said I had been to the gym -- I mean the club -- only twice since December.

Only twice??

I must have been there more than that!!

But I was not. Last time I went to Pilates, I wrote about it, remember. That was what a rarity it was.

I have been walking and in the winter I cross-country ski and now, every week or so, Howard and I do a little volleying on the Delaware Park tennis courts. We prefer the court near the Scajaquada so we are not observed. Anyway, I have not been a complete schuft, is what I am saying. I do get out and move.

But the book keeps me home and sedentary more than I like to admit. For hours on end I just sit. And I know I do not have a lot of weight to lose or anything but I am horrified to say that some of the clothes in my closet that I want to wear do not fit anymore. This is an outrage! And it is no longer fair to blame Leonard Pennario and the chocolate sundaes he used to order and make me split.

I bet if I had been working on a book with Emil Gilels...

... he would not have been ordering chocolate sundaes and making me split them.

Yep, I know how to pick 'em. That is for sure!

When you stay away from the athletic club for a long time one benefit is that when you get back all the technology has changed. I went to the Buffalo Athletic Club by the Boulevard Mall and there were all new machines!

It was fun just walking around looking at them and that is what I did for a while, listening to Walter Gieseking play Cesar Franck. The I-Pod Shuffle makes the gym a lot more pleasant, as long as we are speaking of technology.

Finally I got up on this machine that has you "float." That is a kind term for, well, what happens is you have to put your feet on these pedals and then the pedals go up and down and around in circles at the same time. At first I thought the machine was malfunctioning but no, that is what it is supposed to do.

It takes only 10 seconds for it to kick in, which means, for your thighs and butt to start burning terribly and your heart to start pounding in a most unnatural way.

One and a half minutes into this and I am thinking, I cannot possibly go on.

But being German I did.

Then I went on for another 10 minutes. At this point Gieseking was playing Beethoven so luckily that absorbed me. Now, Walter Gieseking...

... there is another pianist who would not have been making me share his chocolate sundae. At least that is what I am guessing. And now I can see that would have been just as well.

After 15 minutes I finally let myself off the Float machine. I could hardly walk! But I dragged myself over to a bicycle machine and I began pedaling.

I chose a "Variety" course which means sometimes it is very easy and sometimes it is very difficult. The easy part was not too bad. But then it went up to just "moderately easy," as opposed to "completely easy."

And I am sweating and straining!

What in the world??

I have turned into this weakling!


prof. G said...

Right. Gilels would have been challenging you with vodka, and Gieseking with Pschorr beer. Both of them were chunky guys. Ask Joyce Carol Oates how to be a skinny writer.

Larry said...

That gym sounds like entirely too much work to me. But I do like your music system. One thing that might help you pedal is to change the music to something with more gusto. Like Mike Hammer's 'U Can't Touch This'. Oh yes!

Also, judging by that first photograph. it looks like you are spending entirely too much time under their sun lamp. Maybe some lotion would help...