I have confined my aggressive cat to a towel-lined basket near my laptop so I can type without interference. My keyboard is dusted with fine cat hairs. Sometimes he wades through my desk papers and climbs onto my lap and I can’t find it in my heart to shove him off. I am a pushover for a purring cat.
Sunday evenings used to be my blogging time but a full house and schedule through Christmas break bumped that aside. But then, even before the three kids went back to college I signed up at a local gym and have found Sunday evenings perfect for taking a walk on a treadmill and making my muscles burn with weight machines.
This is a funny turn for this bookworm: weight-lifting. Yet, I have my sights on biking this summer. I don’t want another summer like the last, where I felt so out of shape I stayed in the valley instead of making the hill route my default. That 3.5 mile ascent puts me in shape in a hurry and I want to be ready for it this spring. That’s what I think of when I walk the treadmill, pump weights, or sweat through a spinning class.
The gym has a strange attraction for me. I can usually claim a treadmill, where I walk for 20 minutes (with a 4 minute cool down) alongside strong young women who run. It feels really good to stride in big swinging steps, and the endorphins make me happy. Then I make a circuit of lower body or upper body machines where I aim for two sets of 12-15 repetitions. I carefully write down my progress and have watched my weight increase on almost all the machines. That pleases my record-keeping soul.
I entirely ignore the men and they return me the favor; in fact, the only one who seems open to talk is an older woman who, like me, sometimes shows up before dawn. We have the place to ourselves then. She and I met again at my first spinning class and huffed and grew red in the face together. Our instructor is a drill sergeant and I am in bootcamp. I accomplish far more than I thought possible.
Well, as late as it is, I think I will drive down there. I always save something to listen to on my MP3 player. Last week I listened to The Railway Children but tonight I have some Radiolab podcasts to try. I got hooked on the podcast on colors. RadioLab Colors My favorite part is where they let us hear what colors various species see. Really, you have got to hear this.
Tomorrow is Mad Monday, where my children and I pay for all our wasted opportunities of the week by fitting nearly two days’ worth of work into one. We want to be ready for Classical Conversations community day. It is a workout of a day, but it pays off in endorphins of a different kind.