I made the courageous decision recently to dive off into the world of core exercises as part of my gym routine. Enough time had passed (4 years I think!) that I figured I’d better get on it while I could still stand up on my own.
Now if you’re married to an architect – or know someone who is – you know we don’t see the world quite like most people. I always tell people if you walk into a room and someone’s staring at the ceiling, they’re probably just an architect checking out the lighting. Don’t be alarmed.
Consequently, as I’m laying on the mat at my local Y, staring up at the ceiling, what do you suppose I think about? How many crunches I can do before being carted off in an ambulance? Will anyone notice if I cry a little? I don’t recall my abs hurting like this before. Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea?
Of course not.
I’m looking up at the ceiling and noticing they’ve used steel roof deck for the exposed ceiling. And now we’re off to the races.
“Did they fill the deck with lightweight concrete?”
“Or is there rigid foam insulation on top?”
“They must have run the electrical for the lighting inside the pans because the light fixtures are attached directly to the ceiling. Who had to lay all of that out? That’s a lot of time on a scissor lift.”
I would love to lie and say none of these thoughts shot through my mind. But I can’t. I’m an architect.
Besides – it’s better than worrying how big a scene I’m likely to create getting off the mat.
For the last 5 months, I’ve been dragging myself out of bed at 5:00 so I can be at the gym by 5:30. (Okay. Not every day. But most days. And certainly not during our cruise.) Never in a million years did I think I’d be doing that. My last trainer would be astounded since I refused to do cardio when we worked together!
However, after two years of stress eating, something had to be done. I looked like I’d been stung by the world’s largest bee.
Now every (most) morning(s) I hop on the treadmill and walk for 30 minutes. That’s right. I walk. I don’t run. I don’t ever see myself running unless being chased by a clown with an ax. And even then I’d have to think about it.
But I do walk. Yet inevitably, I find myself surrounded by people who run. Most of whom don’t even warm up. They just hop on the treadmill at that god-awful hour and crank it up.
And I start getting that feeling.
You know the feeling. Like you’re the wounded zebra in one of those nature specials that everyone knows is going to be picked clean, and all around you are gazelles. The only thing missing is the lion chasing you and that annoying British announcer.
My favorite gazelles are the ones who hop on the treadmill and don’t really make noise. Like they’re kind of floating above the treadmill somehow just lightly tapping the surface with their feet.
Unlike me, who when I run do in fact sound like that wounded zebra. Clopping along. Desperate to keep up. Like I’m about to pound my way through the treadmill. Wheezing like an asthmatic freight train.
Nevertheless, there I am. Almost every morning. Joining the rest of the herd. Looking out across the Serengeti.