Tuesday, March 08, 2016

No gym required (part 2) (PCT d - 71)

In another blog post (http://blog.ergoob.org/2016/03/elevation-training-no-gym-required-pct.html) I mentioned that: "It'll soon be the second anniversary of my joining one of the local gyms in town. .... As my contractual obligation draws to a close, I'm looking at ways of getting the same (or better) workout for free (versus c. $50/month at the health club)." If you weren't already into the healthy, outdoor lifestyle you'll find that it's an expensive business, equipping yourself with the "gear" needed to enjoy it more. Sure, you can try to do it on the cheap, with ordinary cross trainer shoes instead of sturdy hiking shoes or boots, for example. You might save $50 here or there, but it won't be as comfortable, or as much fun, and you'll risk injuries that you might not otherwise have sustained, had you been properly kitted out. So, I'm quitting my gym membership at the end of March, and using the money saved to offset some of those costs.

The only thing I'll really miss is the swimming. I love swimming. It makes me feel so light and fat-free because of the buoyancy in the water. Just like some people say they do their best thinking in the shower, I find that I do my best thinking in the swimming pool. When I feel the overwhelming need to swim again in the future, I'll pay the price (usually about $10 a day), and I'm okay with that.

Otherwise, I can get (need to get) my walking exercise out in the "real world", on proper terrain, with real undulations and ups-and-downs, and real obstacles. It might be colder and windier and wetter from time to time than walking/running on an indoor treadmill, but standing atop a steep hill or small mountain gives you a buzz and excitement that's like a drug. It happened to me when I reached the top of Buttercup Hill (the 200' hillock outside my apartment) for the first time. It happened when I reached the top of Mount Ascension last Sunday. It's a great feeling - and if you experience it once, you'll want to experience it again and again. The views over the Helena Valley are fantastic.

For my strength training, I have some resistance bands, and I have my 1 gallon Arizona Tea jugs, filled with water (8.5 lbs each when filled with water, 12 lbs when filled with sand. I haven't measured yet them with wet sand). I have some band exercise charts that I will publish soon, so that you can do them too, if you're interested.

Rocky training on the steps of the
Philadelphia Museum of Art
In my fantasy world, where I emulate Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky movies and run up and down the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (or whatever the Helena equivalent is), I optimistically bought myself a jump rope (skipping rope for my English readers). I was talking to a friend recently who tells me she enjoys boxing, which is not something I'd thought much about doing before, but I can imagine there's something primally satisfying about beating the sh*t out of a 80 pound sand-filled canvas bag. Add that (boxing) to my list of things to do in the next 12 months.

There's a new exercise coach that started work yesterday at the state employees' health center here in Helena. As soon as he is settled in and finished his training/orientation, I will be making an appointment to see him and develop my exercise plans further.

The adventure continues! Stay tuned.

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