Friday, November 09, 2007

Change stations NOW, beyotch!

My friend Stef is, to put it nicely, athletically inclined. If she were a guy, I'd say she's a stud. But she's a girl, and I don't know what the female equivalent of "stud" is. I refuse to sink to using "studette."

She plays every sport that's been invented, and probably a few that haven't been yet. She plays soccer and volleyball and softball and raquetball and tennis. She golfs (which I don't necessarily consider a true sport, per se, because you don't really need an incredible body, good cardio or even stamina to golf, just access to a motorized cart and cooler of cold beer, in which case I, too, could be considered a golfer). On top of all that, she exercises regularly and is in general quite a fit person. Her idea of a great vacation is to go hiking in Peru or backpacking around the base of Mont Blanc. My idea of a great vacation is valet parking, turn-down service and mints on my pillow. Or anything that involves laying somewhere other than my own couch.

Our typical conversations used to go like this:

A: "What did you do yesterday?"
S: "I worked out before work, played volleyball over lunch, a round of golf in my league at 5:30, and had a soccer game at 10:30. It went late, so I worked out for only 90 minutes this morning and I'll probably be tired for softball tonight, but it's a double-header so I'll get my second wind sometime in the 3rd. What did you do?"
A: "Sat on the couch and watched TV. Again."
S: "Oh."

Then a friend at work joined Curves and invited me to try, and I went, and it was good, and I signed up. Curves is a great intro-gym. It's not intimidating or overwhelming, and I was adopted by all the octogenarians there (the fact that the median age of the other women was about 40 years my senior should have been a clue that I wasn't taxing myself) and I had a good time.

So, when Stef came to visit last year, I convinced her to go with me. I knew it wasn't going to be a workout for her, but I wanted to show her that I was at least making an effort. We went and she gamely climbed in all the machines and marched on all the cardio pads, but I could tell she was stifling laughter every 30 seconds when the disembodied voice cheerfully commanded, "Change stations now!"

We went through the 30 minutes and left, and went to Starbucks and had coffee and exchanged birthday presents and Christmas presents (our birthdays are both in August, but neither of us can find a post office in a reasonable amount of time, so we exchanged our gifts at Christmas. This is why we're so good at being each other's friend). We were fine with going straight to Starbucks as we hadn't so much as thought about breaking a sweat from our "work out" at Curves.

After that day, Stef started her campaign to transform me from premature old lady to fit thirtysomething. She would say things like, "It's nice, but I'm surprised you don't get bored. Going around in a circle every day, doing the same thing. By the way, I can bench press 457 pounds." Okay, she didn't say that last part, but it was implied.

Finally, it sunk in, and I realized that yeah, I was getting pretty bored. And, what's the point of doing something for a half hour every day if I wasn't even sweating at the end. And, my old-lady friends, while perfectly lovely and fun to be with, so did not have the same goals as I. So, as you know, when my year contract was up, I looked into other options and found The Lodge, where I have been happily working out 5-7 days a week since late August.

Stef is in town this weekend, and while she has to do the requisite Family Time, I have commandeered Saturday morning. And you bet your ass I'm dragging her to The Lodge with me.

When I finish my daily workouts now, I'm pretty well out of breath and drenched in sweat. I've done 40 minutes of strength training and 30 of cardio, or I've run 5+ miles. I've had great music banging through my ears and I'm ready to kick ass and take names. First name on the list? Stef.

She's been backtracking the last week or so, "Oh, gee, I don't know. I haven't been to the gym a lot're going to kick my ass..." I think she knows I'm on a mission. I know, I know, I could never, ever out-sport Stef, but this time, at least I can make her sweat.


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