Thursday, January 01, 2009

Plans, Goals, Ambitions for 2009

My life would not be my life without a long to-do list; I didn't wake up this morning and stop being a neurotic Type-A pain in the ass. After all, I'm such a freak I get a rush out of cleaning a closet! So we won't talk about the to-do list; it's there, it's long, it's the usual. We will talk about Goals. I haz dem.

I've mentioned before that I wanted to spend more time at the gym. I think I made it to the gym a dozen times in December. 5 of those visits were in the last week! January's goal - 20 workouts. I am in love with the elliptical machines at the gym. They have their own little personal TV screens, and I have my timing down - I know exactly how long it is from my front door to the machine (8 minutes) so I can hit the start of a show I want to watch - reruns of House or NCIS or Monk will keep me happy for an hour.

I did an hour of cardio yesterday and remembered the first time I ever got on an elliptical trainer - I can't remember the exact year, but I was definitely well over 40. I lasted for maybe 3 minutes and thought I was gonna DIE - my legs BURNED! I was GASPING! My heart POUNDED! How the hell do people DO this? That was after just trying it - 3 minutes at, oh, maybe 3.2 mph.

But those little TVs were such an incentive - otherwise it's news or sports on the big TVs over the treadmills. I wanted to use the elliptical machines for the entertainment factor, and kept at it. I mainly stuck to the treadmill, but as my stamina increased, I'd try the elliptical again, and last a little longer, and a little longer.... And then in 2007 I had the Brain Thing, and the first time I got on an elliptical machine maybe 3 months later, I lasted 2 minutes and got so dizzy I honestly thought I'd pass out. It wasn't like starting all over again; it was like starting from half dead. But my bad knees were another incentive; they have voted, and they are all about the elliptical machine, so I worked my way back from half dead.

Now, I do an hour on the elliptical machine at an average above 4.5 mph - Catherine's Interval Training System is simple and television-dependent, like its inventor, me. I maintain that average 4.5 mph for the show, and then put on a burst of speed during commercials. Show comes back on, I slow down to 4.5 again. (I do this because it's easier than programming the machine or paying attention to the program, and the results are the same.) So it hit me yesterday that I have come a long, long way from the first time I tried the machine, and then came back from the brain thing and continue to improve.

And I have not been very diligent about working out. At all. I spent most of this year without a gym membership, and even when I re-joined I didn't go regularly. It occurred to me that if I really got serious about the gym, not the half-assed "when I feel like it" thing I do now, well, who knows what I am capable of? This 50 year old body is still able to make remarkable progress if I just give it a chance. It has proven this, but I don't give it much of a chance.

So, my promise to my body is that I will make it to the gym 20 times a month. 24 times would be most excellent, but 20 will be do-able, because I do have a job, a long commute, a house to fix up and get on the market, etc. etc. etc., and a life. Well, not much of a life these days, but I have "Get Life!" at the top of the to-do list.

And for me, a big part of getting a life is tied to working out, and feeling great, and looking and feeling my best.


Bess said...


I love the eliptical. the first time I got on on I lasted about 1 minute but eventually I got up to as long as I wanted... once you can do half an hour it's like any other exercise - just work through the wall.

Congratulations. I will join you in a minimum visits goal.

Catherine said...

So true, and I found that I work through the wall a lot better with a tv show in front of me - the first time I ever lasted an hour it was because I wanted to see the end of the show! Music is better for keeping a faster pace, but it's also easier for the lazy voice in my head to call quitting time.

caroline said...

wow, girl. I'll walk to your goal. That is, am 4 hours from the nearest gym but the road is right outside the door, so walk uphill at 6,700 ft is something I can do. 20 days per month, eh? You continue to be an inspiriation. Happy New Year!

Linda said...

Holy Crap Girl! You're doing fantastic!!! 4.5 (and faster) for an hour?!!! I think I would die! Hurray for you. My opjective is to simply MOVE more. I've paid too many gyms over the years and did'nt use it. So I'm just gonna get off my arse more.
Fantastic job! Keep up the good attitude!

Catherine said...

You'd think that 4.5/hr would be awesome, but I'm usually next to somebody doing 7+ mph. I am the tortoise among the hares. 4.5 isn't fast, and my smartass marathon running heart dr. of last year (not on insurance plan this year) would not be impressed. He wanted me to train for a marathon. It's great to think that my heart is up to it, but he never met my knees.