OK, so I'm only 33. Not that old. But there are parts of me that are aged beyond what they should be. Two parts specifically, my left and right ankles.
Anyone who has followed my blog knows I have ankle issues. Long story short: Where I should have ball and socket joints in my ankles I have two flat ends with little to no cartilage. Numerous ankle surgeries later and they are functional, at best. Its not that big of a deal normally. They get sore more than most people would have to deal with, but I have learned to deal with the pain.
On the bright side, they are not so arthritic I can predict rainy weather.. yet.
So I have been on the treadmill. Sadly, this has left me so sore and achy I simply can't so it any more. I know the elliptical is a better choice. Its low impact, which is what I need. But I have this weird hang up about it. Mainly, this hang up comes from observing other people.
For example: There is this kid who goes to the gym. He looks to be about 20, or there abouts. He wears wristbands and a headband, and generally looks like a reject from Flashdance. I happened to notice, also, he reads magazines while he works on his cardio fitness. These magazines are unmistakably feminine, like Redbook or Cosmo. To make the observation that he is probably gay is probably not needed here, and really it has nothing to do with the actual act of using the elliptical trainer. Its his antics that go along with said use of the work out machine that leave me so horribly self conscious about my own possible antics.
Imagine a large bird, like a pelican, with a ridiculously large wingspan. Now imagine this same bird wrapped in net and flailing like mad trying to escape. This is the image that comes to mind when I see this kid on the trainer. Its really a sight to behold. Arms flailing and head weaving as he is sweating to the beat of what is clearly his own drum.
Is this what I look like? Do I come off as some crazed and wounded animal trying desperately to cling to whatever vestige of my own personal fitness is left? I would like to think not. I would like to think I look a little more graceful that that. But the sad truth is, once you hit that stride where your in the target zone for heart rate and calorie burning it really doesn't matter what you look like. It simply matters that you are accomplishing your goals.
And surprise, surprise.. When I finished today I was able to simple walk away. I didn't hobble away like a wounded animal with it's tail between its legs.
Lesson here? I guess quit worrying about appearance and simply work toward the goal of being a better person. Lucky me. I learned a lesson while torturing myself.
Self flagellation? Masochism? No, no. That seems a little extreme.
Realization and the eradication of my own laziness? That sounds for more enlightened. I'm going with this one.