I have a confession to make. A subject I have been avoiding for some time. The sharp tools in the toolkit out there nay have noted my lack of discussion on this topic , on Facebook but also predominately Twitter! My last session at the gym was way back in mid December.
How do I explain the three month break? Particularly when I was making good progress and feeling very active? It was my proposed move to Swindon towards the end of last year. Rather than sign up for another 12 month contract, or be tied to any long term commitment, I cancelled after the first year, so I could join a new gym once I had moved home. When this purchase fell through, I came up with an alternative plan.
Inspired by the new year, I downloaded RunKeeper Pro (free for the whole month of January) on my HTC Desire to log my runs. I would start running several evenings a week. On top of this, I also had a exercise bike at home and use of a VFit Pro Ab Crunch device. The ethusiasm was there to back up these rather ambitious ideas and on Monday 3rd January (a Bank Holiday, but I had to work due to lack of cover at the office) I came home and quickly changed into my running gear and headed out the door. I lasted a mere five minutes and twenty four seconds. The stats and map from that particularly disasterous run have been private until now. You can see the results for yourself, but to defend myself I was just not in the position to start running, particularly as I have tended to avoid the treadmill during CV sessions at the gym. My breathing became difficult and I felt a slight stitch in my chest, so stopped after less than half a mile, turned around and headed home. My family were surprised I had come back so quickly. I did not think my new fitness regime was going to last at all.
I had been right, even with the exercise kit staring me in the face throughout the days, I have failed to really take any of them up. Sure there was a few weeks when I carried out hundreds of abdominal crunches, but these alone were not enough. I left myself drift and it was not a good looking sight. While, I admit overall I am a skinny person, I have developed or rather put on a pot belly (which I will refer to going forward as my spare tyre) over the past six months. I believe the slippery slope started as soon as I got back from India. I have identified a few of the root courses, but not all. My colleague Fred had moved from his rather blush surroundings downstairs, into my cublicle area and offered up beverages every afternoon around 2pm. I would always have a hot chocolate and this sugary intake did not help. My Mum’s home made food is perhaps the worst offender of my weight gain (in the wrong places). However, I did little to try and combat this weight gain, even the signs became even obvious with jeans/trousers that were much more harder to get into.
On Saturday 26th March, after a shopping trip to Southall and Ealing, the decision was made. It took a long and emotional heart to heart but with an AR. I would join the gym with Michelle and become her new gym buddy. This was it, with just over four months to go before the wedding we had a target and it was steadily creeping upon us. The following day, I arranged to get to the gym, the Montem Leisure Centre in the greatest town in Berkshire (across from the Slough Ice Arena where the stars train for Dancing On Ice). I got there around midday and waited for Michelle to arrive (to allow her to upgrade to joint membership). While I waited, I was shown around by Rosa, but there was no membership manager on duty (they only worked Sunday mornings) so I had to re-arrange to come in to do that at a later date. I was keen to ensure that the momentum was not lost, so we booked in for Tuesday evening.
The return to the gym on Tuesday evening was eventful to say the least. Michelle was still unwell (backache) but had come along just to confirm the upgrade from single to joint membership. I had got changed, gone through the usual healthchecks (blood pressure test) to ensure I had no underlying health problems that could affect me working out in the gym. I was then off to my own devices, even though I had booked a Kick Start programme session for Friday afternoon at 5pm. My last recorded gym session based on my DailyBurn calendar was Wednesday 15th December. It had therefore been 104 – yes 104 days or three months and fourteen days since I was last active in the gym. I felt it – believe me! I thought it best to just have a quick warm up on the bike and follow up with a session on the rowing machine. The bike was good enough and it was great that each of the CV machines has a TV screen (I started to watch the opening discussions of Adrian Chiles just before the England Ghana friendly – although the reception quality of the TV was close to unwatchable!). The bike I completed easy enough, but it was a good workout for my knees and legs who had not seen this much action in a while. Moving onto the rowing machine was not good, it took me three tries to find a machine with a working computer counter. As I started rowing, I felt the fat layers onto of my stomach moving around. (As Rich at work would point out at work the following morning – very much like Homer Simpson). The last three months “off” had taken their toll but I am determined to not just regain the lost ground but also push up to the next level in the next few months. Or as FlexSingh would say – get out of reverse gear. Time will tell. The gym was busy, and as expected (this is Slough afterall) there were a few rudeboys around – constantly checking themselves out in the mirror. However, I knew I could work out here and get back on the horse so to speak.
I watched some movie trailers with my parents on Monday evening (thanks to the wonderful Apple Trailers Lite plugin on XBMC via my original XBox (ten year old plus) console. We watched the full trailer for Captain America. I, too long for a special chamber, I can jump into and turn me buff like Chris Evans. Check out the trailer to see how he transforms from weedy skinny guy (yes I know it is all CGI) failing admission into the US Army into a superhero with a unbelievable body! I suppose I will just have to stick to Rainier Wolfcastle shouting slogans at me when on the Adominator!