January 24, 2011
Elliptical Shock, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 4
Apparently GOD wasn’t all that thrilled with last week's current complacency satisfaction announcement. I got looped out of that smooth little elliptical-path realm last Wednesday. My nice quiet job turned into an interesting series of disasters; fast paced pedaling required. Left the office just a few minutes later than normal and arrived at the gym to find no treadmills available. Waited around a bit trying to gauge the near doneness of the usurping exercising folks.
An observant soul noticed my dilemma and commented that I had I been just a few minutes earlier, there would have been three empty machines. Since I already wasn’t all that thrilled, that news didn’t thrill me, either. Neither did the recommended change of work out pace. The elliptical were free, and probably for good reason. I’ve tried those before and found them awkward and prone to showcasing my basic uncoordination talents. But when someone assures me “it’s easy,” I tend to take it to heart.
First lesson, the thing does not have an on button. You are the on button. If you don’t begin fast enough, it thinks you’re still on pause. So I went a little faster. Aha! Success! For about the length of one song and then suddenly I was unrhythmically off kilter again. I slowed down and– even though I was still moving rather laboriously my new mechanical enemy announced in retina burning red LED lights that I had retreated to “pause” mode. That kinda ticked me off, so I sped up, won that argument again, then slowed down because I was feeling the burn a little too much: sped up, slowed down, tried to talk myself through one more song. Success!
So I decided lurching through another song would be ok – but abandoned the flailing arm bars in favor of the steady ones. “Paused!”flashed beratingly on the message board. Really? As far as I could tell I was still moving and ought to get some kind of credit for that. Nope. The next message flashed harsher; “Move Faster!” Faster wasn’t exactly the 6th alphabetical letter beginning of the focal word flowing through my mind. But I’m one of those pit-bull non quitters so I kept moving like a tim burton character.
After the third song I’d accumulated a massive 14 minutes on the as advertised “smooth walk” jerky machine. Going 15 was completely out of the question. I disembarked and sort of happily realized I didn’t have to expend the energy to turn it off because it thought it already was off. That’s when I discovered that MI was having an earthquake. Unusual for sure but everything was trembling and I wasn’t sure if I’d remain standing much longer. Mr Marathon runner on the treadmill next to me asked me if I was ok. Of course I dimple smiled and said, “Yeah, that’s just not my favorite machine.”
I cautiously wobbled the icy path to the parking lot. As I lowered into the Grand Prix (which I suddenly noticed sits way lower that the Buick), it registered that I was probably going to be really sore. And as I leveraged out a few minutes later, I realized “going to be” was already a past-tense and muscle-tense situation. I’ve had this revelation before, but here I go again: Elliptical muscles are not the same as treadmill muscles no matter how high I step or how steep the incline, how hard I swing my arms or air-box or if I keep myself off guard with random paces. No amount of treadmilling is going to have the same effect as using an elliptical. Which mean, yes…. even my exercise has become complacent. I am a bit curious now how much different my shape could be after a few weeks on the elliptical. However my daily life requires regular walking, sitting and rising from seats and getting in and out of cars. So, for the rest of this week, it’s back to treadmill. And next week, maybe, I’ll try the elliptical again. Or maybe not.
Maybe that wasn’t really the point anyway. Maybe the point was that its not ok not to grow. Maybe the intention was to move me out of the ovalish work-workout-home cycle, from the comfortable place that suits me, to change my prayer routine, to exercise faith in a new way, challenge and stretch myself uncomfortably toward the ultimate goal: that being - a well rounded balanced strength, peace with myself, peace with my GOD.
Posted by jaselin at January 24, 2011 07:01 PM