I am starting to exercise some nights without Joe the trainer, and that means no one to banter with. No easy distraction from the grim task at hand.
I need to go to the gym today like I need a peanut butter and salmonella sandwich.
It's been three days since my last visit and I'm still not right.
On Wednesday trainer Joe had me do hack squats. My quads are still so sore that I don't sit on the toilet so much as fall on it.
And why would I dream of going outside? It is inhumanly cold. I made the mistake of going out once already; it was so breathtakingly frigid this morning that the windows of my favourite coffee shop were opaque with condensation.
On Wednesday, my trainer Joe had me work biceps and shoulders for an hour. As he led me around the weight room, I often had to wait for a machine as another gym member finished a set. Joe would then walk up, take the pin out of the stack of weights and cut the load by more than half. He set one of the resistance machines at zero weight. Joe generously told me it was so that I could pull on the bar, "just to get a feel for the machine."
After I pulled on the bar 40 times, my shoulders burning and lame from the effort, I surveyed the room. At machines all around, men and women pushed and pulled serious weight with coordination and focus. They hefted and grunted but never lost control. I realized I am not one of these people. Every one of them would destroy me in a physical confrontation.
Near the end of the last set of 15, while sitting on a bench pulling a weighted bar down to eye level, I thought my epiglottis was going to fly out my mouth. I was huffing and my shoulders burned. But I did it.
Why not a self-congratulatory beer or two tonight? I mean, it could have been a lot worse.
Then I looked at where Joe set the weight stack - only two holes from the top. I dared not look more closely for the actual weight total.
But Joe led me back downstairs to a treadmill. An amazing machine. It taught me within seconds that I do not know how to walk properly.
I know I have made quite a to-do about starting to work out.