Yesterday, I actually went to the Y, and not just that—I used muscles, dormant ones that have been napping for a few years.
It was my first workout at the Y with my new membership. I walked in feeling a little nervous, but instead of turning around and running back home, I stood in the door with my hands on my hips and scanned the room for some equipment that looked familiar.
I spotted the lat bar right away and completed three sets of 10 reps at a moderate weight, but after that all the machines seemed to meld into one big mess of indistinguishable metal and seat cushions. It didn't take long to recognize a friend, though. It's a small town, as I may have mentioned before, so all you have to do is look around, and before you know it, you see your neighbor working on some muscle building thing or other. She was more than happy to direct me to the things I was looking for, and then I was on my way.
I spent at least 40 minutes on a series of machines—biceps, triceps, leg curls, leg extensions, hip stuff, fat-ass stuff, and back muscle stuff. I worked relatively slowly with three set of 10 reps at each station choosing weight limits that weren't too strenuous. I've been away from this world for a few years, so there's no point in giving myself a hernia. Can you get a hernia in your arm? I don't think you can, but I didn't want to strain too much on my first day.
Afterwards, I walked the track for about ten minutes with my neighbor. I hate treadmills. This idea of walking or running in place is intolerably artificial. How ridiculous is it to drive around in a car all day even just to transport yourself a distance of two miles and then walk in place for 30 minutes? Really. Walking around in a big circle isn't much better, but at least I'm actually changing locations with each step.
I think lifting weights in a big room full of machines and heavy objects is as artificial as walking on a treadmill, an odd substitute for pushing plows and shoveling hay and hauling water. But I don't live on a farm in an agricultural age, so I'm not sure I have other options.
As sore as I am this morning, I intend to go back to the Y tomorrow morning for another round of fake movements. Because I forced every major muscle to earn its keep, every major muscle is giving me a piece of its mind this morning, but that just tells me I did the right thing yesterday.