On the path…The Gym

Hello everyone,

When I returned from my Smokey Mountain vacation, my buddy Memphis and I signed up for a gym called L.A. Fitness. At first, I was nervous that everyone there would look like soap opera actors, only sweatier.

I was surprised on two counts. The first being there were all sorts of sweaty people and only a few of them looked like they were in training for soap opera auditions. The second surprise was how readily I signed up for this place that overall looked like a fitness commercial.

I saw rows of machines that did incomprehensible things. There were people working out, people resting and people talking above the upbeat, radio friendly music. There were people on stationary bicycles overlooking the incomprehensible machines. CNN and ESPN were on Television monitors everywhere. Jana, our thin, well dressed tour guide, explained a reasonable membership plan, then handed me a tiny i.d. card that attaches to my keychain. I was signed up and ready to bump my marathon training up a notch!

However, to Jana, I’m sure I looked like a wide-eyed Spongebob.

She explained that as a bonus, I get a free workout with a real trainer.
I’m all about injury free excercise so I signed up for that too. Memphis also signs up, and we both feel accomplished as we walk back to the only 11 year old VW in the parking lot.


I’m sitting at a small desk and across from me is a guy who has worked out A LOT! He’s typing on a computer keyboard with one hand and eating peeled, pre-cut apples with the other. They were in a vending machine bag.

I wondered how much msg it took to keep them from turning brown.

“What’s your name?” he said with a voice that stepped up in pitch.

I noticed a folder on the side of the desk had a picture of a marine on it.

“I’m Stephen.” He begins typing my info into the computer.

The last thing I really want to know is if my first trainer ever in my life is going to be a marine. So instead of asking I follow up with,
“Oh yeah it’s, Stephen with a PH.”

“Hey Stephen, I’m Mike. Wanna apple?”

As I say no, I look up and Jana, who was passing by stopped just in time to pull an msg laden apple slice out of the bag he was holding.

“So Stephen, do you work out, do you know what you want to work on while you’re here?”

I started to explain why I was there stopping myself short from barking CORE CORE CORE!

The next thing I know, Mike had me in a large room holding a really heavy bar without weights, and he had me bend down each step to the front and back of the room. Did you know there’s an excercise that makes the top part of your legs feel on fire? They’re called lunges.

Then Mike had me hop. I hopped on a plastic board held up by small sqaures. The first 25 went well. I hit diminshing returns shortly after that. They were probably about 1 ft high. He had me do things I needed to learn about and were completely foreign me.

My final excercise was suspending myself by my forearms while pretending to run in air. You are probably thinking that kind of excercise was fun enough. The bonus feature was Mike hitting my legs down as I pedaled them up.

By the time Mike was done with me I was hardly able to walk, I was dizzy and dehydrated. It only took 15 minutes.

Mike handed me a gatorade and said you should feel better instantly.

The truth is, he decimated my legs to the point I could barely run with my APLA training group. Stairs were excruciating for the next 4 days

The irony is the bulk of my workout focussed on fast twitch leg muscles, but it’s the slow twitch muscles that are used while running.

Neither are core muscles that I know of.

Thanks for checking in.

Stephen A. Thomas

2 Responses to “On the path…The Gym”

  1. Phil Says:

    Keep at it steve. I’d like to say my membership is as productive. Maybe I should see if there is a trainer there. Kinda reminds me of playing breath in the pool. You always liked that game better than me. I never saw the point really but I am sure it developed something I needed.

  2. Larry Says:

    Little known fact that machines similar to the ones you saw there were actually used in the Spanish Inquisition.

Leave a Reply