May 21, 2007


Lately I have been thinking about joining a gym. My medical history notwithstanding, I now weigh more than I ever have previously. While I'm by no means fat, I could stand to lose a few pounds. And at a recent doctor's visit, I was both weighed and measured. I am now 5 feet, 4 inches, after having spent my entire adult life at 5'5"! The loss of almost an inch of height took place over some time. Since I don't get measured regularly, we may never know exactly when I started to shrink, or whether it's a result of the surgery or early onset of menopause.

At any rate, I want to get into better condition, so I checked out a Curves gym today. In this chain of women-only gyms, the machines work via hydraulic pressure instead of weights. In 30 second spurts of activity, you move around a circuit to exercise upper and lower muscle groups. In between each machine is a small platform where you hang out for 30 seconds and dance around to keep up your heart rate. Pulsing music pours out the speakers and every 30 seconds a disembodied voice tells you to move to the next station. Every 8 minutes, the voice tells you to check your pulse. You complete the circuit twice in about 30 minutes. They recommend going three times a week.

This is an entirely new concept to me. All my life I got my exercise from dance. It was both aerobic and weight bearing. But I "retired" from Radost in 2001, and now my exercise has been limited to walking the dog, lymphedema exercises with free weights and a weekly yoga class.

I have a one-week guest pass, so we will see how I feel tomorrow; if I go again; and how much I can put up with that voice telling me to move on to the next station!

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