Sunday, October 11, 2009

Up in the gym.

Today was my first day as a full-fledged member of a women's spa/health club in Amman. I joined because I eat way too much bread/not anything healthy at all in this country. The receptionist at the gym (who remembered my name from three days ago when I first met her) and the young trainers are all really nice. Last Thursday they took all my measurements and said they'd have a "program" ready for me today. Their side comment was: "You're so little! Why do you want to work out?"

Something was obviously misunderstood. When I showed up to the gym today I was all set to get started on my "program" - structure! Direction! Hooray!

Try torture. My program? 30 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the exercise bike, 10 minutes on the arc trainer, 10 minutes on the stair stepper, and 1o minutes on the "wind machine," whatever that is. THEN 15 different weights with 2 sets of 20 reps.

I laughed out loud. Clearly when I came in with a normal-level BMI they assumed I was in good enough shape to run a marathon. Even 30 minutes on a treadmill seemed daunting to me. Slightly confused, I hopped on the treadmill and started jogging. I looked around. None of the other women were running. Some of them were fast-walking, sure, but they all adhered dilligently to the heel-toe motion. Oh, I thought. So this is how they manage to spend 3 HOURS in the gym and not die.

Needless to say, I probably won't be sticking to my "regime." Oh well. At least I got a lesson in women's exercise culture. Until next time.

OH! They also have an erg. I hopped on it, stoked to see a familiar piece of equipment, even if it wasn't included in the master plan a.k.a. "program." When I hopped on it, it didn't turn on. No way to actually row. Maybe I'll ask about it next time.