On Friday, I managed to forget all about the coming out support group meeting for most of the day which was probably for the best. And then I remembered… And I freaked out a little bit. You might have noticed. But I sucked it up and headed toward the center around 6:30. The group starts at 6:30 but I had no intention of arriving on time anyway. When I arrived at their door it was nearly 7:00.
I headed up Telegraph Avenue and saw the building from a distance; kinda hard to miss the enormous rainbow flag in the window. I did not, however, see a driveway or a parking lot or an entrance. So I passed it up and turned at the next street, drove around the block and came back from the other direction. I turned on the side street closest to the center and parked at the corner. I locked up the car and headed back toward the center, fighting my nerves.
The Pacific Center appears to occupy a former residence, complete with big picture windows, elevated front porch up four or five stairs and a large solid oak and etched glass front door. There’s a path from the sidewalk to the front steps bordered on either side by a small yard with shrubs and gardens and trees. It was actually a lovely and inviting place, and while I was still nervous walking up the path, I also felt a little better about being there.
I walked up the worn and paint-pealed steps to the front porch with the blazing light hanging overhead, and as I reached out to turn the door knob, I noticed two signs on the door. The first sign, down at the bottom of the etched glass window listed their drop in hours, Monday through Friday between 4 and 8 pm. The other sign, posted at the top of the glass read that they were closed and would be returning at 4:00. I tried the knob anyway, it was only 7:00 after all, but the door did not budge.
I was confused to be sure. There were lights on inside and on the porch, but no one was visible through the large, uncovered picture windows. I was also relieved and at that realization, I was disappointed.
The group meets on a weekly basis and there will be other opportunities to go, but I had taken the steps and gotten myself there and I wish that I could have gotten the rest of the hard part over and done with.
Saturday morning, I went to my appointment with the membership consultant, Abraham, at 24-Hour Fitness. There’s really not much to tell about this except to say that he showed me around, asked me what my goals were and talked to me about personal training and the Bodybugg. I had already made up my mind about joining this gym so it was just a matter of getting my information in the system. As it turns out, they have special rates for employees of my company and so while I was expecting to have to pay a modest initiation fee and $34.99 a month membership fee, I ended up paying no initiation fee and my membership is only $29.99 a month. My upfront costs were about $15.00 less than I expected.
When I arrived at the gym Saturday morning the parking lot was packed and the place was bustling. Abraham told me that Saturday mornings are usually pretty busy because people want to get in a workout before they go out on Saturday nights. I had thought, going in that I might spend some time on a treadmill or something after I finished the paperwork but after seeing all this, I decided to wait and come back in the evening. I went back to the gym around 6:00 and it was much quieter, which I prefer. I spent 20 minutes on a stationary bike, and then accidentally spent an hour on a treadmill. I don’t run, yet, but I walked a very brisk pace and when it was all said and done, I’d burned about 1000 calories.
I couldn’t resist weighing myself again when I got home and I had lost two pounds since getting up in the morning. I weighed myself again Sunday morning and had lost another pound. Not bad!
I went back to the gym on Sunday around the same time and it was a little busier (no longer Saturday night, nor Halloween) and spent another hour on the treadmill. This morning I was down yet another pound from yesterday. There might be something to this exercise thing, after all!
While I was on the treadmill on Saturday, I started feeling some pain on the back of my right heel. You know the kind. It’s the kind of pain where you already know when you take your shoes off you’re going to have a blister there. I had that kind of pain. But I ignored it and persevered and before too long the pain went away. Sunday, I began feeling that pain again, on both heels, but I stuck it out and did the full hour. It hurt but wasn’t unbearable, but when I got out to my car, I suddenly couldn’t take it anymore and I had to take my shoes and socks off. It wasn’t until I got home and was getting in the shower that I realized I’d been bleeding lightly, from my left heel. The water from the shower really hurt but I survived. It was while washing my right foot that I realized I had an enormous blister, the largest one I’ve ever had, about the size of a fifty-cent piece!
My shoes are not new, but I didn’t think they were that old. The back of the inside of both shoes is worn out with the inner construction visible. Clearly new shoes are my new top priority. I can’t go back to the gym until I get new shoes, so tomorrow, right after work; I’ll be heading to Target for some not too expensive running shoes as in interim fix until I can get something better. I’ve got to get this done before Friday because I have an orientation with the “Fitness Manager” Jeffrey for personal training at 6:00.
As a new member, I can get a “starter package” of three 50 minute sessions with a personal trainer for $129.00, a pretty good rate really. I couldn’t afford to do that this week-end, but I can get it next payday and go from there. I explained to Abraham that I really don’t know what I’m doing in the weight room and I would like to have some help from a personal trainer but I can’t afford to hire someone for every visit to the gym. He told me that Jeffrey is the guy to talk to. He might be able to make me a deal, or arrange for me to pay for the packages over time. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just hoping that I can work with a trainer periodically, maybe once a week or every other week, so that I can get some guidance and encouragement and feel like I’m actually doing things correctly and getting the results I need. My hope is to spend a session with a trainer on some sort of periodic schedule and get help that day and instruction for what to do until we meet again on some sort of schedule that is productive, but still affordable. At $129.00 for three sessions that’s $43.00 a session. After this first three it goes up to about $75.00 a session, clearly not something I can afford on an on-going basis.
So all in all, I’m feeling pretty good about the gym (only 2 days in, I know) and I think I’m going to enjoy this process. I think it helps a lot to have changed my focus from saying I want to look like this:
It’s November and that means it’s time for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. As some of you may know, I started a novel a few months back. I got two good chapters written (at least I think they’re good) and then I got a little complacent about it. I decided in September that I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo again and this would be a perfect time to continue work on my novel.
I participated in “Nano” last year but all I did was make a point of writing a blog post everyday and compiled those into a “book” for the sake of the program. This year I want to actually write a legitimate novel, continuing what I’ve started. To “win” the “competition” you have to write 50,000 words by the end of the month. I haven’t started yet. Figuring that week-ends will be limited in my ability to write, I figure that I’ve got 21 days to write 50,000 words and I’ve pretty much missed today. That gives me 20 days or 2500 words a day.
That being said, forgive me if my posts are fewer and farther between. I’m not abandoning this blog or my lovely readers. I will post here and there, but it won’t be as frequent, I suspect. I will be back to this and in full swing come December 1st, though.