So the alarm went off at 6am and I actually got up. I know, I didn’t think I would either! But I did.

I find that if I lay out my stuff the night before I will actually go, just like if I pack my lunch the night before I’ll actually take a lunch to work. So I not only laid out my exercise togs last night, I also packed a lunch. How good am I!

So I got up, ate my banana with just a smidgen of peanut butter for staying power, and off I went to the gym.

Helga told me, “We will meet twice a week and two other days of the week you should hit the gym for some cardio. And take the other day off.”

It turns out that cardio is fancy trainer talk for sweating and wishing you could just lay down and die.

He said, “The treadmill, stair climber, or elliptical, 45 minutes total. And you can split that up between them however you like as long as you don’t let your heart rate fall too far between machines.”

So, I thought okay, stair climber and treadmill it is. I’m not a huge fan of the elliptical because it makes my feet fall asleep. So I climb up on the stair climber and set it with 20 minutes and my weight and the “fat burner” program. Level? it asks, and I’m all, how the hell should I know? But I am traditionally built, so probably a low level. My pride dictates that I cannot set it on level 1, so I set it on level 2 and off I go. Got my water, got my mp3 player, got my towel. I’m golden!

Two minutes in, I bump it up to level 3. I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR.

Five minutes later the clock has ceased to function. It has to be out of whack. How can time be passing this slowly? They just don’t make clocks like they used to.

Five minutes later a bead of sweat has actually formed on my right temple and slid down the side of my face. I am nearly panting, and my quadriceps are burning. I trudge on. I trudge on, and I turn it back down to level 2. The shame of turning it back down pales in comparison with the shame of someone having to break out the AED to resuscitate me.

Three minutes after that I pause the machine for a minute. That’s all it lets you pause it for! One minute! Gah! What sadist designed this horrible thing?

Three minutes later I pause it again. My HANDS are sweating. My palms — MY palms — are slimy with common, revolting SWEAT.

I just didn’t know it was going to be this sweaty.

Also, the clock has all but ceased to function. I calculate whether I have the strength to lob my mp3 player at it to shock it back into working, but decide that I probably don’t since I can barely lift my water bottle in my disgusting slippery hand to take a drink.

Finally I reach the magic twenty minute mark, and I dismount and wipe down the horrible machine. Time for the treadmill! The Bataan death march would be preferable to doing more time on the DeathClimber, so I’m all but giddy with relief. I set it for some program or another, forest walk or similar. This turns out to be super dull so I change it to 5k loop or something. Still dull. But I slog on, sweating like a pig and wishing for sweet, sweet death. It’s taken me some time to get settled in and I have to leave by 7:20am, so I don’t get quite twenty minutes in on the treadmill, but I figure I’ve satisfied the spirit of the thing this first time out. I hike the fifteen miles of hilly parking lot to the car and hit the drive-through at the Starbucks.



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