Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006
Dear Diary:

"Buck, buck, buuuuuuuuuuuuuck."

Is there anything more annoying than having someone make the chicken sound at you?

Hopefully, no.

My trainer is in the fifth month of her pregnancy now. She had a miscarriage last spring so from the get go of this pregnancy she's been careful to do relatively light workouts. The 35 pound barbells she used to throw around have been replaced with eight pound weights. Her elliptical machine charges have been replaced with brisk treadmill walks.

A kind, gentle, supportive friend would cheer her on in this, because it's quite obvious that she's chafing under all these physical restraints. A kind, gentle, supportive friend would point out that she's keeping herself, and by extension her child, in excellent shape.


Me, I make the chicken sound at least once during her workout. Last Wednesday I picked up a 25 pound barbell and started to ostentatiously do a few bicep curls as if it was the easiest thing in the world. Of course, it took every iota of my strength to perform this feat, but half rupturing my bicep so I could get her laughing and feigning outrage?

Totally worth it.

Yesterday I got what will probably be my last workout from her. She's leaving work Dec. 1 so she can share some of the last months of her pregnancy with her parents who live a six hour drive from here. There are no words for how much I'm going to miss this woman who has so profoundly changed my life.

We'll still get to hang out. She'll be coming into the gym right up to her due date because once a gym rat, always a gym rat. And she says she hopes that once the child comes we can schedule workout dates because she's counting on our mutual competitiveness to motivate her back to her old levels of strength.

Babies change everything, though, so I'm not sure how that will shake out.

Her replacement is a lovely, charming woman with a strong background in sales and very little fitness experience. I know. My jaw hit the ground, too, when I met her and found this out. The good news is that she's convinced the gym owners that they need to lower fees and give bonuses to folks like me who sign up for a year and pay in one shot. Her arrival will save me about $100.

I have a folder with two inches worth of individualized work out sheets. After five years of doing this, I know how to exercise safely and I have enough personalized workouts to cycle through a couple of years. Give me a place with decent equipment and a convivial atmosphere and hey, I'm good to go.

As for the newbies who sign up because of this new woman's sales skills? Hrrrrrrrrm.

About three weeks ago a new woman joined our gym. When I was walking in behind her the first time, I guessed she was in her mid-30's or so. When she turned around, I realized she was in her mid to late 60's.


Turns out she's a retired fitness trainer. Last thing she wants to do is train anyone, but she generously lets me pick her brain anytime we happen to be in the gym together. I look at her, her ramrod straight back, the youthful way she bounces into the gym, her energy, her stamina and I think, "This is how I want to be when I grow up."

Well, as close to growing up as I can come, anyhow.

One day years ago, when I first joined the gym, I was carelessly walking around with a 45 pound Olympic bar on my shoulders . I turned suddenly, smacking the bar HARD into the shoulders of a 6'3" 225 pound guy who was pure muscle and 'tude. For a few brief seconds I waited for him to rip one of my limbs off and beat me to death with it.

Maybe it was my gender. Maybe it was my august years. Instead of reducing me to a reddish pulpy stain on the carpet, he feigned terror of me. We gradually became workout buddies. He'd bench press 300 pounds and I'd bench press 75 pounds.

Practically equals.

About a year ago he left the gym and went to one that has much better equipment. I've missed him because he was the guy who convinced me that it was stupid to think that my age and gender made it impossible for me to do a pull-up.

My trainer says she got a call a few days ago and he's coming back to my gym. She cackled because she knows that I am about to get my comeuppance. The way I "buck, buck, buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck" her? Well, he always did that to me to taunt me through that extra rep, that extra bit of effort I didn't want to make.

Is there anything more annoying than having someone make the chicken sound at you?

I think I'm about to find out.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 668.68 miles. 10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck
Oh, man, but I am having a hard time building back stamina. Ouch.

Goal for 2006: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers

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