Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Exercise High

So I don't know about you guys, but for the most part exercise bores me to death. Especially cardio. When I first started going to the gym, I'd bring my headphones, plug in at an eliptical machine or treadmill in front of one of the 15 TVs all playing shows I had no interest in watching, and proceed to bore myself to tears for the next 30-45 minutes. I'd look down at the clock on the treadmill every so often. "It's only been 5 seconds?? What?!?" Eventually I just wouldn't be able take any more cooking shows or screaming court dramas and I'd give up on shrinking my hips for the day.

A year or so ago, my gym put in a cardio theater. It has rows of treadmills, bikes, and eliptical machines in front of a gigantic movie theater sized screen. The room is dark. The speakers are loud. And you can jog away a good 15 minutes before you think to look down at the time even once. With a good movie going, you can pedal away 45 minutes without even noticing.

But there is a downside. Well, a few downsides. For one thing, if you get a machine very far to the right or left of center, you run the risk of falling off your treadmill. "Eating crap" is probably a more accurate way to describe how it looks. See, it's hard to look to your far left and run straight ahead! Before you know it, your foot has landed half on the rotating tread, half on the stationary side line, and you are yanked to the ground in the splits position before you can tell what is happening. Fortunately, it's really dark, so people only laugh in the general direction of the crash and subsequent cursing, not really at you.

There's another problem with the cardio theater. The movie choice. Sometimes they play good, motivational movies for working out. Like Tomb Raider. Nothing keeps me going on the eliptical like watching Angelina Jolie's legs in a tight white spandex bodysuit. However, other times the movie choice is less inspiring. There was a horror film on once when I went in the cardio theater. It had something to do with spirits hiding in and old house and only the toddler could see them. I lasted about four minutes that day before I got so scared I forgot to move my legs. The bike doesn't burn nearly as many calories when you stop peddling. And then when the door handle turned right as the babysitter reached for it....well, let's just say I've seen a more graceful dismount off a stationary bike before.

And then there's today. Today was the last 30 minutes of Rudy. Let me set the scene for you. A short kid with lots of heart wants to join the Notre Dame football team. He loves football. His father worships Notre Dame's football team. His brothers and everyone else tell him he'll never play college football. But somehow he begs his way onto the team. He isn't first or even second string. He's a cross between a ball-boy and a punching bag for practices. He doesn't even get to suit up for the games. But he goes faithfully to every practice and every game despite never getting to even sit on the bench. Finally, at the end of his junior year, the coach promises to let him suit up and sit on the bench for one game during his senior year. But during the summer, the coach leaves and a new coach gets put in. And Rudy loses his chance to prove to everyone that he really is on the team. Finally, before the last game of the year, all the player tell the coach they won't play unless Rudy is allowed to suit up. So the coach agrees, for this one game, to let Rudy sit with the team on the bench. In the final seconds of the game, Notre Dame has a significant lead. Rudy's team members begin to chant his name, urging the coach to let him play, just the once....



So sometimes I need a box of tissues with me at the gym....so what? I hear that crying burns calories, so really I'm just doubling up on my work out. Besides, I'll take bawling on the treadmill over being bored to tears in front of the TVs any day of the week.

10 comments:

tiburon said...

That is why I box.

No crying. No falling (most of the time). No eating crap (for the most part)

Hooray for Rudy though - love that movie!

SO said...

A workout theater! Cool! I walked the treads for a while until I realized that they had cooking shows on. What? They are up there cooking all this delicious food and it's making me hungry. That and I get dizzy when I get off the treadmill.

jennie w. said...

I just want to know when those endorphins are supposed to kick in. So far I have yet to feel them--EVER.

I have to rely on rockin' tunes on my ipod to keep me going.

Kristina P. said...

This is why we bought an elliptical, and put a DVR in 9our bedroom, so now, I can watch what I want and not get bored.

CaraDee said...

Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. The problem with the tv shows at most gyms is that there are commercials. BLAH.

Melissa said...

Rudy is one of my ALL-TIME favorite movies! And not only do I bawl at the end but so does every male person in my house. BAWL! Ugly girl cry!!

MiaKatia said...

Wow a cardio theater sounds way cool. I hate scary movies so that would kill my workout too. And I am pretty sure that crying does in fact burn calories. Ahhh Rudy.

L. said...

Rudy was one of the most touching, inspiring movies ever! GO RUDY! Show it to your husband and kids!

Shawn said...

Never heard of this! Wow!

I get to watch whatever I want, as my Bowflex, bike trainer and my treadmill are all in front of a TV---so I can watch whatever I want!

Love it!

André said...

How is the ventilation in the workout theater? Unless everyone naturally smells like Caribbean paradise, it could get pretty uncomfortable in there.

I have a hard time running, even with TV or music. I have to be more engaged, like soccer or something. I've tried getting up early to run and it doesn't last. If I could play soccer early in the morning, I'd be there.