Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cheap Workout, Rich Community

I have a membership to a very nice gym. It has an extensive cardio deck, weight room, indoor track, basketball courts, racquetball rooms, group fitness classes, saunas, massages, and even a flipping water park attached to it. It is a nice gym.

And being a nice gym, it attracts nice people. Trim young girls, spray painted in fake tan with their over-sized sorority t-shirts and pearls. Muscle bound men sweating all over the free weights while leering and offering you unsolicited advice on good form. Bored looking student workers who think the that track you are trying to run on is a great place to stand while they monitor the basketball courts below. Yeap. A whole lotta nice people.

Despite the wonderful appeal of my expensive gym, I decided to work out at home tonight. My cheap (AKA free) workout includes running on the stairs outside of my apartment for 15 minutes followed by a floor workout of push ups, sit ups, dips, pull ups, and yoga. After changing into my combo of Target brand and hand-me-down gym clothes, I stepped outside into the 90-something degree heat and started my stair run.

Cue Rocky theme song.

Running stairs gets your heart rate up fast. Running stairs in 90+ degree heat gets you sweaty faster. So after a couple of minute, I'm sure I looked kinda scary. Still, I went down the stairs and came up the stairs. Again, down the stairs and up the stairs.

Then, going down the stairs again, I got to the bottom and turned to come back up when I saw one of the neighborhood children, a 4 or 5 year old Hispanic girl, sitting on the side of the top step. She was drinking a coke and smiling at me. I continued up the stairs and smiled back. I waited for a minute, but she seemed content to sit and watch me so I went back to my stair running.

Down the stairs, and back up the stairs. Down the stairs, and looking back up - my new friend was then sitting halfway down the steps, still to the side so I could get by and still grinning at me. I grinned too and kept running up. Turning I ran back down and back up again while she watched me.

This time, when I got to the top and turned she was standing at the bottom of the steps, her grin even wider. I was nearly laughing at this point, but I kept up my routine. Down the stairs, and back up.

After a couple more laps, I turned at the top of the stairs and noticed that my friend had left. She was running across the courtyard to play on the playground with her sister and friends. I also realized that my 15 minutes were up and I could stop running. It felt like no time had gone by at all. I'll take my cheap workout over my fancy gym any day.

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