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Walk With Me Wednesday

I thought it was time I update you on my progress towards 100 Miles by April 1st. And since it’s Walk With Me Wednesday, well, what better time?

As you know, I walk at the local YMCA. I really love it but there’s a teeny problem when it comes to the blog – I’m not exactly comfortable taking pictures at the gym. Judy has suggested that the photo opportunities are many – and she’s right – but still. I know I wouldn’t want someone snapping a picture of me while I’m huffing and puffing on the treadmill so I’m assuming that no one else would want that either. Nevertheless, I’ll do just about anything for this here blog.

yes, it’s a crappy photo. I was being stealth.

That’s what my Y looks like on an average afternoon. There’s about 15 treadmills, 15 elliptical machines, 10 stationary bikes and a whole bunch of strength training machines in the back. Plus televisions. It’s really pretty nice and when it’s crowded, as it often is in the afternoon, the people-watching is great.

There are the beautiful people. You know the ones. They’re skinny and pretty and you wonder what the hell they are doing there. There are the athletic ones. They’re very serious about the whole thing and they sweat a lot. There are the regulars. They are the ones that are there every time I go, no matter what day it is and no matter what time it is. And then there’s the rest of us. Just your basic slobs trying to fit some exercise into the daily routine. Sometimes there’s even someone there fatter than me. I keep a little tally of that, you know.

And the funny thing is that even with all those people there, and there’s almost always someone there I know since this Y is right in my town, no one really talks to each other or looks at each other. Eye contact is a very rare thing at the gym, I’m finding. People walk towards the machines without looking around. They get on the machines and they face forward (sort of reminds me of being in an elevator) and they just do their work-out and mind their business. Oh, there’s the sideways glance to the machine on your left and the machine on your right, just to see if you’re working harder/stronger/better than the person next to you, but for the most part everyone is sort of in their zone.

I suppose the prolific use of headphones accounts for much of this. Everyone there, young, old, athletic, skinny, fat, whatever – they are all wearing headphones. Only the coolest of us have iPods, though. And let’s face it, the iPod is my biggest motivator. I walk faster and push myself harder when certain songs come on. I find that the ones that motivate me vary from day to day but I almost always start with “Alberta Bound” by Gordon Lightfoot and somewhere in the mix will always be “I’m Gonne Be (500 Miles)” by the Proclaimers. Just in honor of the whole Runagogo.

So that’s what my walk look like, feels like, and sounds like. And when I’m there I feel like you’re all there with me, cheering me on!

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. I’ll fill you in on a secret; the “skinny,pretty” people are there because if they weren’t they would no longer be skinny,nor nearly as pretty:)

  2. Great progress on your walk to 100 miles! Woo Hoo! Now I need to get my ass out of the seat.

  3. Great WWMW post. YOu’re doing so well! Your Y looks much like my gym. The gym is bigger and they play great music (I still use my iPod), just wish I could make myself go more often. I’m working on it!

  4. I used to work out at a club. It seems that the only time anyone ever made eye contact with me was when I was flapping myself on the inner-outer thigh machine.

  5. Good for you for sticking with it. Michael keeps trying to get me to go with him to his gym. He hasn’t succeeded yet.

  6. Alright Carole!! Way to go!! Keep it up!! But you know the icebreaker with everyone’s attitude is when I come in the room and proceed to fall off the treadmill! Believe me it has happened! It got the room laughing…sometimes it’s just fun to “make” people look at you or even say “Hello” for that matter!
    Keep up the good work!!

  7. i’m going to agree with annie. a lot of them are just slobs in the making…they stop going and all hell would break loose (at least that’s what i tell myself).

    anyway, great progress. my progress isn’t so great. but in my defense, elliptical training doesn’t get nearly the mileage.

    i’m going to check out the local gym though. we don’t have a Y in town, but i hear there’s a pretty nice woman’s gym (not curves).

  8. *Occasionally* someone there fatter than you? Oh, please, Carole.
    Joan Osborne’ song “Spider Web” from the Relish album is good workout music.

  9. I made an exercise playlist on my iPod that is nothing but motivators and things with really strong beats. It helps quite a bit. Especially if you can walk outside because I always get distracted outside.

  10. I’m impressed! I cannot work out in gyms — it’s not the audience but being inside like that and having nothing to do but move. Give me a shovel and a garden or errands that require walking. If it’s outdoors and I can cross something off my list after, and maybe even knit while walking, then I’m motivated. I think that people who have the discipline to go to the gym are amazing.

    Oh, and there are the remnants of two pumpkin pies in my frig — blame it on the mitten kitten!

  11. Good for you! I’ve considered joining the YMCA or the Woman’s Center for Wellness here but I don’t do well if I have to go somewhere to exercise. Usually I walk/run outside. I think life would be much easier if we could just be skinny and not have to exercise.

  12. I’ve never listened to music while exercising! I should try it out, maybe it would be motivating. I usually just run in silence.

  13. Hurray for all of those miles!! Way to go Carole! I’m trying to figure out if I can count the miles I run on the tennis court!! Maybe if I wear a pedometer while I play. . .
    It looks like you have a really nice YMCA.

  14. Cool insights! I have almost always worked out alone, as the gym is too far away, so it was like a peek from your pocket. I agree about how you can get that extra kick out of a workout with the right music, though.

  15. Go Carole Go!
    Your Y looks really nice! I don’t go to our Y, it’s a long drive from my house, and it’s downtown on the bad side where it’s scary.
    We have a few machines in the basement I like to use 3-4 times a week, but I have to stop every five minutes to keep the cat from getting on the treadmill with me. Actually, I don’t think I get much exercise from it. It’s more fun to eat cake anyway, heh.

  16. This is GREAT Carole!! I’ve been thinking of taking pictures at my Y but I never have my camera with me! We have a beautiful view out some of the windows where the walking track is and also a lovely view from the front line of stationary bikes and treadmills. I usually do the bike and listen to podcasts. My son subscribed to a podcast that’s special music for exercising to! It’s called PodRunner! He says it has great motivating music with a quick beat.

  17. 22 miles! GOOD FOR YOU!! I’ve only done about 6 miles (all in one day since I just started this) but I figure if I do 2 miles a day, I’ll have more than 100 miles by April 1st. Then again, I’d have to step away from my computer long enough to do that!!

  18. I love working out with my iPod. I don’t necessarily love working out, but I do get motivated by the music. I found a site,, that has music mixes (not sure if you would like it or not), but I do enjoy just being able to listen to the music and it revs me up while working out. Plus the people watching can’t be beat! All of your observations about people not making eye contact or speaking to others is so true, as well as the peek to your left or right to see how someone else’s workout measures up to yours. I got a kick out of this post.

  19. Oh, lordy…………There are probably more people at our gym on any given evening (between 5 & 7 p.m.) than live in your little town……It is SO crowded that sometimes I have to wait for a treadmill, and there about 60 of them.
    I’m one of the cool ones, too, with the IPOD ear buds……….it is good to be cool.
    I loved this post.

  20. Congratulations!
    You’ve got a pretty nice Y – bigger and nicer than the gym I go to. Heh, those are some good songs.
    My theory about how no one talks to each other is that everyone already feels pretty self-conscious about sweating and moving (except the gym bunnies) and so it’s like being in an elevator with strangers; you just pretend you’re alone.

  21. Oh-Christina Aguilera Fighter-great one. Def Leppard-Pour Some Sugar On Me (I know, strange, but great jogging tempo, Fighter is a bit fast, but good). Soak up the Sun, just because it makes me smile. Just a few.

  22. EXCELLENT Progress!! I just got my treadmill this past weekend from my daughter and just today got a chance to get on it. While I doubt I will make the 100 mile mark by April, I am committed to getting on it every day 🙂

    My favorite workout songs……Fine Young Canibals and Robert Cray (brings me back to when I was working out on a regular basis and was thin…hahaha)

    You go grrl!!

  23. You are doing wonderfully! Let me tell you, walking is the best thing for you – this past summer I think my long walks are really the thing that help me shed the pounds. I can’t wait for it to warm up so I can start my treks into Brooklyn again. Keep up the Fab. work!

  24. I think that look-straight-ahead thing is pretty universal at gyms, but what cracks me up is that we (well, I, anyway) still work a little harder because we think people might be watching us to see how hard we’re pushing ourselves. Of course, no one is watching us any more than we are watching them! Still, I guess anything that provides a reason to push ourselves more is a good thing.

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