Sunday, April 6, 2008

30 Minutes a Day

Well I finally did it. I joined a gym. The first few months we were here, I was walking so much (including those darn steps to and from the 3rd floor apartment) that setting aside time for exercise seemed unnecessary. Then winter hit and while I was still making those trips up and down several times a day, I substituted a lot of subway and bus rides (plus some days of cocooning) for those hour to two hour-long walks across the city. It was time to put some real heart pumping exercise back into my routine. I got out my dictionary, figured out how to say "I want to join" and now it's done.

The gym seems familiar in many ways including the American made cardio and weight machines, the class names (Body Pump and Body Sculpt to name just two),the thump of techno, and the big boys hanging out with the free weights. In other ways, it's a different world. First of all, I've got to work on my metric conversions for the weights. Plus, I seem to be the only woman there wearing shorts. (At least, I'm not dressed like the 70ish lady I saw yesterday in full-on Jane Fonda style aerobic wear and legwarmers plus four to six heavy gold pendants and a poufy white hairdo. Even she wasn't as wacky as the 80ish woman who was there last week in a brown cotton tunic, fishnet stockings, oxfords, and black leather gloves.) Seems that for French men of a certain age, a hearty "bonjour" isn't good enough. There must be handshakes all around. Unfortunately, while there are a few spinning bikes, there are no spinning classes.

Well, I better get going before all the ellipticals are claimed. Although come to think of it, today's the Paris Marathon. Does cheering for real athletes count as exercise?

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