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Never judge an elliptical by it's cover

Posted Jan 11 2010 1:56pm
School starts Wednesday. Where the heck did those 5 weeks go? I knew it would go fast, but uhh, that was ridiculous. While I didn't accomplish nearly a fraction of what I planned to accomplish (super-mom here thought she was going to re-organize and make over the entire house while on vacation.) I am excited to go back. And my books, for once, didn't cost me a small fortune. Just the equivalent of one car payment, no biggie. (insert sarcastic eyeball roll here)

Many, many, millions of kudos to you stay-at-home moms and dads. I honestly do not know how you do it. I love my kids more than life itself, but I think we all need a break from each other. It doesn't help that the weather has been less than ideal for playing outside, so we've been cooped up in the house.

I promise it's not me complaining about the weather again, it's Kain. He cries whenever I take him outside for more than 2 minutes in anything under 50 degrees. Exhibit A, to your right. This is Kain refusing to walk on the playground. Temperature was about 44 that day. He just stops moving, like those poor frozen iguanas in Florida that can't hang onto the tree branches. I feel for him (and the iguanas!)

Needless to say, we've been cooped up in the house, driving each other crazy. My kids have my genes, and they need to run wild. You can only do so many laps around the kitchen island. Combine that with a mommy who hasn't gotten her exercise fix in 5 days and, well, you can imagine. The tension was so thick, you could cut it with Rowen's safety scissors.

This morning I was eagerly shooed out of the house by all three boys, with the order to not come back until I was covered in sweat and full of those happy endorphins. Was it that obvious? Sorry boys! First stop was back to the exercise lab for the first time since early December. Today's task included assisting and observing my very first bike VO2 max test. While the test went smoothly, it was highly anticlimactic. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe some grunting and neon blue sweat flying around, like on the Gatorade commercial? But alas, this was your average beginning spin class participant and not Lance Armstong. All went according to plan, and as always, I learned something new. I love this job and I'm so thankful for the experience!

Next stop: the gym. I compromised with my foot and made a date with the elliptical. I have spent maybe a total of 30 minutes on an elliptical in my entire life, spread out over 3 different days, maybe 5 years ago. Seriously, I've never been a fan. Besides, why use one when there are perfectly good treadmills around?

Well, today, running was NOT an option, according to my right foot. I gave the treadmills a lustful glance as I passed them, and hopped on the elliptical instead. And then proceeded to be a total elliptical dummy newbie. First, I didn't know how to get the thing started. I stood up there pushing the buttons for the longest time, and nothing happened. Great, I picked the broken one. Fantastic. Just as I was about to hop off onto another one, it occurred to me that maybe I had to start moving first. Oh, haha. That's right.

I started the akward gazzelle-leaping-stride and the screen lit up. I picked a "cross training" program, and spent the next 5 minutes trying to remind my feet to stay on the darn pedals. This is not the treadmill my footy friends, stay put and do what you are told! After one near fall when my foot tried to jump off (seriously, who falls off of an elliptical?), the machine told me to "pedal backwards". Umm...ok. Pedal backwards I did. And wouldn't' you know? It's EASIER to go backwards? Who knew.

Before I knew it, 20 minutes had gone by and I realized I was actually enjoying myself. Maybe it was the episode of "True Life: I'm a video game nerd" (or something to that affect) that made the time go by, but it really wasn't bad.

Which of course made me think I was doing something wrong, haha. One hour, 8,893 strides, and 5.67 miles later (wow I've got a slow gazelle leap!) I was covered in sweat and full of that happy "I just worked out" feeling. I needed that.

Thank you elliptical. I take back every bad thing I ever said about you.

Happy running (and/or elliptical striding) my friends!
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