Thursday, May 21, 2009

Exercising the Right of Refusal

I've started a new exercise regime this week -- increasing the
frequency from every other day to four days straight during the week
and one more workout on the weekend.

This entails alternating swimming in the pool and running on the
treadmill for about 30 minutes each before going to work.

While I feel great while working out, I must admit to bouts of
drowsiness in the office. My friend jokes that it's due to boredom,
not physical tiredness.

As I running on the treadmill this morning, one of the fitness
trainers came around and started chatting me up.

He asked me how often I come to the gym and what exercises I do.

Then he asked me what I ate for breakfast.

"An apple," I replied.

"That's it?" he asked.

"Well I eat more after I finish exercising."

He shook his head as if eating an apple were just as bad as a
chocolate bar and suggested I eat at least two pieces of bread or
crackers before working out to keep my sugar levels up.

My Chinese isn't good enough to say that I eat a soft-boiled egg and
museli with yogurt for breakfast. Instead I explained that I lived
upstairs so it wasn't like I was commuting to the gym, but he still
didn't think it was good enough.

If he thought he was dealing with a local who has no concept of
exercise and diet, he was barking up the wrong tree.

"What kinds of exercise goals do you have?" he asked.

I replied that I had none.

"Have you done a fitness appraisal?" he inquired.

When I replied no, he asked why (of course).

"I'm not interested," I said. For me, fitness is not how many push-ups
I can do or how far I can run, but exercising on a regular basis and
gradually increasing the distance or number of laps. Reaching goals
are fine, but not something that particularly motivates me.

Meanwhile I'd been running on the treadmill for several minutes,
working up a sweat and slightly out of breath from the conversation
that clearly was going no where.

Grasping to continue the chat, the instructor asked if I had some
water, to which I pointed to my giant plastic bottle of water half
hidden by a small towel.

"Oh... well I'll leave you to it then," he said, defeated and walked away.

Kind of good-looking and muscular, he was probably annoyed I had
refused a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a one-on-one fitness
session with him.

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