Friday, October 19, 2007

Back to the Iron

For various reasons, we have been unable to make it to the gym in recent times. Months, actually. I've been making do at home, with the climbing rope, chins, push ups, silat, walking the dogs, like that. Every now and then, a few squats with the light barbell behind the house. Other than that, no iron.

Last evening, we gathered our forces and hit the weight room at the local parks and rec place, in Cedar Hills. This is an old primary school converted by the Tualatin Hills Park and Recrecation District. (THPRD.) Got a gym for basketball, classrooms to teach everything from crochet to yoga to bead-stringing, and a pretty good weight room -- lot of freeweights, cam/cable-machines, like that. Down the hall is an aerobics room, with stair climbers, stationary bikes, treadmills, and rowers.

Two surprising things about the visit:

First, I hadn't lost any strength. I was able to warm back into my usual amount of weight and sets. In fact, on the pull-down stuff, like the lat machine, I was a bit stronger. That last by itself didn't surprise me, given the rope and chins, but that my leg-press was no weaker did.

Second thing was, we now qualify for the senior discount ...

On the one hand, that's ... well, not-so-thrilling. On the other hand, I'm gonna be this old anyhow, so getting the discount saves some money.

And, by the way, the parks & rec gym is the way to to go. It's not sexy, people tend to wear old sweats or raggy shorts, but it's seldom crowded, close by, and cheap. Since we live in the district and our tax dollars are already going to support the park system, that gets us the in-district rate. With the senior discount, that drops it into the sub-basement.

L.A. Fitness, just up the road from the place where we go, costs an arm and a leg. Light, airy, full of buff twenty-somethings all dressed in a couple hundred bucks worth of spandex or designer gear, it has cutting-edge machines -- and that let's-hook-up meat market feel. They want an initiation fee, then a fairly stiff monthly rate for the two of us.

To use the weight room at the park and recreation club? Five bucks a months each. Five. Beat that one.


Dan Moran said...

At the 24 hour fitness you can climb the stairmaster, and observe other people climbing the stairmaster. This can be motivational in all sorts of different directions.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, but those directions are usually bad ones, Dan'l. If it's a curvaceous beauty of the female persuasion, that's good for the eyes, but bad for the morals.

Old guy watching the gorgeous flexing glutes of a twenty-something (who might in fact be only fifteen?) Bad. "Old man" is bad enough; "Dirty old man," I don't need. I'd have to check ID to be sure I wasn't doing something immoral and illegal.

"Pardon me, Miss, could I see your driver's license? To to be sure I'm not, you know, a pervert?"

If upon the endless stair is a heavy old guy with a sizeable caboose, the eyes ache and the only saving grace is of the there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I observation, which I don't need, having mirrors of my own at home ...

And if I want to spend that kind of money, I can get porn off the net.

Or, at least, that's what I have heard ...

Dan Moran said...

I wouldn't know about that.