A few weeks ago as I was digging through my closet trying to find a short sleeve shirt without stains, it occurred to me that summer will be here before I know it. I'm excited about having Robby and Scott home all day, splashing around in the pool, and spending lazy days playing and relaxing. Unfortunately one glaring commitment stands between me and my summer vacation: the triathlon.
Bowing to pressure from my boss, I signed up to participate in a mini-triathlon on June 24th. This event, comprised of running a 5k, swimming .6 mile in a lake and biking 15 miles, has been looming in the recesses of my mind. I know that I needed to aggressively train if I wanted a reasonable chance at completing the event without injury and with a respectable time. Training for the triathlon has been occupying a permanent place on my "to do" list and, while items above and below this entry have been crossed off and replaced numerous times, I haven't made a dent towards this task.
In a moment of pure panic, I texted Scott at work and asked him to meet me at a local gym for a tour. I resolved that I was going to join the gym and start training for my Tri. I was psyched and quite proud of myself for taking the first step!
Hand in hand with Scott and Robby, we comfortably strutted into the mammoth fitness facility, eager to sign up and begin my training. My ease lasted for about the first 5 steps. As the tour proceeded, my anxiety began to increase. By the end of our facility tour, it took all my effort to keep from running in the opposite direction with my arms flailing frantically in the air.
I couldn't figure out what made me so nervous, and why I was so uncomfortable. The facility was state-of-the art, bursting with shiny (and slightly odoriferous) machines designed to work muscles I didn't know existed. After I had time to decompress I realized why I was so uneasy at the gym. The tour guide, in her quest to sell the facility, went out of her way to point out the handicapped accessible options at every opportunity.
It was touted that an individual could maneuver his wheelchair up and use the hand cycle during the spin class. The weight benches could be raised, depending upon the height of the wheelchair. The pool had a chair lift and ramps could be utilized during the step aerobics classes. On some level, her pointing out these features both offended me and made me feel self-conscious about being an amputee. I hate feeling that way!
With the large facility out of the running and my training clock ticking, I decided to take a drastic step. I have joined a private fitness facility where my trainer and I will be the only two in the gym during my work-outs. Knowing that I won't be watched has alleviated so many of my fears about training in public. I am delighted that I won't have an audience and that I will be guided by a trainer through my work-outs.
Today I go for my first training session. I'm nervous but excited at the same time. I have no doubt that I will be pushed to levels that I don't go to on my own, and that I will work muscle groups that have long been ignored. I expect to be exhausted and sore for the next few days, but I think that this is a necessary step in order to achieve my goal. Wish me luck!