Started at 10, 12, 15, then 20 minutes. Today: 40 minutes! “Hello, hot tub and massage service? This is an emergency!”

A fit friend suggested a goal of 20 minutes on an elliptical strider each Tuesday. I said, “sounds good.” I knew I could do it! He gave me some other fitness ideas, and said I could do them or not — no big deal — but that I should be firm on the 20-minute-Tuesday elliptical goal. I started with daily times of 10 minutes (Thursday), 12 minutes (Friday & Saturday), 15 minutes (Sunday & Monday) — then 20 minutes on Tuesday. I take Wednesdays off from the elliptical, and do some other kinds of exercise.

I’ve been pretty faithful to this schedule and I have made real progress. I have increased the time-per-day over several months. Today (Tuesday), I spent 40 minutes on the elliptical strider at the gym. I had worked up to it, and I was pretty confident I could do it. I was watching several tv screens; the time did not exactly fly by, but it did pass.

I mighta ruined the machine though! I check my heart rate after each five minutes interval. If you hold at a certain place on the handles, your heart rate flashes across a tiny little screen. I was 20+ minutes in when I checked for the fourth time; my heart rate had registered in the mid-to-upper 90s. This time, it showed as 170 — yikes! I knew that couldn’t be right. If my heart rate was 170, I wouldn’t be seeing anything, let alone a tiny little screen! The “reading” stayed on for only a few seconds, then I couldn’t get another heart rate to register at all. I felt my neck — I had a pulse! No problem!

All day, I have been very proud and very sore. The outside muscles of my glutes are hurting worse with every move! “Hello, hot tube and massage service? This is an emergency!” I am not gonna increase my time for at least another two months — might work on my speed a little bit though!