The gym is my getaway

Leaving it all behind, an hour at a time

I read my book or Sports Illustrated and pedal for 30 minutes.

After the bike comes 10 machines, two sets of 10 apiece. On two machines, I do two different exercises; on another, I focus on one side of my body, then the other.

That’s my gym routine, roughly an hour, (usually) three days a week: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

And the rest of the world just fades away …

My wife and I joined a gym for the same reason I’m sure a lot of people do … to get in better shape.

We should have realized our first gym was doomed when there wasn’t even a New Year’s rush of people who would quit a month later.

When we were looking to move, our agent drove us past a fancy tennis club and the Anytime Fitness in a shopping plaza across the street where she said her college-age daughter went.

Since “fancy,” of course, means “more money,” Anytime Fitness it was.

We like it. I do my biking and weights, while my wife walks the treadmill and lifts weights. On Monday nights, I go to a Turbo Kick class. It’s a little weird that I’m the only guy in the class, but I like it.

The gym has changed, but this still holds up.

I’ve found that riding the bike — I prefer a seater — actually helps me relax. Once I get my legs loose, I get into a nice rhythm with the pedals, and for one of the few times during my day, I’m not bouncing from thing to thing. Pretty much all I can do is read my Kindle, look up at the TV once in a while and pedal. That’s it. It’s actually a nice diversion.

And unless I have to walk past them to get to the bathroom, I also still try very hard to avoid the very serious lifters in the back, especially the guy who looks like he’s running things, even though I’ve heard he’s very nice.

In addition to the physical benefits — I’m still overweight, but feel healthier and stronger than I have in years — the mental break I get from life is invaluable.

I’m usually not thinking about work, and don’t have my mind scattered in all directions like I do at home. I’m concentrating on what I’m doing, and only what I’m doing.

It’s so refreshing.

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