So far, I have not yet devised a name for my latest attempt to get fit. (No, “Get Fit 2008” won’t work. Not catchy enough.) I think this lack of name — of branding! — is at least part of why I am having trouble getting started.
Despite this setback, I have made a little progress. I’ve been drinking more water each day, and since it’s filtered tap water rather than bottled I feel extra virtuous. I’ve been going to sleep earlier and waking up before my alarm rings.
And I’ve been to the gym a few times this year, including twice this week.
I am not the sort to fear the gym or feel uncomfortable there. I’ve put in many hours at many gyms, and I’ve overcome my neuroses about the other regulars. Skinny girls with makeup who never break a sweat, leathery ladies who live only for the treadmills and the tanning beds, muscle-bound men hulking around the free weights who grunt and egg each other on — these people don’t frighten me.
Nor am I put off by the many and varied workout machines. The treadmills and elliptical whatsits are all just computer gadgets with moving parts. I press Quickstart and get going. The other machines have instructions and diagrams.
So all of that is fine. But there is one element of my gym that brings me down: the bank of televisions hanging from the ceiling.
Most days I workout in the afternoon, when my viewing choices include soap operas, Judge Judy, repetitive sports coverage, obsessive news coverage of the day’s tragedy, and something from VH1. Today for the first time I saw “I Love New York,” and I began to doubt my faith in the future of man.
The problem is that I can’t help but watch whatever is on the screens. I can look elsewhere in the gym, but then I find myself staring at the ass of the person jogging in front of me. That’s never good.
When I whined to my brother about this, he suggested that I change the channel to the financial report. “No one can complain about your wanting to turn on the stock reports.”
“But I don’t want to watch financial reports.”
“You don’t have to pay attention to it,” he said. “Turn it on and stare at it while you listen to your iPod.”
It’s a brilliant solution.
Plus, maybe while I’m staring at the screen, valuable insights into financial trends will work their way subliminally into my brain. Then I can invest and become rich — rich enough to build a home gym.