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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Grunts and Groans by Suzanne Rossi

Hi everyone.

Hope 2018 has been kind to you so far. The crud I had in November came back right after New Year's, but I consider myself lucky that it wasn't the flu. (Knock wood. February is labeled as the peak month for that particular ailment.) A lot of people have posted on social media about their health and the horrible weather. I've come to the conclusion everyone is cold and sick.

I think I mentioned once that when we moved to Germantown, Tennessee, we decided to get in shape--or at least in better shape than we were. So we joined a local health club. Up until Thanksgiving we worked out regularly three times a week. It didn't take long, got us out of the house, and because the kitchen was undergoing renovations for most of the summer, we indulged in lunch at some of our favorite restaurants. (Yeah, I know, Mexican food and Margaritas kind of undo all that exercise, but hey, you only live once, right?) After the holiday, illness and the cold kept us home for a few weeks, but now we are back on schedule.

For those of you who work out or want to work out, I decided to give you a rundown of a day at the gym.

I used to spend the first ten minutes on the cardio-bike, but abandoned it a few months ago. I hated pedaling to nowhere. And treadmills scare me. I visualize tripping over my own two feet and flying out into the walkway thereby humiliating myself. The stair machine was not on the agenda from day one. So, while hubby does the bike, I head immediately for the weight room.

Being an aficionado of torture, I start with the standing pull down ab machine. I put on forty-five pounds of weights, grab the over-the-shoulder straps, and bend at the waist. My lower abdomen tightens. I do twenty reps twice before moving on the the next device. By the way, my reps are usually between twelve to fifteen and I try to do three sets.

Now it's time for the biceps curl. Twenty-five pounds for twelve reps three times. Not too bad. The next machine works the triceps. I do thirty-five pounds for this one since I find it easier to push down, than pull up a la the biceps contraption. A year ago my arms were pathetic strands of spaghetti. Now, I can actually feel my triceps and when I flex my biceps can see muscles. Well, I'm impressed at any rate.

When done with that, I slowly walk down the aisle to the most hated machine in the gym--the thigh killer. And I do mean killer. I adjust for fifty pounds of weight, grasp the handles, move the knee pads to the correct position and push my legs apart. I'm grunting and groaning by seven reps before finally giving up at twelve. By the end of two sets, I want to cry. Panting, I change the knee pads to squeeze and push my legs together. This position is no more comfortable than the previous one. Honestly, by now I should be able to crush bowling balls between my thighs.

Once I'm done with this machine, the rest are a piece of cake. Some kind of rotary twist machine that is supposed to work the obliques--whatever they are--followed by devices for a back leg curl, (works the back leg muscles), a leg extension, (does the front of the thighs), and a leg press, which works both. My knees aren't in the best of shape, but I have noticed going up and down the stairs at home is easier than when we first moved in. I now stagger over to whatever machine my husband is on where we discuss lunch options--usually involving wine. I have priorities. I view it as a reward for a job well done.

My last apparatus is the sit down ab machine. Sixty pounds of weight with all the grunts and groans I can emit for twenty reps three times. At least I'm sitting down and I can feel the crunches tightening my upper abdomen.

I'm done! A quick freshening up and I'm ready to eat and imbibe. The whole process took less than an hour, but the important part is I feel better both mentally and physically. I've lost weight--not as much as I would like, however, those lunches are also important to good mental health. Or so I keep telling myself.

Back at home, I try to get in some writing in the afternoon. If not, then I dedicate the off days to writing. I find I'm spending more down time with family and that my writing doesn't seem as forced as it was three or four years ago. I'm more laid back and relaxed. I no longer chastise myself if I don't write two thousand words a day.

I hope you all have vicariously exercised by reading this. Thinking along the same lines? Check out a few gyms near you. Take out a trial membership if possible and see if you like it. My guess is you will. And sometimes as I grunt, groan, and mentally curse, I think up plot twists, dialogue, and characters. How about that? I write as I work out. LOL

Have a great day and I'll be back in March.

Suzanne Rossi


  1. I'm exhausted just reading about your workout. Darling Hubby retired last year so he turned his home office into a home gym. I made the resolution I'd workout every day starting Jan. 1. Well, I didn't make it into the home gym until yesterday, Jan. 30. Today I'm so sore I'm procrastinating doing it again. *LOL* But I will.

    1. I just work through the soreness. It goes away after a couple of days. And BTW, I am the Queen of Procrastination--I can put anything I should do off for days, weeks, even months. LOL

  2. Like Joan, I'm exhausted just reading your workout. I have such good intentions. If procrastination were an Olympic event, I'd take the Gold. But I will get into working out soon. I know it would help me.

  3. You are a better person than I am, Suzanne. However, I did decide to go on the Whole30 diet, and I'm making some progress. Wishing you the best of luck!

    1. Same to you. I have more ambition with working out than I do with diets, although I have been following Atkins for close to 12 years now. It's an on-again, off-again proposition, but I haven't regained much weight. :)


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