#Gym Beam

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Before the pandemic crowded out much of in-person gym activity, it was best to avoid the gym in January when it would be filled with New Year’s “resolves.” They would start to slow down in February. He was sure to return in March without being trampled to death. Betting on possible no-shows, gyms, with various promotions, typically signed up more members in the days leading up to New Years than they were supposed to or could actually accommodate.

If April is the cruelest month, a month of dead resolutions, January is the most appealing for gyms, and February is the month of reckoning. March was the time when the mind and body were given marching orders. In April, spring would be in the air, the weather would have warmed up, and who wants to be in an indoor gym? December was the time when only the tough guys – or those stricken with the caloric guilt of the holidays – would still be here.

Over the years, my gym habits have constantly changed and evolved. There was a time when I was a gym rat, torturing myself with six day a week treadmill beating routines and having Walter Mitty’s fantasy thefts on being Sebastian Coe, Lasse Viren, Haile Gebraselassie etc. back after successive bouts of tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, abandoning the looming prospect of winning Olympic gold medals and making the cover of Sports Illustrated. Lately, I could barely start the elliptical machines. Time spent on the stepper and stationary bike was used to return calls and research social media. There were days when I would just go to the gym to use the sauna. I called it listening to the body; it is important.

Before the pandemic swept over us in 2020, my New Years resolution when it came to the gym was pretty modest: to go as often as possible, that is, whenever I could get away from the gym. children, assuming they haven’t already made me exercise; not to torture my body but just to enjoy the training; WALK or jog as often as possible to the gym instead of driving (it’s a brisk 20 minute walk each way for me and I was always puzzled why people who lived less than a mile away would were going to the gym); and to do a cardio workout when I’m not going by just cleaning the house / car and doing some yard work instead of paying $$$ to do it.

Which means I could rock it a few days a week. But I had definitely planned to go there regularly in January – just to watch. The first week was the funniest time – seeing all the impatient, gloomy beaver faces with New Year’s promises and a new resolution. By the end of the month, they would have fallen like flies. In April, those would be the same old faces that had been huffing and puffing for 25 years, not looking a day older.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the interior of a gym in the past two years. The gym business, like the movie business, is down for the moment, and it is not known when they will recover. But I have had a lot of outdoor activities, thanks to my wife and kids who love the outdoors dragging me out of my man cave (that’s what they call my home office in the sub -sol) by kicking and shouting, for expeditions involving hiking and biking, play in woods and streams, explore mountains and meadows, and generally commune with nature.

We’ve also eaten out a lot over the past couple of years, and the few dining outings – after being doubly vaxxed – have also been mostly outside. Children’s birthday parties were outdoors, as were school performances. Even having friends over at home was outside, as a friend found out when he passed by his lovely family to talk about my new book for his vlog, and we hosted them inhospitable at the outdoors on a freezing day! Staying outdoors in the great outdoors is the best way to avoid the virus.

As the prospect of returning to the gym
In the immediate future remains dark
# 2022 also may not be easy
But for sure it can be outside



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The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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