a peek inside the fishbowl

26 Sep, 2007

forgetful brain + jelly legs = yours truly

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

The day didn’t start out too well.

Mark had just taken the girls to school. I was on my way to the gym and quickly realized I couldn’t find my purse. And my wallet. (My superwifely powers is detecting a certain husband who is rolling his eyes right about now.) I retraced my steps. Last time I remembered having it was at the pool last night. Uh oh. I walked to the rec centre, praying that someone found it and turned in. I asked at the desk, rummaged in the lost and found, and searched the changeroom. Nothing. Ugh. I felt sick.

As I walked back home I realized I had my keys. Okaaaaay, I had keys, therefore the purse must be somewhere at home. I looked in all the places I had looked before. And then, in a move of total desperation, I went down to the basement. And there it was. In the laundry room.

That’s what happens when you skip the morning coffee.

I grabbed my gym card and walked BACK to the gym, calculating all the calories I’ve already burned what with my speedwalking back and forth and also my heartrate, which was rocket-high and pounding so hard I could feel it my throat the whole time I was searching.


I decided that I would alternate cardio with weights. Since I did weights yesterday, this was going to be cardio day.

I haven’t been to a gym since my days at Carleton, where membership was free. I haven’t gone because I find the gym scene rather intimidating. I hate trying to figure out how the machines work, and struggling with knobs that won’t turn and seats that won’t shift.

I chose the elliptical machine because I assumed it was the ultimate combination of heart-strengthening, fat-burning, and gluteous maximizing on cardio row. I hopped on. This was going to be easy, right? Ha. Double Ha. I turned it on. It started going faster than an Italian lady at a grape-squashing festival. I switch it to manual mode, but wasn’t happy with it. I need something that forces me to work a little harder. Heeeey, interval training has a nice ring to it! I set my weight and my program of choice, and off I went. Egads, it felt like I was alternately walking on a small hill and scaling Mount Logan. My legs burrrrrrrned, and that was only three minutes into it.

I decided to stop running. You can walk on this thing right? At four minutes I was seriously considering throwing in the towel. I slowed my pace, and it was better. Six minutes into it an elderly gentleman sat on a recumbent bike next to me. He was biking faster than I was walking! He was biking up Mount Logan while I was the straggler at the end of a caravan of elderly hikers, all moving faster than I was! I couldn’t quit now. That six minutes (advertised in very large bright green easy-to-read-from-afar digits) was going to expose me as a big sissy. No, I had to stick it out. I had to beat the elderly!

He got off the bike after a few minutes, but I had hit my stride. Could I make it to 12 minutes? Twelve came and went. I was kicking myself for forgetting my water and my music player. I stared out the window, sweating my face off, while military marches echoed in my head and helped me keep my rhythm.

I was done at fifteen minutes. I ran between minute twelve and fourteen, and walked the last mountain face at a slower pace. I got of the machine with jelly legs, and happily for me, didn’t collapse in a big sad heap. The elderly man smiled at me as I walked by. He was done his cardio, and had gone on to the free weights.

Before I left I weighed myself on the “official” doctor-type scale. I was the same weight as the scale showed at home. Woot! It wasn’t lying to me after all! I’m at my Right Weight. I am happy about that.  The day didn’t start out too well, but I think I managed to turn it around.

Onwards and upwards, right?

4 Responses to "forgetful brain + jelly legs = yours truly"

1 | Robert

September 26th, 2007 at 10:58 am


then…this should be a piece of cake next week, right?


there’s always this too…for the armchair activists


2 | Sharon

September 27th, 2007 at 7:02 am


Woot Woot way to go. No matter hwo many minutes you did, you did more than the day before. GOOD JOB!

Now If I wasn’t so tired I’d go today too.

3 | zhenia

September 27th, 2007 at 8:37 am


I think that the forces of evil created the elliptical runner. I’m happy that you found a way to outsmart them. :)

4 | The Moffman

October 22nd, 2007 at 9:44 am


I had my first encounter with the elliptical a few weeks ago. I really, really don’t like it. And while I figure maybe that’s my body telling me that I haven’t worked those particular muscles enough, I have still opted to shun the elliptical in favor of returning to my old friends the stationary bike, treadmill and stairmaster.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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