"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

You Gotta Rip Up To Tear Down

Kneel before your new god:

Since I've gotten a car, the most practical impact on my life is that I've been making regular trips to the gym. I've used the little workout room at the Arcata community pool off and on since I moved here. It's simple, unpretentious, never crowded, and there are hardly ever any distractions (that is, pretty people), all of which is what I look for in a space to exercise in.

After starting back up, I've noticed I gained a few pounds, which is to be expected. Although my muscle tone is returning (hence the extra weight), I still feel a little pudgy and out of shape. I think this is because for the first time in quite a while I have not been bicycling on a regular basis.

There's a real difference in effects, both physically and mentally, between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Generally when I go to work-out it's weight training with a little cardio, but that's taking for granted that everywhere I've lived previously I'd bike to the gym. Given the new circumstances, I've decided to go for a bit more cardiovascular emphasis -- drain off some excess body-oil stockpiles / get high and cosmic on the endorphins -- and I've turned to the elliptical trainer in my hour of need.

Usually I rock the stationary cycle, but my spot doesn't have a great option there. The one upright has a wide seat, which is good for some people but not me and my workout style. I like to ramp it up to 95rpms, listen to the Private Psychadelic Reel, and sweat my ass off; having to shove my legs around a big cushion is a pain, literally. Their recumbent option -- always my favorite style for stationary cycling -- doesn't offer variable resistance, so I can't make it hard enough to get an appropriate burn.

Enter the new machine. I've seen these before, and tried it a couple times at the Williamsburg Pool, an NYC City Parks and Rec facility I used to use, but it never clicked for me. They had good recumbent units, so I never tried that hard, and anyway I couldn't get the rhythm. Also, to be honest, the fact that it seemed to be a favorite for the ladies also kept me away.

Well, that was the past. Color me a believer now.

My new routine is to rack up 30 minutes on that sucker, then spend another 30 or so working through a free-weight arm/chest set. It's got a good feel to it. Zya and I are talking about taking a yoga class, and if I hit that on off-days I think I'll be unlocking my chakras and back into fighting shape in no time.

All this is kind of funny, maybe somewhat vain even, but it feels good to get back into my body. I spent a good long time back in the day focused on this in one way or another, but over the years me and my physical self have grown apart somewhat. Luckily, it's easy to come back home.


I know it's my focus at the moment, but I've found running to be an amazing form of aerobic exercise. I've dropped weight like it's my job, and when I run outside(vs. the treadmill) I really get a good mental and emotional re-alignment. I know some people have knee/useage problems, but that can usually be avoided with good shoes and slight form adjusment. As for weather, you just gotta layer up and get out there, like the bike. Just a thought, since there's no scenery in the gym, but I know there's good natural scenery around you.

I have weak ankles. It's what killed my basketball career (well, that and the fact that I was a beanpole): I never made it through a season without pulling an achilles tendon.

I've been checking out your marathon blog, though. Good stuff. Personally I'm waiting for the winter weather to break so I can get back to biking. There are some really amazing coastline trails here, but there no fun when it's pouring rain.

Fuck yeah, Eliptical machines rule. After I broke my leg and my left calf looked like my forearm I was able to build it back on one of those babies.