Ostomy Memories in the Gym


THE GYM IS A PLACE full of self-absorbed people. They are there to become fit; to gain muscle; to improve their appearance. In the section taken up with free weights, there is a lengthy mirrored wall to permit the weight lifters to ogle themselves as they lift. It is apparently important that they be able to observe how muscled their bodies are as they strain up and down. Getting to look at one’s muscles, after all, is part of the reward for putting in the effort, and watching oneself actually doing the lifting provides, I’m guessing, some sort of self-satisfied lift to the spirits as well. It is narcissism at its most basic level, and the compulsion to keep at it is a quasi-religious experience. I spend the majority of my time on the weight machines that fill the center of the large space, and when I infrequently venture into the free weight area, my self-consciousness causes me to avert my eyes from the mirrored wall as I heft a dumbbell. If my form isn’t exactly correct, if I’m not doing the exercise quite right, then looking at myself doing it in the mirror isn’t going to help. Since I am usually the oldest one there, I am granted my space. I try not to groan or grunt out loud, lest the younger people think that I’m having a heart attack or that I’ve overdone it and cracked a bone in my arm or leg. Eventually, I make my way to one of the treadmills off against a far wall, and hope that the jogging doesn’t make me have to pee before I reach my fifteen-minute mark.


Hello HenryM.

I was persuaded, by my ultra-fit daughter, to attend a gym on just one occasion. It cost an arm and a leg, but that wasn't the only reason I never ventured near such a place again. I could not understand why I should pay good money to exercise indoors , when it seems to be much healthier to be outside in the fresh air, doing it at no financial cost. From that day on, I accompanied my daughter on her lengthy runs, swims and cycle races with no regrets about not going to the gym. 

Best wishes


<p>&nbsp;</p> <p><br /><br /></p> <p>I hear you, Bill, but three-quarters of my gym time is spent working out with weights, which I don't otherwise have access to, and which I need to do as my body ages and I need to keep my muscles fit.&nbsp; I am a known cheapskate, but the membership is only ten bucks a month.</p>
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Hi guys i get my excercise doing yard work, but now that we havent had any rain the grass isnt growing so i,ve resorted to being really cheapskate and filling empty milk cartons with water and putting them in plastic shopping bags, 2 to a bag equals 10lbs. so i got 4 cartons 2 for each side and i lift those, i also carry them upstairs when i go up for bathroom which is about 5-6times a day, so i haveno use for a gym.

<p>&nbsp;</p> <p><br /><br /></p> <p>Hello Ron.</p> <p>Thanks for the reminder of stuff we do about the house that is also 'exercise'. My wife likes a bath every morning but we also want to conserve water. So, one of my jobs each day is to bring the water downstairs in 4/5 gallon containers, so that it can be reused during the day. I suppose that this might be equivalent to weightlifting in the gym.</p> <p>My wife maintains that she doesn't need any more exercise than that which housework and shopping provides. Neither of us have any problems with gaining weight or associated medical problems so our routines suffice in this rfespect.&nbsp;</p> <p>Best wishes</p> <p>Bill</p>
Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Hi Henry,There are definitely some self-absorbed people at the gym, but I don't think they make up the majority, at least not at mine. Gym members seem to fall into at least three categories. There are those you mentioned, the mostly very young males and females, the males with the free weights flexing and admiring themselves in the mirrors, and the females dressed as scantily as legally possible, bouncing around on the cardio machines, hoping the guys are checking them out. Then there are the older, often very overweight ones, who look like deer caught in the headlights. You just know they are there on doctor's orders. Some of them become long term members, but sadly many drop off the radar pretty fast. Then there are those like me, older and in pretty good shape for my age, and wanting to stay that way in order to be around as long as possible. At my gym, we make up a pretty good percentage of the long-term members. Maintaining good cardio health and strong bones seems pretty important to me. One thing I have never understood, and maybe someone reading this has an opinion to share; why is it that males spend most, if not all, their time on strength training, free weights and machines that help build muscle?Many of them never go near a cardio machine. Women seem to mix it up around 50/50, which is what I do. Is it the male ego coming into play here, that the exercise is a waste of time if you can't "see" the results?Healthy lungs and heart are just as important, if not more so, than big biceps or a six-pack. Kudos to you Henry for ending your workout on the treadmill. Your lungs will be thanking you.


<p>&nbsp;</p> <p><br /><br /></p> <p>My lungs have been thanking me since 1977, when I went cold turkey and quit smoking.&nbsp; Stay well.&nbsp;</p>


The only time I entered a gym was many moons ago and I found the stench too over-powering to continue exercising (the people, the machines, all combining into a mutant sweaty funk, just gross).

Pretty sure the majority of gym goers are only there so they can look good going to the gym (not caring about how much they smell!).

Total waste of money as far as I can tell, when there is a whole great outdoors available for free (with "fresh" air).

Incidental exercise is the easiest way to keep fit, housework, gardening, mowing the lawn, walking to the shops, etc. I read recently that "just six minutes of intense exercise a week can keep people as fit as three hour-long jogs" - ?six minutes a week, now that sounds like my kinda workout!

<p>&nbsp;</p> <p><br /><br /></p> <p>Someone, I forget who (maybe Twain), once said that he keeps fit carrying the caskets of his friends who exercise.&nbsp;</p>

Actually, there are a lot of ways to lift free weights IMproperly, and hurt yourself if you do it wrong. The mirrors are there so you can watch your form and make sure you are doing the exercise correctly. Are ther the narcissists who watch themselves more than their form? I'm sure there are. Are they the majority? I'm sure they aren't!

The machines are designed to do the job that free weights do, without needing to concentrate on form (or even know the correct form). Which is why you usually see the muscled guys in the free weight room - it takes time and dedication to do those right.

I, too, thought housework and shopping was enough to keep me fit, until my son gave me a Fitbit and I found that I didn't get nearly enough steps in from that as I thought. And with that I have to go: it's time for my 1-mile walk around the neighborhood. (And I STILL struggle to get enough exercise!)

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