hanging upside-down…

Can someone please tell me why someone would want to watch golf while they’re on the elliptical machine? I don’t even know why someone would want to watch golf, while they’re sitting on the couch, but while you’re exercising? Doesn’t it make you slow down, as the soporific effect hits you? (Just so you know, I’m not anti-PLAYING golf, just anti-WATCHING golf. There’s a difference!)

Of course, I can’t even watch anything on the little tv’s, when I’m on the elliptical at Fike, because I’ll trip and fall. Something about concentrating on the show throws me off my stride, and I stumble. When you’re up in the air on a moving machine, you should not be tripping. So, I always turn the tv off (for safety reasons AND I’m not really that into watching tv, anyway), and I stare at the glass wall above me, while listening to my headphones.

But while I worked out, I peered out at the assisted dip/pull-up machine (as usual), to see if it was in use. There are two, and I keep an eye on them, hoping to go straight there, after my starting workout. Why? Probably because it’s my favorite exercise machine, for some very strange reason. I think it’s a holdover from childhood, and I’ve been trying to nail down the reasoning for it.

No one but me will remember my first few weeks at Fike, back in January, when I was still uncomfortable with the location and all the people. And most intimidating of all, the weight machine areas, both free weights and assisted weight machines. But I finally made my way into the assisted weights section, because I wanted to use the dip machine. I still won’t go anywhere near the free weights (nope, not going in there by myself), but I will now use some of the other weight machines.

When I was in high school, we had dip bars off to the side of the weight room, and I would go there by myself, because no one else ever used them. Or maybe it was because no one else could climb up to them, as they were almost as tall as I am. But it isn’t all that difficult, just grab the bars, walk up the wall, swing your legs over, and then haul yourself up. Then get your hands on the bars, and swing off to do some dips. Most of my classmates couldn’t do it, though I never figured out why. Of course, the guys couldn’t out-bench me on the leg press, either. Go figure.

I think it has something to do with enjoying the feeling of climbing, acting like a kid again, and hanging upside-down. Like when you’re bending over backward off a set of monkey bars, or even on a merry-go-round. Into my 20’s, I was still doing one or the other, whenever I got to camp in Michigan, because they had a great set of monkey bars for climbing and hanging off of. There was no purpose to it, but since I’m not gymnast, I think I always took pleasure in doing something that proved I’ve got some flexibility. Or just doing something will surprise the adults.

The merry-go-round, now that was a favorite. The best ones will have metal bars, all the way around, and you can perch on them, hook your legs around, and then hang upside down…. while spinning. If you don’t like amusement park rides, you won’t like this, but I loved it. Haven’t found a good merry-go-round to try this on, any time in recent years.

Of course, this brings back a memory of being on summer staff, and the RA for the guys was trying to replicate my upside-down maneuver on the merry-go-round, but he couldn’t get his body to bend that far backward. So, I demonstrated again, and this time, all my friends stepped closer to look…. too close. I flew around once, and slammed my head into one of my friends, stars exploding in my vision, and being brought to an abrupt halt. Thankfully, except for having my glasses mashed into my face, I wasn’t hurt, but I definitely scared the daylights out of my friends. My poor glasses were completely bent out of shape, though.

But back to the dip machine. I use it with “assistance” (whatever you call that knee rest thing), in order to strengthen my arms, a bit at a time. One of these days, I’m going to be able to do them without help (just like when I was in high school), and then maybe…. I don’t know, what will it prove? There are no high school dip bars to climb now, since they tore down the old Daniel High School. But I’ll know I can do it, and then maybe I’ll just go looking for some monkey bars to climb. Or a merry-go-round.

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