Monday, July 27, 2009

"Congratulations, You're 'Athletic'."

These are the words spoken to me by a random personal trainer at the gym a few weeks ago when I consented to have my BMI and body fat percentage checked with their cool little machine. (I declined his offer for a consultation for a personal training package, but appreciated the stats anyway.) I kind of laughed as I walked away for a few reasons--mostly because I would never, ever have thought at any point of my life that I would classify as any kind of "Athletic," capital or lower-case A, but also because I was surprised at the stats I learned about my current physique. I guess the running and lifting has been paying off overall. I still think it's quite bizarre that I even set foot in a public place of exercise, much less that I visit 5-6 times a week. But this topic has inspired me to remind the blogiverse of a few basic rules of a public gymnasium. You would think these would be common sense and general knowledge, but certain persons' behavior in the last little while has led me to believe otherwise.

Gym Etiquette
  • Shirts should always be worn on the gym floor. Running, lifting, biking, anything, please keep it on. There are a lot of benefits to wearing a shirt of some kind while exercising indoors, not only to yourself but to those around you. If you want to run shirtless, by all means, hit the pavement, you'll even get some sun on your shoulders.
  • The locker room is not a place to make new friends. This is a place you enter and leave as quickly as possible, spending just enough time in there to do what you need to do and be on your way. You don't need to spend 45-60 minutes hanging out in there giving unsolicited and unqualified advice and conversation (whether it be about exercise, your computer speakers, your favorite pair of shoes, the latest video games, or how vexing all American music is to you) to anyone and everyone who just happens to be dressing nearby.
  • Related to the previous, though some people might make a workout buddy or two at the gym, it is generally not a place to meet/flirt with people, and this practice is especially inappropriate in the locker room (that's right, the LOCKER ROOM... You would think you would be safe from unwanted advances in a locker room full of sweaty, like-gendered people, but these days...). Personally, I try to avoid eye-contact with other people altogether when at the gym, and sometimes don't even talk to people I recognize (it's just a kind of weird place to run into someone you haven't seen since high school). Part of the reason I was always against a gym on principle in the first place was because so many of the patrons there seemed to visit merely to see and to be seen. Having had some experience at the gym these days, I now know that a lot of people are actually there to exercise, but there are those (and you can usually pick them out) who have ulterior motives, and to them I say: Find a new hangout.
Please, by all means, spread the word. Still, all in all, I enjoy my time at the gym, I like keeping track of my running time and having a lot of weights and machines at my disposal. I just make the above suggestions in hopes that it continues to be a reputable, relatively comfortable place to work out and relieve some stress.

< / rant >... for today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's About Bloody Time...

... But it was totally worth the wait. I'm still getting my head around the whole of it, how the story adapted to screen, how the characters and actors are growing into their roles, how close we are now to the end of the series, but overall I was quite impressed and almost thoroughly satisfied. ("Snogwarts" indeed!) I finished rereading the book while sitting in line for the film, so it was fresh in my mind. As I read this last time through, I kept just thinking that everything was going to probably be left out, so my expectations were exceeded when little details and overall themes were fairly intact. The score is taking a little time to grow on me (Nicholas Hooper's work on OotP had a similar grace period, though I'm quite fond of it now), but the film had nice artistic and narrative touches that I didn't expect. It was also great to be able to see it with my girl, which I would not have been able to do had this film been released when originally scheduled.

This event also marked the one-month-left-until-our-wedding day. What a momentous occasion!

P.S. Something else I learned (the hard way) this night is that my "new" ride doesn't have a warning light when gas gets low... I'll remember that, so that such an event as happened may never, ever happen again.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Only Six Short Months Later

Remember how this movie was supposed to be released in theaters like six months ago? Yeah, I'm still bitter about their reasoning for postponing it. (Better market in the summer? Better than the holidays? Whatev.) Nevertheless, I can't let that annoyance taint my anticipation for the movie finally coming out next week. The trailers and pictures being released are making it look better and better, and last night, Julie and I stopped by and bought our tickets for opening night! At last! Hurrah. I'm even halfway through re-reading it so I'll be all ready to go. Just ten more days!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Casualty of Love

This is our household paper cutter.

This is my left thumb.

After 25 years of warnings to avoid each other, they finally just couldn't stay apart anymore. (Photo was the morning after.)

There I was innocently helping prepare our wedding announcements with Julie when I felt sudden and painful slice on my poor digit. I held onto it in my fist, afraid to look at the damage (honestly, I think the sight of a mangled body part is worse for me than actually feeling it), then finally examined it. A decent portion of my thumb was nearly severed, holding on by just one little edge. It didn't seem serious enough to seek medical attention, so I just clipped the fingernail off, folded the flap of skin back into place and put a good number of band-aids over it until it stopped bleeding. Really, in the end, I was more worried about the blood on my khaki shorts, which Julie was able to skillfully remove. I also hope that it's back to normal before mid-August, and that the nail grows back naturally.

I still can't find the newer, sliding paper-cutter, but I have a newfound respect for this one. You think it's an old, dull blade, but it still does its job.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Strawberry Days 2009

A couple weeks ago was the annual Strawberry Days extravaganza in downtown Pleasant Grove. We had a great turnout again this year, and it was a record-breaking run for almost all of us! I had a new PR (almost five minutes faster than last year) and so did Jonny and Julie. One day I really do have a goal to keep up with Jonny, though that would be quite an achievement (19:40 there... uh, yeah). As it was, my goal was to do under 8-minute miles, and I was amazed to see I achieved it, and then some (I think running on the treadmill, as I have done all winter, makes me underestimate how fast I can run on the road if I really want to). I realize looking back that Strawberry Days 2008 was my first ever official 5K, and I have done several since then, and my time has largely improved. It's exciting to see such progress! The weather was nice and cool, the route was even and fun, and believe it or not, I placed 7th in my age group! Top 10!!! Also, the shirts this year were really pretty great, and the spread of bread and fruit (including the traditional strawberries) at the finish line were quite refreshing as well.

We missed Amber this year, but we were glad to welcome Jonny's sister Rudi, my lovely fiancée Julie, and of course Gabe.

Check out Melody's blog for another great post on the epic Strawberry Days 5K.