Now, I'm not someone who really ever goes to the gym. I went approximately five times in high school, five times in college, never at FileMaker... and a few times with Dan and Brian back in 2001 [to a skanky Gold's Gym in San José]. However, after hitting my low weight a year ago [206, in Western Australia], I'm of course creeping back up [220 as of this week]. Funny, but sitting in front of a computer all day doesn't seem to burn as many calories as going snorkelling or climbing Uluru.
Happily, though, Dan's friend Steve, who worked for Microsoft for aeons until he left to found a consulting business, returned to work to Microsoft last week. Steve, like myself, is a pretty big guy, definitely not your ordinary gym type. However, he suggested that we meet up three days a week at 0730 and get some exercise. Which, much to my delight, we did this morning. I actually kind of enjoyed walking on the treadmill; wrestling with the cryptic Nautilus machines was another matter. [I have no idea what to do with them. I don't really want to change the way my body looks; I just want to someday achieve the magic BMI of 25 that is a weight of 200, not 220.] My favorite was the one that said Hip Abductor on it. I mean, what the hell? You sit down and poof! your hips disappear? What if you get stuck with someone else's hips? How weird.
Anyhow, it all went well, although I have to admit that I'm still very much weirded out by same-gender locker rooms. I have no problem with nudity if it's mixed-gender, but when it's all guys... it's just weird. V. uncomfortable, especially when there seems to be this cavalier let's all walk around naked thing going on - I really don't know what to feel in that context. The big screen TVs showing ESPN I don't get either, but that's another matter. Anyhow, I survived OK. I got along well with Steve, I showered before getting in to the office, I don't think I permanently injured anything [although perhaps I should avoid the 'low back exercise' machine on the next outing] - but I do believe that I'm feeling much more chipper today. I actually got a little bit of the exhiliration going that I feel when I'm on a really good hike with the marmot, and that's a good thing.
I hope I can make this last. It'd be a shame if I didn't go just because I'm not comfortable with large numbers of naked men.
At the very least I can't stop until after I get back from Europe. I don't want to run out of puff trying to cram in large numbers of museums in just a week and a half. :)