Gym Brat

5.21.07: Baby adds new meaning to the term "resistance training."


I love the gym. I adore the relative order of it all--the way all the machines and weights have their place. The way everyone does what they're supposed to be doing, where they're supposed to be doing it. The peace, the quiet, the intensity. The relative lack of fussing, shrieking, and gumming of the equipment. Let's face it--I'm just nuts about the sheer kidlessness of the place.

The kids are there, actually, but they're safely tucked away in their own space. My gym--a YMCA--offers an excellent childcare program. I'd take full advantage of it, if Truman and I could ever make it. Which we can't. Truman's always napping, or eating, or sick. Or I'm sick, or working, or taking a meeting. Or digging my way out of the mess that is our house. Our babysitter could stay with him while I work out--but she's out of town right now, and I'm stuck at home. I could leave him with my mom while I go to the gym but she's playing tennis, then doing volunteer work. All of which goes to say I don't make it to the gym as often as I'd like.

And that's a problem, since I've grown addicted to the gym environment, and rather dependent on it. Now, if I can't get to the gym, I feel like I can't work out.

What's a girl to do? Why e-mail her personal trainer, LaReine Chabut, with a 911 for at-home work-out ideas.

LaReine reminded me that I have everything I need to work in a little workout time--some free weights, a ball, a piece of carpet, and my own body. She also wisely noted that doing something is always better than doing nothing. And she recommended that I return to the original "all-I-need six-moves workout plan" she developed for me whenever I can't get to the gym. (Watch LaReine do a nice at-home version of this workout.)

And so--thought I'm NOT happy about it--I've turned my living room into a makeshift gym. Truman still doesn't make much of a personal trainer. Since he's just started walking, being with him does offer its own sporadic cardio benefits. But in terms of getting through a focused strength routine--well, he's not exactly Hans (nor is he Franz). In other words, he doesn't exactly pump me up. He'd rather play with the ball than do crunches on it. But I've found that if I grab him, and try to hold onto him while I do my sit-ups--well, that's the very definition of resistance training!

Hillari Dowdle will fit back into her favorite pants one of these days. Check this column every week, and you will no doubt be among the first to read all about it!