I don’t normally use this blog to update the world on my progress at the gym, as it’s hard for me to imagine anything more boring to anyone other than my immediate circle of friends. But yesterday for the first time I bench-pressed 60 pounds, and I just had to brag about it.

Woo-hoo! I can bench-press 60 pounds! Hooray for me!

It may not seem like that much — God knows there are plenty of people at the gym doing twice that and more. But considering that I started at 30 — and that was a challenge — I’m feeling pretty gosh-darned proud of myself.

Thanks to Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” for helping to get me over the hump. Best bench-pressing music ever. And thanks to Ingrid for convincing me to start going to the gym in the first place. Who knew that lifting weights would actually be fun?

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5 thoughts on “Sixty!

  1. 1

    dear greta,
    congratulations on your benchmark of personal fitness. I have no place being so as I contributed less than nothing to your achievement, but I am glad you achieved your goal, no matter how small in the grand scheme of things. I have found Rammstein to be gymnasium rocket fuel for pushing harder and faster than wise in the gym, but it may be a bit aggressive for you. as a sort of reward, have a look at a rather queer little site I found quite by accident.
    kinda creepy, if that is your thing. I found it looking for references about maco station. My grandfather was an engineer for northern pacific and he told me about maco station as well. watch the videos in the dark.

  2. 2

    I had no idea you bench pressed ANYTHING. I’m very impressed. How did you get started?
    You must check out the site. She is a tiger on this subject.
    Your slowly wasting away girl sloth,

  3. 3

    -“How did you get started?”
    So glad you asked…
    I started going to the gym almost two years ago, when Ingrid and I moved in together — I was able to get a cheap family membership with hers, thus eliminating my last excuse. The first couple of times, I went kicking and screaming and digging my heels in — but I started having fun with it very soon. Weights especially are just hugely fun: they make me feel tough and strong and sexy, and in a strange way, doing them is an intense sensual pleasure. (Especially the machine where you spread your legs and squeeze the weights together with your thighs…) I started benching a few months after that — at first just as a way to get some variety, but it soon became my favorite thing.
    And I loved how much better I felt, almost immediately. Once I started going to the gym, my libido kicked up several notches, I was sleeping better, I was more alert and energetic, my digestion was better, I was less likely to get depressed… all sorts of good things.
    For me, the key to sticking with the gym has been to only do things I have fun with. I think the cardio machines (treadmill, etc.) are boring, boring, boring, so I hardly ever do them — I mostly just do the weights. I may not be getting the optimal value according to the workout experts… but I’ve kept going, twice a week almost every week, for almost two years now.
    The other key to keeping it up has been that I go with Ingrid — it’s harder to blow it off when that means disappointing someone else. When one of us doesn’t feel like going, usually the other one does, and we have a pact that we’ll always try to talk each other into going. And when I’m not in the mood to go, I remind myself that no matter how blah I’ve felt before going to the gym, I’ve never once been sorry that I went.
    Getting an iPod also helped enormously.
    Sorry. Didn’t mean to proseletyze. I’ve just been really surprised, not at how much better going to the gym made me feel, but at how much of a pleasure it turned out to be. I wasn’t expecting that at all when I started — most of the stuff I’ve read about working out talks about how much you’ll enjoy the benefits, not the experience itself. There’s sort of an assumption that the experience itself sucks, and I haven’t found that to be true at all.

  4. 4

    Whoo-hoo, you go, Greta!!! Lately I have been getting a bit of an ego kick which I might otherwise be loathe to admit: A few times now I have gotten onto a machine in the “coed” gym (I go back and forth between there and the women’s gym) after a man, and raised the weight. What a surge of machismo. I guess this is one more reason I’m (arguably) not a true fem, I do get off on competing with men, even if indirectly, like this.

  5. 5

    Congratulations! I too am finding out this year how great it feels to achieve athletic goals… especially for those of us who didn’t start working out until we had some gray hair.
    Totally humiliating confession: I do my best running to Kelly Clarkson.

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