One of the things I love about my day is getting up at 5am, eating some oatmeal, and heading to the gym to work out before showing up early to the office.
I’m sorry. What I meat to say, was one of the things I love is to not do any of those things and think about how I’m going to start doing them tomorrow.
Unfortunately, when Henry Delany of Energy Fitness and Wellness gets his teeth in you, that’s not really an option anymore. Worse, when he becomes your Facebook friend, he’ll call you out publicly, and male pride being what it is, you’ll predictably march your sleep-deprived self to him and his knowing Cheshire cat grin each morning.
While traipsing down the dock behind the China Harbor building would usually be reserved for wiseguys carrying unconscious seaward “passengers”, every morning bleary-eyed people in gym shorts and running shoes walk through the pallid pre-dawn mist and into a glowing morning land of enthusiastic encouragement, sadistic workout devices, and a soundtrack that reminds them that they are indeed sexy, and they know it (because if you didn’t know–they work out). Wiggle, wiggle.
New to the pre-office workout scene, I am consistently amazed at the plethora of techniques that exist to make one’s muscles scream and legs wobble. Simple items–ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls–become instruments of torture that would raise the eyebrows of Marquis de Sade. Every new exercise starts with fleeting optimism; a few reps and I’m convinced that my usual scant morning pushups have prepared me for this and that I’ll breeze through and earn all-star status. Then, usually around the 5th rep, a muscle that wasn’t even invited to this isolation party explodes with the fire of exertion and a growing knot of lactic acid buildup and whole sections of body just–give out. With no warning. One second you’re on the sixth rep of elevated-arm medicine ball pushups and suddenly you’re collapsed over it like a soldier diving on a grenade.
Water breaks are inter mitten and precious; long enough to catch breath, short enough to not start thinking about the dozing Seattlites across the lake rousing for morning coffee and leisurely commutes to work. Workouts get measured in these breaks; 2-3 deep and you’re close to done.
Stretching is probably the least painful activity taking place on the rubber-matted floor, which might be why it’s one of my favorites. Catching breath is nice, but the decrease in soreness it facilitates helps one to get up the next morning. IT band issues have also plagued me the past few months, forcing me to shy away from workouts, which I approach with newborn-giraffe stability. Since I started working out, I haven’t even thought about my knee.
Everyone knows the best part of working out is being done, but what makes it even better is knowing that when you walk out onto the boardwalk and into the day that your physical committment has been met while the city is just waking up. It’s a good feeling, and it’s the one that keeps me coming back. That and the fear of the Facebook mockery if I don’t.
Want to be sexy and know it? Contact Henry and set up an appointment for him to whip you into shape. You’ll have fun doing it. I pretend they’re tears of laughter streaming down my face at squat time. Email: INFO@TRAININGINSEATTLE.COM, Twitter: @HenryDelaney, Phone: 206.234.8055