249. Bro, Do You Even Lift?

I have been going to the gym a couple of times now.

(3, to be exact)

Backstory: a couple of years ago, my mom decided that the property business was a pretty good place to venture into with all the money she’d saved as a schoolteacher over the years, 2008 Financial Crisis notwithstanding. There were plans for a condominium development westwards of my housing area, right along the main road, and she thought that it was as good an investment opportunity as any. So she talked to the developers, heard about their plan, and got in on it.

Late last year, the construction was complete, and furnishing works began all over the place. The unit that my mom now owns has a few lights installed, but is otherwise bare. I’m not even sure if the bathroom works, but there’s definitely no hot water to speak of.

Since the keys have already been passed to the unit owners, my mom is now a legal tenant of the condominium – with access to all its amenities. On the 5th floor, there is a blank hall, a couple of multipurpose rooms, a playground, a swimming pool, and a gym.

I’ve never been much of a gym guy. Because I’ve always loved the great outdoors, the feel of the wind against my skin, the smell of mud and leaves in the air, the crunch of gravel beneath my foot… But mostly because I’m too broke to sign up for a gym membership.

(all the major segments in my life so far can be identified according to the things I was too broke for at that time)

So when the condominium was completed, and we the family got access to all of its facilities by extension, there was no reason to pass up on the free gym. Besides, I was growing fat from all the sitting down I was doing at work, and my thighs are always rubbing obscenely against each other when I walk.

I mean, get a room, you thighs.

(I live by this motto: cheap things no good, good things no cheap… But free things are always, always good)

My original intention was just to work the treadmill. But then my eyes caught the lifting machines, and I thought, eh, why not? I do push-ups all the time. This is no biggie.

It turns out that the absolute maximum I can lift, with all the strength of my pectorals, triceps, and biceps combined, is 40 kilograms. I’ve always wondered why people grunt when they lift, and now I understand.

Over the past 3 times I’ve been to the gym, I’ve had to rest my aching body for 3-4 days after each time. That’s just how out of shape I am. The maximum time I’ve clocked in on the treadmill so far is 15 minutes, but that’s walking at the average brisk speed of 3.5kmph.

(arguably, I have never been in shape)

Despite the burning pain all over my body, I have never felt more alive. You’ll think they’re joking when they say you feel more energetic after a workout. They’re lying, of course, but that only applies for the first 3 post-workout hours. To feel lousy for 3 hours to feel great for all the remaining hours in a day, though, I think that’s a pretty good trade.

When I wake up in the morning, I expect to be sore all over. Heck, I might even stumble my way down the stairs because I have no energy left in my legs.

But it’ll only be a matter of days before the sore goes away, and I find myself back in the gym.

(besides, it’s free!)


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