Branching Out

Only 324 Days Until Dragon*Con 2013!!!

I have probably said this before, but walking onto the workout floor of the JFZ is a bit like stepping into Jurassic Park.

There are all these strange contraptions rising from the floor with multiple heads, necks craning and looping towards the ceiling, and seem to be arranged in some way that is, as yet, still extremely foreign to me as a wildebeest. It’s like I just stepped into the end of a Lovecraft story. The part where Cthulhu rises from his home in R’lyeh and is about to swallow the whole world, starting with the JFZ. It’s as though some ancient, mystical cult has called forth these machines from the very bosom of Hell. Leviathan himself is reaching up and curling his tentacles into hammer strength pulleys and levers.

In other words, the machines on the JFZ workout floor are as unknown and esoteric to me as Dragon*Con would be to 99.9% of the other people there.

As you well know, but to refresh any newcomers (I seriously doubt there are any, as I have somehow lost a lot of my readership over the past 6 months or so), historically I have only worked out on 3 machines, which I refer to as the Trilogy of Terror, or ToT (a reference to the moviefilm, obviously).

1. push up simulator. This works out your chesticles. While the hardbodies are hitting the free weights and bench thing, I’m on a machine next to a grandma, sitting down.

2. getting something heavy down from the closet. simulation machine. I don’t know what lats are, but this apparently works the shit out of ’em. Back and shoulders. Like getting something heavy down from the top shelf of the closet.

3. row machine simulator. This simulates rowing a boat. I know it hits my biceps. Probably some other ones, too. This is what you want to get on if you want to be able to “make a muscle”.

I also do the elliptical, which I refer to as the Whirly Bird, and am convinced that it is a total jerk. Not Cthulhu-level bad guy (I don’t think Cthulhu is really a bad guy either, but that’s another story), just a normal, everyday sort of jerkiness. Like the patronizing asshole at the party who thinks he is subtly janking on you and that you’re too stupid to realize that he’s fucking with you. That kind of asshole, slyly smiling at everyone behind your back.

I hate the fucking Whirly Bird. And it must be taught a lesson. By fitnessing on it for small stretches of time each day. That will show it.

Keeping in mind that I view the workout machines with the amount of trepidation that can only come with facing down an ancient god, today I approached a new machine. That is right, one that I have never used before.

Why now? After nearly a year of working these 3 weight machines almost exclusively? One reason is that my boobs are sore from yesterday’s workout, so the push up simulator was out for today.

It was also mysteriously empty in the gym today. I put this down to the fact that normal people work normal hours, and since I showed up during these normal hours, it was just me, a few retirees, and a couple teenage rednecks who were probably skipping school to go to the gym in their camo and lift and practice their own brand of budding misogyny.

What was this new machine?

Here’s a clue: it looked like something you might sit on right before you got your anus probed.

Still no clue?

It was an “abdominals”.

A sit up simulator. You sit at a crazy angle, like you are on a roller coaster that just crested the first hill, and hold onto these handles and then lean forward, keeping your arms straight.

Clearly the old-fashioned sit up just don’t cut it anymore.

I tried to find a picture of it online, but couldn’t, so here is an artist’s interpretation:

“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

As you can see, first you must try not to be sucked into the depths of the abyss. Then, you sit at a wonky angle (this abdominals is empty currently), put your feet on a footrest that is angled up toward you, grip the handles, and lean forward… straight into the yawning maw of Cthulhu.

Well, I added that last part for dramatic effect.

Anyway, it is not fun at all. Unless you imagine that by doing the abdominals you are outwitting a demigod and surviving for yet another day.

I will say this: you can probably abdominal more weight than you think you can. I got on it thinking, “I haven’t done any sit-ups for at least a week. I should probably put this thing on like 50 pounds.”

Anticipating it to be much harder and heavier than it was, I dove headfirst towards the floor, nearly toppling over into the ocean depicted above. My gangly ass does not need to topple anywhere, at any time. Sprawled out between the abdominals and the gym floor like a pelican suddenly caught by a fisherman, I would face one of my 3 greatest fears at the gym: falling down and looking like more of a Crocodile Dundee than I already am.

The abdominals machine was fine, though, in the end. I’m glad I did something different, and had the courage to try a new lever and pulley machine, as I think it will help me in the long run toward my goal of being MK1 Raiden at Dragon*Con 2013.

Branching Out. I got the Touch.

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One Response to Branching Out

  1. JC says:

    Good on you, dood. Very pleased to read that you’re already thinking forward.

    Also good move experimenting some. As the wise ones noted; if we do what we’ve always done, we’re going to get what we’ve always gotten.

    That being said, send me your address again? I’ve got some literature I need to send your way.

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