Yesterday I finally decided to check out one of the gyms here at Fort Meade. I've known I had access to them since I started but never attempted to go. Why? Probably because I didn't know what to expect. Would it be a room filled with active soldiers doing their PT on free weights or would it be like your typical gym with a mix of everything? Since our winter deluge last week, roads and sidewalks have been covered with snow. I've made due around the house but here on post, most places haven't been cleared. Less than half of the parking areas are available and yesterday morning I had to trek myself through two feet thick snow cover for about 50 feet just to reach the building. My trail around the lake is still covered and probably will be until it naturally melts away. So I decided to head to the gym.
Gaining access was easy enough, walk in, show my Army ID and I'm in. I entered to find a large gym filled with probably 50 exercise bikes and 25-30 treadmills along with various free weights and weight machines. At the time I went, about 11:00 a.m. there were only around fifteen people using the gym. Not bad, it gave me the freedom to choose what and where to do it.
I picked a bike and hopped on. It was the sit down exercise bike type. I began to pedal, went through the instructions and selected a basic weight loss program for 30 minutes. It was supposed to have alternating easy and hard segments. I didn't notice a difference between the first two and tried to up the resistance. I pushed it as high as it would go and still it felt like a warm up. I was pedaling as fast as possible and couldn't make it any harder. I kept at it for the 30 mins and reviewed the workout. I rode over five miles worth, with an average heart rate of 33 and max of 34! What? Something must have been off. The only settings were program, time, weight, and age. Where O where did I go wrong? I decided to try another routine and chose a 10 minute hill workout. This time it worked correctly. Plenty of resistance and it really wore me out. Legs were like jello.
My first experience with the gym went well, barring a 30 minute ride at full speed going down hill pedaling the entire time. I don't think I'll be using that program again. But anyway, I really enjoyed the gym. Being around others helps motivate me to try harder. I didn't feel self-conscious like I thought, and the atmosphere wasn't intimidating. I plan to return today and hopefully integrate it into my exercise routine. The best news of all though.......... No damn gym fees!!!!!