Looking at pictures

Last night I read an issue of Muscle Media , the October 2002 issue and in particular the article “Peak Performance Nutrition”. What really got me was the picture of the woman though…

There are three more pictures of her in the magazine and what gets me is the tightness of her body. This won me over. Now, remembering my earlier comment that romanticism is a moral answer for immoral thoughts, I state that my thoughts were not of base sexual desire… though she is indeed VERY attractive. No, her body seems to mirror a state of mind and the totality of the package, her body and what must be a disciplined and driven mind are too enticing to me. This is not to say that a person without such a body has no disciplined mind, not at all, nor are athletes inclined to be mentally sharp and successful. But the thing about Body for Life and the spirit of the magazine Muscle Media is both mind and body. While it is true that the majority of articles deal with exercise and fitness… the physical fitness is but the path to the greater goal of total fitness of self. Body for Life is easily integrated with 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

As I looked over the magazine and realized that I’ve done pretty good lately in making my workouts, I also realized what sort of person I was looking at in the picture (quite seperate from the actual person in the magazine)… I was projecting a sort of person I wanted to become as well as the sort of person that I wanted to find and to love. And this is a curious thread here. I want a certain type of person and somewhere inside I’ve got an odd mixture of holding out for that person, and also realizing how far I’ve got to go to be that person that I can be happy with and that the sort of person I am looking for can be happy with (that sounded confusing… call the editor over for review). Regardless, I imagined an imaginary woman… a projection of my desires and dreams represented by the gorgeous woman on the page… physically fit, mirroring her mental fitness, and compassion. She is not a chaotic storm of emotion but her emotions run deep. Then I went to bed.

I started to get up at normal time, 06:00 am, but decided to sleep a bit longer, till 08:00. I got up and made it to the gym for my cardio workout and was going full steam by 08:30. It was a beautiful morning, the Willamette Valley is filled with fog and the soft greyness only heightenes the softness of the now turning leaves on some of the trees. I simply had to stop for a moment to admire the tranquil beauty of the fog shrouded butte near the river.

In the gym I grabbed the reserve list for the machines. The sign-in times start at 08:00 and I chose the 08:30 spot for a machine and signed “Eddie” on it. In a large blank space near the bottom of the page I simply wrote annonymously “be your best self today” and went to the machine. I entered in 180 lbs (I weigh in at 182 with t-shirt, shorts, and nikes on) and picked the 30 minute workout for alternating peaks on it with two minute intervals. Two minutes of easier mid level incline with a resistance of 5 (1/4 height) and a pace of about 160 steps per minute, followed by two minutes of full incline with a resistance of 20 (all the way up on the display) with steps per minute of around 205. A 30 minute workout has about 8 easy parts and 7 hard parts.

About 1/3 of the way through my workout a gorgeous brunette took the machine next to me on my right and started running at about a pace of 150 with mid levels. I never really looked at her, I could see well enough out of the corner of my eye that she was definitely my type. But I focused on my workout. I wasn’t here to try and pick up every pretty girl I saw, I was here to “be my best self” and so I focused on some spot in space ahead of me. Soon, Van Halen’s “Dreams” came over my headphones and I pushed myself faster on the intense portion of the workout with a smile on my face.

About 1/2 of the way through an attractive sandy blonde took the machine to the left of me and started going at it at about 170 steps per minute. Her routine was an alternating hill routine and while I wasn’t obvious about my looking at her progress, I could tell she was checking out my progress every now and then (my machine has a better angle to allow for such observation). It was sorta nice to workout beside her because it pushed me to move faster. Call it showing off, competition, whatever… I pushed myself faster.

I didn’t hit on the girls… I wouldn’t know how to really. I didn’t even look at them. But I noted the time…. 8:30 – 9:00. Mental note to self… good time to do cardio workouts. HA! How can one find anyone unless you admit that you are attracted to someone? But how can you show your attraction to someone without seeming that you are just a horndog? I can only guess that to continue to show up at workouts and coffee shops and either some spark of chemistry between someone and myself, or gradually getting to know someone (people most often develop relationships with co-workers… a good argument to consider seriously your line of work when thinking about Miss or Mr Right).

When it was all done I wiped down the machine as I was now dripping with sweat and my legs felt… used. Not tired, not tight, not achy… just… used. I did notice my left knee feeling somewhat out of socket (a sensation of the patella) and I note this as historical from past runs in the marines. Now I am home, enjoying a cup of coffee. My cats are watching with interest the painters outside the window, I am listening to Mythos’ new CD, their third release, and I’m going to type up a resume and cover letter and go to Kinkos to print them out. Then it is off to the temp and a couple bars. Same plan for tonight as well.

I am happy, and thus far I am my best self today.

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