Monday, February 06, 2006

Let's get physical!

Last time I posted, I said it was a nice, sunny day and I went for a walk. Boy, that's sure changed. Friday night the temperature plummeted. Usually it's rather mild here, though even 7 or 8 degrees above freezing isn't so pleasant when you're cycling and walking everywhere. It dropped down to just above freezing, and then Saturday it decided to snow. It didn't stick, which was the problem. It melted on the still-warm pavement and then froze that night. So everyone had problems walking/cycling around. A couple people I know had wrecks, and I actually peeled out trying to start on my bike. It's tough, especially after a couple drinks in town.

Sunday was sunnier during the day, but in the shadows the ice still stuck around. Last week I joined the gym that my roommate Tracey goes to. Saturday evening I went for my orientation. The guy there was nice enough, and tried his best to speak English, though I understood him better in Japanese. He showed me how to use the weight machines, which I'll probably never use, then showed me the super-high-tech (c'mon, it's Japan!) treadmills, complete with personal TVs and all sorts of cool functions. Then he had me take off my shoes and socks and stand on these two metal plates in the shape of footprints. I picked up two handles with metal contacts and he pushed a button. After putting in my height, this computer weighed me and told me my body mass index, my percentage body fat, my water content, what parts of my body needed work (my torso and legs are ok, but I have no upper body strength), and finally it told me that my left side and right side are both equal. In other words, both of my arms are in the same physical condition. I always thought I favored my right arm.

So that was pretty cool. But I can't just wander in any old time and work out. The gym, just like all of Japan, is obsessed with shoes. You cannot wear shoes into the changing room. You walk into the lobby in street shoes. You go to the changing room and remove your shoes, putting them in a shoe locker. Go change and come back, putting on the gym shoes you've been carrying around with you. These shoes can be used only in the gym. Do NOT wear them outside. If so, you will contaminate everything. I repeat, do not wear your shoes outside. You can wear them across the lobby, where everyone walks in their street shoes anyways, then up the stairs and you're at the machine room and studio.

I had my first workout class Sunday afternoon. Tracey convinced me to go to these three 30-minute body combat classes. There's a lot of punching and kicking at air to a house beat, but it was fun and a good workout. My roommate was able to go because she just switched her days off to Sunday & Monday, so we went together. Before that, she started cleaning the apartment, which guilted me into doing the same. I cleaned & vacuumed my room, which must've kicked up some dust because Monday I had terrible allergies.

Today (Monday) I'm lucky I'm just evaluating student speeches at work, because my nose must've thought it was in a marathon. I finally got some medicine after work that stopped it running, but it's still hard to breathe. Add on top of that that a private lesson I was supposed to demo for didn't show up, no phone call, no nothing. 35 minutes of standing at the train station in the cold, feeling miserable, didn't help me. But going home and a nice, hot bath did. I'm so relaxed, I'm off to bed now.


Anonymous said...

The thought of you and Tracey boxercizing together stirs our loins! Speaking of boxing, are you going to become famous for your boxing clips? We are homesick for Japan and want to go to a convini and get some cheap beer, nikuman and plastic toys!!!!!
ja mata
ana & damien

Jeremy said...

Hah! I've been to a conbini, gotten nikuman, and have plenty of cheap, plastic toys.

Well, not really. Mostly I sit at home and pine for your company. *sniff*