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OK, so I promised that I would report on last night’s workout — specifically focusing on my 10 goals for the evening. Overall, my goal-oriented approach took time away from stuff I would normally do (I so missed brutalizing myself on that lat pull-down machine….), but it also cajoled me into other arguably constructive — and slightly irritating — activities.

Anyway, as promised, here’s my report:

1. Avoid sudden — or even gradual — cardiac arrest.
So far, so good.

2. Wipe the sweat off my face without knocking the glasses off my nose.
Mission accomplished, though I nearly tumbled off the elliptical thingy in the process.

3. “Run” for awhile on that elliptical thingy without holding onto the handles (or falling off). See if I can get my heart rate into the mid-120s. Or not.
See #2. I did manage to spend a few minutes on a couple of occasions “running” with my hands free, but it’s quite disorienting. (The “poles” you’re supposed to be holding could actually present a bonking hazard if you were to lean forward too far and just a bit to the right or left — does that sound improbable? Not to me.) Average heart rate for the 30-minute session: 111; top heart rate: 126.

4. Take time to stretch after “running” on that elliptical thingy. Try not to look like a dork, but also don’t pretend that I know anything about stretching.
Mixed results here. I found one of the little rubber stretching mats unoccupied and did my favorite “sit up with the soles of your feet together to loosen your hammies or something” stretch for awhile, before folding one leg to my side and extending the other (repeated with other leg). To my credit, I did not try to touch my toes, but I was exerting way too much energy, given that I could barely reach past my knee. On the debit side, I was seated 3 feet from a floor-to-ceiling mirror, which resoundingly confirmed my dork status.

5. Work my abs for once. Jeeze.
My fitness guru, SW, tells me that I need to work my lower back in order to strengthen my abs, so I climbed onto this back-extender machine to see what would happen. I did three series of 10 reps with 50 pounds and I was delighted to notice that my abs felt great! My lower back, on the other hand, seemed to be tightening up.

6. Resist the temptation to roll up my sleeves to expose my rippling biceps while I’m doing curls (ha ha ha ha ha. . . .).
They really shouldn’t have mirrors in the gym.

7. Abs. Really. I mean it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. . . . I did three series of 15 reps each on the ab-cruncher machine and noticed that, toward the end, my lower back was barking at me.

8. Fail. As in lifting to failure — at least some of the time. OK, twice. . . . Once? No, do it twice. . . . Because I said so. . . . Shut up.
I shall not fail! Failure is not an option! Failure is for failures! And I barely eluded failure on my third series of 10 reps with 100 lbs. on the push-the-bar-straight-up-from-a-sitting-position machine. The last three of those reps were excruciating, so I kind of short-armed them. Success!

9. Work those #@$%&*#@$ abs, you sniveling maggot!
I did three series of 10 reps on the swiveling-chair machine with, I think, 45 lbs. This is the one where you put your arms in these arm-holders and swivel first to your right (30 times) and then to your left (30 times). That’s 60 times, OK?

10. Maintain a positive frame of mind.
Not a problem.

So, there you are — 10 goals pretty much achieved, depending upon your particular point of view (succeeding at failure, for instance, is not as successful as failing to fail, as I did in #8). And, while this may prove that even a goal-less fitness regimen needs some goals in order to avoid certain failure, failing to set goals could, in fact, lead to success, in that nothing succeeds like a successful failure.
I hope we’re all clear on this now.

Thoughts to share?

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