I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before, but for the past couple of months, I’ve been going to a gym pretty regularly. I’ve made several attemps to go to a gym regularly in the past. Since I’ve never really enjoyed going to a gym, these stints haven’t been too long 1. I’ve always preferred going outside and playing sports. In junior school this meant cricket in coaching camps (I’m told I was a pretty decent fast bowler at the time) during the summer and on weekends. In high school this used to usually mean soccer during lunch breaks and after school. I’m absolutely horrible at soccer, but that has never stopped me from having a blast playing it.

Unfortunately playing sports needs you to get a lot of people to show up at a given place and time, and that almost never seems to happen anymore. As a result, I started road biking around a year ago. The South Bay offers some amazing biking opportunities. Road biking has been a major part of my weight loss/don’t be a slob effort, and I don’t want to give it up. But, I have to face reality and accept that Bangalore simply doesn’t make it as easy to be a road biker. Instead of going back to being a slob, I chose to go join a gym. I also got a personal trainer to help keep me motivated (and teach me what to do). I’ve been at it for a couple of months now, and I’ve slowly grown to enjoy my visits to the gym. It’s much harder to measure progress 2, but I do feel a bit stronger even though I haven’t really lost much weight (this is almost certainly because I’ve been eating really badly). I’m really hoping that I stick with it for a while this time (my goal is to keep at it for at least a year).

Anyhoo, I’ve always held the opinion that the best part of a workout is the shower that follows 3. The second best part however, is the soda that follows the shower every once in a while. There’s nothing quite like filling up a glass with ice, pouring in some Diet Coke, sitting in my chair, looking out of the balcony and sipping on an ice cold soda. I’m very grateful to be able to live a life as privileged and comfortable as this.

  1. The longest stretch (3 months) was when I was interning at EA. There was really nothing else to do in Tiburon, and the gym right across the office/hotel was the best gym I’ve ever seen (I believe the Magic trained there occasionally). I don’t know if this really counts though, because I never lifted weights, or did any cardio. I only went there to “play” (being 170cm short, slow, and unable to dribble or shoot means all you can do is jog around and try to be a mild annoyance to someone) basketball, and racquetball (which I’m not terrible at). The second longest stretch was 2 months, during my senior year in Michigan. Again, the primary reason I went to the NCRB was to play squash with my roommate and friends. I just happened to do a bit of cardio for warmup and some weight lifting while I was waiting my turn to play. 

  2. This is one of my favorite parts about biking. It’s really easy to measure progress with tools like Strava. I always have data to show me how much better or worse I’ve gotten every time I go on a ride. Being a data driven person, this is my biggest motivator. 

  3. I also hold the view that working out is almost always an excellent idea before the workout, the worst idea ever during a workout, and usually a great idea after the workout (except when the work out leaves me really sore and in pain). There are a few exceptions to this (biking up 9 to Skyline, for instance), but that’s usually because of the views, or something like that.