This morning, I did a scary thing.
I went to a new gym. For the first time. All by myself.
Now if you’re an extroverted people person, going alone to a new place where you have to look foolish, sweat, and do excruciating things to your body may not even cause you to, er, break a sweat.
But for me? Little ol’ me? Shy, introverted me?
It was a wee bit scary.
However. Everything went fine. I didn’t break any machines or fall over in a faint after twenty minutes on the treadmill. (Which was set to minus 4 miles per hour, by the way.) Bet you didn’t know it was possible for a tread mill to go that slowly, did you? Hang around me and you’ll learn all sorts of important life lessons.
I wore my old and ratty work out clothes from when I used to go to the gym in Smithfield and you’ll never guess what has happened! Those togs have, um, shrunk just a little. Isn’t it amazing how an item of clothing can hang in your closet for a while and without anything at all being done to it, it can shrink? Hmmm. I think I might need to write a letter of complaint to the manufacturer.
After a year of breast cancer-fighting, a double mastectomy, follow up surgeries, and reconstruction topped by TWO months of happy Thanksgiving and Christmas eating, well, let’s just say that all my clothes seem to have shrunk. (Are we seeing a pattern here?)
I do want to mention one thing about exercising that may sound a little bit like whining—and maybe it is whining. Regardless, it would be be really easy for me to write off exercising altogether with the very valid-sounding excuse of, “Well, I can’t exercise. I have COPD.” (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.)
In fact, since going through three surgeries last year, my COPD seems to have gotten even worse. Earlier in the year, I was blowing 350 on a peak flow meter but in recent months, I can only blow 300. And guess what little happy fact I also found out? My lung function is way worse than a 75-year old woman, as evidenced by this chart. (I’m 67 inches tall and 48 years old.)
But I digress.
COPD can definitely be a downer when it comes to starting or maintaining an exercise program. Believe me I know. And believe me, I have whined about it once or twice. (Or possibly even thrice.)
But as it turns out? Whining is not considered to be a cardiovascular activity. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t done a whole lot for my lung capacity. And so it seems as though I will have to take my pitiful little ol’ lungs to the gym and work them as much as possible if I want to gain any cardiovascular benefit. While my lung damage cannot be reversed (at least that’s what my doctors tell me), it certainly can’t hurt to give them a little workout.
And so I am working! Workin’ my (feeble) lungs. Workin’ my (flappy) legs. Workin’ my (floppy) arms. Workin’ my (fluppy) behind. (Never heard of a fluppy behind? Believe me. They exist. I own one.)
I have also sworn off desserts for a few weeks which really and truly hurts my heart to even have to write those words. But hey. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And since (last time I looked) we don’t have $2,000 tucked away in our savings account earmarked, “Funds to purchase Becky an entire new wardrobe in an entire new size,” I guess I’d better take action--flappy, floppy, fluppy action. It ain’t gonna be pretty. Trust me on that.
So that’s my scary news of the day.
In other news, some of you who rejoiced (with exceeding great joy) with me when I got my new camera are probably wondering, “So is Becky taking any pictures already? Has she learned to get the new camera out of the point and shoot mode? Is she ever going to post any of her photographic works of art for us to behold and gaze uponst?”
Well, the answers to those questions would be yes, sort of, and yes (except they aren’t quite works of art).
I have gotten brave a time or two in recent days and have actually turned the little dial to something other than “auto.” And that was very exciting! Plus, I have spent at least half a dozen hours poring over the “Nikon D5000 for Dummies” book that my wondrously thoughtful son gave me for Christmas.
As my brain has pondered all the mysterious information about aperture, shutter speed, focal length and f-stops, I have come to a very scary conclusion. I have come to the conclusion that photography is a lot about math! (And you all know how much I adore math!)
As a case in point, here is a brief description of f-stops from Wikipedia:
The f-number (sometimes called focal ratio, f-ratio, f-stop, or relative aperture) expresses the diameter of the entrance pupil in terms of the focal length of the lens; in simpler terms, the f-number is the focal length divided by the "effective" aperture diameter. It is a dimensionless number that is a quantitative measure of lens speed, an important concept in photography.
You know what I really, really love about that paragraph? I love the fact that the line that starts out with “in simpler terms,” finishes by including the words, “focal length divided by the effected aperture diameter.”
They’re kidding right? Surely someone made a mistake along the way and what they really meant to write was, “In more complicated terms.”
And then to make matters even worse, my photography book has the nerve to throw around stuff like “f/1.4 and F/2 and f/5.6.” Then it goes on to tell me that all those scary numbers are somehow related to each other and have a huge impact on how my pictures will turn out.
Does this not look like math to you?
However. I am happy to report that despite all the scary, number-related reading I have done, my thick little brain is starting to make a little sense of it. I am thoroughly enjoying the process of learning and especially the feeling I get when all of a sudden something that has hitherto been murky, suddenly makes sense.
It’s a hallelujah moment, believe me.
At any rate, here are a couple pictures I took yesterday. I can’t really say that I knew what I was doing, but I did have enormous fun doing it. (Whatever it was.)
Let me just close by saying that if your day holds anything scary, I hope that you will just think fondly of me and my scary gym and my scary photography books and be greatly inspired.
Or if not greatly inspired, at least mildly entertained.
(Hey, we have to take what we can get.)