Monday, June 18, 2012

What I'll Look Like Next Week

THE KIND OF SHAPE I WAS IN. OYSTER BAY, LONG ISLAND, 1960.
(THERE'S ANOTHER MUSCLE SHOT AT THE END OF THIS POST.)

I was walking home the other day and made a tremendous discovery. A new gym has opened about 2 minutes away from our house, right on Calle Baños. It's a simple place (no sauna, no pool, no classes, just one big room filled with brand-new equipment and free weights. And it's affordable — i.e., cheap! So that's my birthday present to myself. The other neighborhood gym is nice. It's much bigger, offers classes, and has lots more equipment. But it doesn't have one square-inch of free space. I hit my elbows on other equipment and other gym members when I try to work out. Just a bit too claustrophobic for me. I'm hoping to make it through the night without injury (no falling out of bed — my leg is finally healed enough that I can bend down without whining), so I can start working out there tomorrow. I used to work out religiously and loved every minute of it. I've been lax since arriving in Sevilla. I'm really excited to get back into a much more regular routine.

AFTER MY FIRST WEEK AT THE NEW GYM, I'LL SHAVE ALL MY HAIR AND
YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO TELL ME FROM THE GUY IN FRONT (EXCEPT THAT I'M TALLER).

There are plenty of opportunities for exercise here in Sevilla. Great running and bicycling trails, an excellent public bike rental system, and of course constant opportunities to walk through beautiful parks and streets. I've been taking regular walks along the river and continue to find more and more of interest. Natural beauty and public gardens, along with museums and cultural centers. There are also several kayaking clubs that encourage people of all shapes and sizes to hit the river. Jerry would love that (and has done it in the past). I'm too afraid of flipping the boat.

MORE FEARLESS FLYERS...

... AND FLAPPERS.

On one of my walks across the river to the Island of Cartuja, I stumbled upon the Gardens of the America's. Built for Expo '92, it includes a contemporary building containing plants from the Americas; behind it along the river are beautiful gardens containing more of the same. Due to a lack of funds and poor management, the gardens were abandoned shortly after the exposition, leaving much of it to die or become forlorn, and bridges and walkways to rot and collapse. In 2007, a new managing foundation was formed and, five years later, the gardens and structures are in great shape.

FROM THE BRIDGE.
THE BUILDING OF THE GARDENS OF THE AMERICAS (LEFT). GARDENS (RIGHT).

THE BIKE AND FOOTPATH RUNNING ALONGSIDE THE GARDENS, WHICH PARALLEL THE RIVER.

A BOTANICAL MOSAIC UNDER THE BRIDGE.




IF  I DON'T END UP LOOKING AT LEAST AS GOOD AS THE GUY IN THE FIRST KAYAK,
I WON'T SHAVE AND I'LL PLAY HERE. NO CHANCE OF FLIPPING THE BOAT.
(SAN GERALDO THINKS I LOOK BETTER NOW. HE'S A KEEPER.)

THE KIND OF SHAPE I WAS REALLY IN BACK IN 1960.

29 comments:

  1. Mentally you could look like that in an hour, I just hope it won't happen for a long long time. Just be happy with what you've got, a great mind, wit, the love of your life to support you, and friends who do the same.

    Don't change too much Mr. Schwarzenegger!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter:
      Not a chance of me changing into Arnold in any way. It's not in my genes nor is it in my morality. Blech! I just like to stay fit! I'm very happy with what I've got.

      Delete
  2. I walked into a gym once. It was right next door to SpecSavers. They were awfully nice, no-one laughed until after I'd gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Owl Wood:
      In California, many gyms have great juice bars where you can have 1800-calorie smoothies after your workout or even instead of your workout. I'll bet the UK has those, too. You might want to try again.

      Delete
  3. Hello Mitch:
    No, we do not do water or gyms. Indeed, we have never entered a gym in our lives although we have paddled in the sea so we assume that does count as being in the water!

    Even with the wonderfully appointed gym which you are so fortunate to have nearby,we could not be persuaded to join. Would we be right in guessing that J would join us in the local café whilst waiting for your 'session with the weights' to finish?

    However, the gardens are wonderful and we should love to stroll around them at a leisurely pace. Is this equivalent to going to the gym?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J&L:
      Paddling in the sea definitely counts! Jerry mentioned he might join the gym, too, but if he had the choice between going with me to the gym or meeting you at the café, it's no contest.

      Strolling at any pace is still a good thing to do. Obviously it's worked for you so far.

      Delete
  4. Did you find the Fountain of Youth?

    Damn! Even European gyms look better than American ones! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writer:
      Well, the Plaza of Ponce de Leon is just a few minutes away, but there's no fountain. I'll keep looking.

      The two gyms I mentioned really don't compare to the plush gyms I've been to in the states. There is, however, a very high-end gym here in town. Fortunately, it's about a 25-minute walk from here, so not practical. I say "fortunately" because membership is more than five times what I'll pay down the street. I'll bring my own towel, thank you!

      Delete
  5. Gym?
    Is that Spanish for Jim?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob:
      Hmmm... I don't know. Do you like to visit "Jim" daily for a workout?

      Delete
  6. Awww, you were such a cute little fella!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      I was, wasn't I? But weren't we all?

      Delete
  7. Happy Birthday a day late! You could be like my friend and celebrate all week. I love your Spanish lessons... kind of like my errors when I tell someone "good god" instead of "good day".... and we won't even discuss what I say when I mean "years"..... Anyway... have a great year!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Odd Essay:
      Thanks so much. I wonder if your friend knows Jerry. He believes one (well he at least) should celebrate one's birthday the entire month.

      Delete
  8. What a cutie! I hear you Mitch! Once you get back into 'lifting' your body/muscles will remember and before you know it you will be back to where you were before Sevilla.
    I had stopped daily yoga about 3 years ago. I started up 3 months ago and haven't looked back. As will you!
    Those gardens look like paradise....hell, Sevilla is paradise!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      I agree with you about muscle memory and sure look forward to that feeling. Sevilla is truly a wonderful place, but I suppose I should be honest and show some pictures of the seamy side. I'm sure I've never seen the saddest parts, but there are homeless, and demonstrations, and a small tent-city across from the Royal Palace to protest cutbacks, and beggars. We are fortunate to live a paradise-like life here, but not everyone does.

      Delete
  9. Exercise is the answer to pretty much everything and this is the best gift you can give yourself. You'll be anew man...I just know it...don't forget to take a pic of you in the kayak!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron:
      When I'm in the kayak, I won't be able to get a picture of myself. So, I'll take a picture of the water and you'll just have to trust me.

      Delete
  10. I started a walking routine a few months ago and then slacked off. I find it easier getting fatter, sadly.
    Good luck to you!
    m.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark:
      I'm kind of an exercise fiend. So, getting back into it consistently after doing a half-assed job for a year will be wonderful. I don't get fatter; I get un-toned and scrawnier!

      Delete
  11. Wow, when I first glanced at the top photo, I thought I was looking at young Chucky!

    You're right about the exercise; have been sick with a bad sinus infection, so I haven't worked out - and I really feel it. Trying to go back tomorrow - we'll see!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole:
      I'll post an old photo of Chucky soon. We really didn't look very much alike when we were little.

      Hope you're all better today!

      Delete
  12. I wish you good luck with the exercise. Don't poop out after a week!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ur-spo:
      Wow. Love that illlustrator! I was a certified personal trainer in a former life. I love to exercise and definitely won't poop out in a week. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Spo:
      AND... I forgot to mention how great the video itself is. Thank!

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. Judith:
      Thanks! I'm heading over shortly!

      Delete
  14. Hey there, Mitchell! For some reason, I can´t respond when you respond to my comments! That´s awesome about your retirement visa! I wish that could be my case... We´ll see how it all works out! And yes! Even in the same extranjería office you can have really different experiences. The other day, here in Madrid, a really mean woman attended me and then right after speaking with her, a really ncie woman answered some questions! At least it ended all right.

    Happy late birthday also! Great pictures in this post too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brittany: I can't figure out how blogspot will respond from one day to the next (but it's still an amazing service and I'm grateful for it). I'm glad your visit ended with nice woman and not mean woman. You can read about our very first visit to the office here: http://mitchellismoving.blogspot.com.es/2011/08/close-encounters-of-first-kind.html. Looking forward to sharing stories over coffee in Sevilla some day!

      Delete

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