Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Off the couch and back to the gym

After 10 days or so of working out hard for 60-plus minutes every single day, I was absent from the gym for five days.

And I know just who to blame. I lay the responsibility firmly at the size 14 feet of Michael Phelps.

Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Usain Bolt, Misty May-Treanor and Kerrie Walsh have a lot to answer for, too. And don’t forget Bob Costas and Bella Coroli.

Like millions of other Americans, I have plunked down on the couch every night at about 7:30 p.m. and remained there until sometimes 1:30 a.m., watching the Olympics.

These incredible athletes from all over world have sacrificed their lives to their sports, practicing for hours a day, learning to do impossible things. They are in perfect physical condition.

Their Herculean efforts have turned the rest of us into couch potatoes. Ironic, don’t you think?

Of course, it hasn’t been a total loss. At least one of the couch potatoes at our house is getting exercise at any given time during the Olympic coverage. We don’t have cable, so someone has to stand with the rabbit ears, holding them aloft in the most unlikely positions, so we can get a signal. My 11-year-old is the gold medalist for TV reception. If she stands on one foot, with her right hand holding the antenna and her left arm out the window, we can make out the athletes between the static.

And even though I am bleary-eyed most mornings, I have rediscovered my incentive to hit Fauquier Health’s LIFE Center before work: The fitness center has cable, and nice big screens to watch while you’re working out.

This morning I watched the best-in-the-world Brazil volleyball team beat Japan in a semi-final match and saw Australia’s softball team eek out a victory over Japan. Both winning teams will play American teams in the finals.

It’s great, isn’t it? Gives me a reason to show up at the gym tomorrow.

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