Sunday, August 8, 2010

Arlington Update: Spinners

It wasn’t preparation for the cold and snowy winter that led me to fatten, though we did get two twenty-inch snowstorms. And it was only partly related to food, as I pounded Chipotle burritos and the like.

When I moved to Arlington in January, I struggled deciding how to obtain normal exercise. My condominium has a gym with substantial weight training equipment, but minimal cardio machines. There is also an inexpensive county gym down the street from me. And then there was the lure of buying a stationary bike for my apartment.

Despite my reticence to spend money, I couldn’t get by on anaerobic exercise alone. I developed complex mathematical equations that compared the costs and benefits of all the options. Conclusions: county gym: cheap, close, but a pointless membership for cardio alone. Stationary bike: expensive, several years the cost of one year at the local gym, prone to malfunction due to electrical components, pointless if I move to a residence that lacks weight training equipment as I would then have to join a gym, anyway.

I consulted my all-knowing former physical therapist and unofficial “personal advisor for everything,” Formula-6. He provided another option: spin bike: all of the same conclusions as a stationary bike, except it may last my lifetime. Very few moving parts, nothing electronic, smooth, quiet, fully-adjustable. Boom!

I visited various gyms pretending to be interested in joining, but really just wanted to test different spin bikes. I would begin my spiel with, “I’m in a rush, but I’m interested in joining a gym. Can I just look around for ten minutes?” By “look around” they think that means sit down with a salesman, and by “ten minutes” that means an hour.

Spinner NXT spin bikeBecause of my hip injury I need to sit fairly upright on the bike. I was looking for a spin bike with tall handlebars, and a seat that is in a vertical line with the pedals. All signs pointed to the top-of-the-line Spinner NXT. New price: $1,500. Refurbished: $750. I like new shit, but out of principle I couldn’t pay an equal amount for my spin bike as my 50” plasma 1080p HDTV with a 30,000:1 contrast ratio.

Spinner NXT spin bikeI customized my bike with a floor mat and a remote control holder (aka empty Coke Zero box). I placed it directly in line with my TV. I want an odometer to track my cumulative miles, which I suspect over the next decades will reach a high number as I use the bike most days. It is one of my best purchases.

My fat is shedding off as I strive, once again, to reach a body fat percentage in the single digits. Because of the convenience of my spin bike and gym, I am accomplishing my goal faster, and am also several pounds of muscle heavier. Unlike last year, I’m going to devise a plan to maintain my trimness instead of accepting the Chipotle-15 as unavoidable.

Rhetorical question: Would Lance Armstrong use his kitchen for a table or a spin bike?


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