July 31, 2010
I did a few minutes of jump rope and stretching, but my calves felt tired. Plus I knew I was only warming up for… AN ERG! I had decided to do another erg on the last day of my 7-day trial membership at World Gym, and––old habits die hard––my mind was sweating it and my stomach was in tiny knots all Saturday before I got to the gym. The erg I did last week was a lark, but this latest challenge was intentional and, moreover, driven by a desire to beat my previous time (7'32"). I did about 500m of warmup strokes at about 26 strokes per minutes. And then I hit it. I felt more tired than on the previous erg but I was determined to "punch it in." My strokes dipped to about 28 per minutes around 1000–1200m but I got it back up and then 'sprinted' at about 33spm for the last 500m. My time? 7'10" raw (6'39" adjusted!). Booyashaka. So, I accomplished my goal, and then did about 500m of cooldown. The problem now is that I must try to defeat my new PR the next time I get on an erg… which, while a grim prospect, is not likely to happen anytime soon. Working out at World Gym is the only way I know of to use an erg in Taichung, though someday I'd love to invest in one for my "home."
After the erg, I did three sets of bench press, finding with some delight that I did 2 reps at 80kg (176lb), which means I'm not so totally far from my college strength as I had feared. The problem is that my "A" workout had me doing 36 reps over 4 sets, which drained anything I had for power on, among other things, the bench. My Ur-Workout, which I plan to commence tomorrow, will have me doing at most 24 reps over three sets, so I should be able to get more volume and power… and, thus, strength… in the coming weeks.
After the bench, I did 4 sets of cable pulldowns (30 reps or so at about 50kg) for abs and serrati anterior. I also did a little decline bench and grip training. Melted in the hot tub and showered up. Met a Ukrainian guy, too, so maybe I'll try to learn Russian for the next five months while he's still in Taiwan.
Oh, yeah… earlier in the day I saw Inception and while it is technically excellent, I admit I found it longwinded and rather tiring. Despite my highly abstract nature, "concept movies" leave me flat much of the time. (My Dinner with André, for example, was good… but not that good.) I will, however, see it again, since allegedly seeing it again, but with gnosis about what's really happening (!!!), will totally alter one's perception of the film, and, of course (cue rousing timpani!), of REALITY ITSELF!!! I heard and thought the same would be true of DiCaprio's previous "gnostic mindfuck flick", Shutter Island, but in fact I loved it on my first viewing and found it tiresome and transparent on a second viewing. Unfortunately, Inception doesn't have the advantage of a deeply satisfying first viewing, so I hope a second viewing will catch me by surprise. Maybe I should have a coffee before I see it. Or maybe I'm just having a typical inverted-snobbish allergic reaction to way too much hype. Or maybe I should take a zolpidem and fight the delirium during the film so, verily, it will be like living a dream within a dream. (Anyone remember the Bad Idea Jeans skit on SNL about 20 years ago?!)