I made a fool of myself at the gym today but really, it started before that when I said yes to testing a heart monitor. The hijinks began when I tried to strap the thing onto myself before leaving the house. I was told that I could just clip the monitoring device onto the cute little sports bra it came with. Now, I don’t want to say that my body has changed, or that I’ve expanded somehow, but I couldn’t even fasten it in the back like a traditional bra without gasping and grunting. There was so much groaning going on that Pancake scampered in to see if I was okay and then Himself came in to see if I was watching porn.
I threw the bra on the floor in disgust and just strapped the device around my chest, under the breasts on a strap that had thoughtfully been included in my bag of tricks. The other piece of the equipment was a watch that I could wear to track my heart rate as I exercised. Finally, I left the house, with my iPod touch and some reading glasses so I could track what the hell my heart rate was.
At the gym, I hopped on to the elliptical trainer and got started, next to a weekend warrior who was pumping the machine hard while he watched ESPN. As I began, the heart monitor on the machine began to climb, and soon the numbers were hitting 140. I wanted to look at the heart rate on my watch, but there was no way I could see those teeny numbers without my glasses. So I grabbed the glasses, which were looped onto the collar of my shirt, to see what my rate was. 126. Huh. Maybe it takes a minute or two to warm up, I thought. I took off my glasses, re-hooked them, and turned my attention to my Ipod to see what the current song was, but again I needed my glasses to read what the iPod was saying.
Then I hit a higher resistance on the elliptical, so I had to drop everything and start moving my legs harder. The number on the machine’s heart monitor went up. I grabbed my glasses (having previously re-hooked) to see what it said on my wristwatch. Still 126. The earbud then fell out of my left ear.
“JESUS!” I yelled, causing the WW next to me to look over in alarm. (I belong to a fancy gym and people don’t yell profanity.) I winked at him, gym-speak for “I’m sorry,” but then the other earbud fell out right in the middle of a Doris Day song. The machine’s heart monitor now read 200. I wondered if I was about to have a heart attack. Then I checked my wristwatch and it still said 126. I paused and began to press the buttons as hard as I could to get something to change. I scrolled through the time (an hour off), the date (wrong), my age (oh, yes, wrong) and then my weight (HORRIBLY wrong). But I couldn’t stop now and it still said 126.
Furious, I banged the watch against the handlebar. Boom! It began working and it soon matched the readout on the machine, holding steady now at 180. I was thrilled and raised my arms in excitement, but my victorious move caused my Ipod to slip from its precarious perch, ripping the earbuds out of my ears and landing between me and the WW.
I wanted to stop and get it, really I did, but I was so happy my heart-loving wristwatch was working correctly (even if it indicated that a cardiac event was imminent) that I was afraid to upset it. Yes, I was worred about disturbing a crappy piece of plastic with a display only a 14-year old could read.
So I pretended like nothing was happening (as did the WW, who looked straight ahead like there wasn’t a crazily panting middle-aged woman who seemed to be continually grabbing herself somewhere under her breasts while winking wildly.)
Mercifully, the workout ended with me sporting a heart-rate solidly in the middle 190s. It’s a medical miracle that I lived long enough to write this post.