Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Strange Sight

For my university soccer team, we have summer workouts to do so that during pre-camp we don't die. No, I'm not exaggerating. Today, was day one. Each day we have something different. Sometimes it is longer runs, sometimes it is sprints, some days are just straight soccer skills, a couple times a week we lift weights...  you get the idea.
If I was at home, I would do these workouts at the local track, gym, and fields. Well, I have yet to find an open field and the roads generally are not flat and safe. You can get one or the other. So I have joined the local YMCA. Now this is no ordinary Y. It is a castle! I'll have to take a picture of it. It is amazing.
Today's workout was running two miles and record our time. So I got on the treadmill and realized my first problem... everything was in Hebrew. Well, after pushing a few random buttons I found the time, speed, and distance. So far so good. Thankfully the start button was big and green. That was no problem. And I made note that stop was the big red button. Also good to know. So I set the speed for what I calculated to be a good mile pace and started running. I got about a minute in before I realized I was not moving anywhere near as fast as I wanted to.  "Wow I am either in really good shape, or something isn't quite right...." Oh....I bet this is in kilometers instead of miles. Yep. Got that one straightened out, upped my speed a lot, and kept on going. Now the treadmill faces a wall that has a mirror on it, so I could see everyone walking behind me. Mostly it was men. There must not be many young, western, fit girls wearing soccer t-shirts that come in there because they seemed very surprised to see me running, and at such a fast pace too.
Then it was time to weight lift. I started weightlifting two years ago for soccer, so I have a pretty good idea of what I am doing. But they must have thought I was new at this, because the staff worker comes up. "Hello. I am Hythum. That is like 'hi' and 'thumb' (he makes hand motions to demonstrate this). What is your name?" "I'm Natalie." "It is good to meet you. Now if you want to adjust the weights..." He proceeds to show me how the machine works. I have used this same machine at home at least a hundred times, but hey it's always good to refresh!
I'm glad to have a safe, friendly place to work out for the summer. It sure should be an interesting experience. I just hope they get used to seeing me there so I don't feel like the animals at the zoo!

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