So I joined a gym. Actually it's the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center at Mayo. All the cool kids just call it "The Dan". The Wife is a member and I thought I'd check it out, since they have a pool and all.
Honestly, I was fully ready to get a winter membership to the rec center, since I am familiar with their pool and policies and such, but after tonight I may never go back to the rec center!
I started my first workout heading for the 2012 Triathlon Season with a fifteen minute session on something called a 'hydro-bed'. Basically a water bed with jets inside that run up and down your body giving a water massage. After some fiddling with pressure, speed and which areas to jet water onto, I was settled in and had my back and neck muscles pleasantly pummeled with hot water... all while staying perfectly dry! It was delightful.
Then I staggered sleepily into the pool area for my swim, a 600 yard jaunt, just to get the old body reacquainted with the freestyle stroke. That felt good. They have two pools there, a four lane lap pool and a four-ish lane exercise pool. Both saltwater/chlorine, so a little different than I'm used to. But the topper of the evening was a 10 minute soak in the whirlpool after the swim.
That's right. From the pool the the hot tub. Incredibly relaxing!
I am now a spoiled athlete! The Mayo health facility is really spectacular, and pretty reasonably priced. And if I go 15 times in the next three months they lower the price. 30 times and it's almost half off! They are open way too early and stay open well past my bedtime, and the lap pool is always a lap pool! So any free time I can get there to swim, I can swim! They also have an indoor running track, and a bunch of stationary bikes, and a spin class that I'll have to look into doing. So eventually I can do entire triathlons indoors!
I now have no reason not to improve on next year's races. No reason not to go exercise. No reason not to get in better shape.
I envision much hard work and sweat and yes, even some pain in the future... but the hydro-bed and whirlpool are a nice treat! (They also have massage therapists on staff, $25 for a half hour. I'm already planning on how to justify that expense occasionally!)