April 19, 2010

Happiness is a Home Gym

Who cares that we finally got around to putting a home gym in our basement? Well, nobody, probably, but that's why it's great to have a half-dead blog visited by a bunch of imaginary blog readers. I can post stuff occasionally when I get all excited and just pretend people are reading it. (And if the lovely folks at Blogher decide to syndicate the post), I even get to feel like a real blogger again for a few minutes.

So yeah, after years of petty, bitter complaints about our local gym (The temperature! The squeaky equipment! The "having to share!") we finally decided to create a more functional exercise space in our basement. We already had a super-cheap but quite serviceable treadmill (thank you, Sears warehouse) as well as some dumbbells and other odds and ends.

The problem? We figured a workout space that didn't evoke suicidal thoughts might be nice.

But this is what we started with:

Nice, huh?

Though for some perspective... here's a shot of that same space when the previous owners occupied it:

Walking lunges? A bit of a challenge.

And now? Well, we're still dealing with a poorly lit, unfinished basement-- complete with an exposed ceiling, ugly pipes, rusty beams, inexplicable holes, odd protrusions and miscellaneous dangly things. But at least it's now a freshly-painted and cleaned-up unfinished basement.


Note the low-tech approach: what we couldn't slap paint on, we covered up with shower curtains. And the gym "flooring" came from Costco and cost approximately the same amount per square foot as toilet paper.

Now wait... what's that back there under the window? Is that... no... could it be?

Yes it is! It's a Precor 5.23 elliptical! Crabby has been pining for one of these babies FOREVER.

Yes, this was the real motivation for the "dump the gym, workout at home" initiative. We hunted for a refurbished Precor, shopped it to death, and finally found this EFX 5.23 for a tiny fraction of what it cost new. Which was still a crapload of money.

But hell, we figure in about 147 years, we should save enough in gym dues to totally make up for it!

Let's see it from another angle, shall we?

See how happy I look? I really have wanted one of these since the dawn of time.

Note: the Lobster was also photographed on the elliptical, and looked totally adorable, but she failed to appreciate this obvious fact and refused to let me post her photo. Spoilsport. But I do let her use the elliptical sometimes too, I promise.

What else is in our home gym? Well, lots of miscellaneous doohickeys we've accumulated over the years. You may notice the collapsible Crabitron in the background; it's still one of my favorite workout machines.

Another awesome feature that the handy Lobster added was a pull-up bar. Now, after years of failed attempts, I can finally do two whole pullups in a row. Or even more fun, three chin-ups! (Yes, some people work doggedly to save the earth, create financial empires, build massive skyscrapers, heal the sick, find inner peace... my goal was one unassisted pull-up before I turned fifty. I'm so proud.)

And yeah, I'm actually still using that TRX thingy you see hanging there, though not to make fitness porn movies, I swear.

Now here's where a real health blogger with a non-imaginary audience might offer some fresh tips on creating your own home gym. But, well, I'm too lazy. I can, however, offer some stale tips written 6 months ago on budget home gyms.

In any event, it is rare for me to be so HAPPY about working out. I'm sure when the novelty of our new home exercise space wears off, I will go back to my usual whining.

How are all my imaginary friends--having a good spring? Finding any new fitness options that don't suck? I miss you guys!