Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hello, Black Monday

For the first time in memory, I'll be sitting out Black Monday.

Black Monday is the name that I give to the first Monday following New Year's Day. It's the day when people who make a New Year's resolution to lose weight hit the gym to launch or restart an exercise routine. Their presence makes gyms more crowded, meaning that it takes longer for everyone to complete their workout.

Health clubs are feeling the brunt of the financial meltdown, so the invasion of the newly resolute may not be as severe tomorrow as it has been in the past. I won't be there to find out. I'll be asleep when the gym opens, instead of on my way there for a workout before heading to my job.

I haven't shown my face at the gym for one month and two days. On Dec. 3 I got a PICC line in my right arm for intravenous feedings, and two days later I got a G-tube for feedings directly into my stomach. Going to the gym hasn't been a priority, and I haven't gone running or ridden my bike since then, either.

I haven't been able to put weight back on with the formula that I pour into my G-tube; all I've been able to do is stop losing additional weight. I need those calories to get through a sedentary day, I don't want to burn them at a quicker rate by resuming my exercise routine.

And I also feel a little uncomfortable doing cardio with a foot-long rubber tube hanging from above my belly button. I could trip on it; it could get snared into the treadmill; it might get caught on something and rip my tummy right out of my torso.

So this is a good time to take a sabbatical from working out. And I can use the hours that have opened up in my day for other pursuits.

My brain is reaping the dividends of this sudden lifestyle change. Yesterday a friend who knows that I am sick dropped off a stack of DVDs. So instead of burning calories at the gym on Black Monday I can get up early and give my brain a workout by watching "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" or "Sex and the City."

I don't want to get too comfortable being a couch potato, though. AIDS/LifeCycle 8 is less than five months away. While I don't know when I will be able to resume training, I don't want to backpedal on my commitment to ride and raise $5,000.

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