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Decimally Obsessed January 30, 2009

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Many humans are obsessed with numbers that end in zero. We make a big deal about turning ages or celebrating anniversaries that are multiples of 10. The idea that 30 or 40 or 50 is more significant than 13 or 37 or 48 is arbitrary. I know this.

But speaking of arbitrary (and obsessions), I had this thought the other day, after realizing that my number of visits to the gym had hit the 75+ mark: Could I hit a count of 100 before my birthday?

A quick look at my number of visits thus far (82 since June 30, counting today), the number of days left til March 2 (31), the average number of days that I tend to go to the gym (3? 4?), and the number of days I’ll be away the next month (4–6?) made it clear that it’s possible, but not likely, that I can make this goal.

That said, I have in fact worked out 179 times since June 30. It’s just that 97 of those workouts have happened somewhere other than the gym. These “other workouts” include staying at home and getting on the NordicTrack, going ice skating or cross-country skiing, taking a power walk or the occasional hike, biking, and doing yoga. My pattern is to work out five or six times a week and try to mix it up a bit.

But I’m realizing I should be going to the gym maybe a little more, which isn’t always convenient, given my deadlines. And now I’ve got this get-to-100-by-my-birthday thing in my head.

Then today, after my workout, I stopped to look at what those certificates were on the bulletin board. They were certificates for all the people who have been to the gym 100 times or more!

How weird is that? And now I feel competitive. I mean, they know me there. I’m truly a regular. But not nearly as regular as these dozen or so others. The gym staff is messing with me psychologically, and it’s working.

This, of course, when I’m about to leave for Portland for a few days and in all likelihood will be coming back to deadline hell.

Obviously, the number at the gym isn’t that important if I’m working out almost every day anyway. And I don’t want to limit my exercise to gym only. But now I want my hundred. And it’s gonna bug me if I can’t get to my gym 18 times in the next 31 days, the next four of which are definitely out.


1. Cedar Waxwing - January 30, 2009

Oh dear. You’re scaring me, IB. Next thing you’ll be touching lamp posts and asking for wipes.

2. indigobunting - January 30, 2009

Wipe! Get me a wipe!

3. Elizabeth Torak - January 30, 2009

a) shoot – I hadn’t noticed those certificates at the gym and now my competitive juices are flowing too – thank god my birthday is 6 weeks after yours!

b) the human obsession with numbers that end in zero is quite interesting. Another example is the huge signifigance we all attached to the year turning 2000 which as we all know was not the beginning of the millenium – instead of 2001.

4. Helen - January 31, 2009

I suggest cheating if all else fails. You don’t actually have to stay a minimum amount of time for it to count as a visit, do you? Walk in and out the door several times. Or if that seems too lame, hire an impersonator.

5. indigo bunting - January 31, 2009

ET: (a) The race is on. Although I know there were a couple of times that I worked out and forgot to sign in, so they are going to actually be a couple behind me on their count. Grrrr. (b) Indeed!

H: Cheating! You are brilliant, as usual. I will keep this in mind.

6. Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb - January 31, 2009

Indigo, this is a little alarming! The gym people are actually aliens trying to enslave us all, with their “good job”s, and their “way to go”s (how the heck does one punctuate this?), not to mention their public “certificates of attendance.” I think it’s great that you’re being whisked to Portland.

7. laurie - January 31, 2009

moderation in all things!!! go have a doughnut!

8. bettyslocombe - February 1, 2009

Holiday. Now. Or go 18 times in one day for five minute sessions. Oh that’s what Helen said> I don’t see her going 18 times in a day. Not in those pants.

9. indigo bunting - February 1, 2009

Lali: The gym people don’t seem to realize that I don’t need cheerleaders, but I cut them some slack. I figure they are doing what they think they need to do, however treacly.

Lali, Laurie, Betty: You’ll be happy to know that the only exercise I got yesterday was walking from the hotel (postdinner, after dropping the car there) many blocks in the bitter cold to a favorite bar.

10. damyantig - February 2, 2009

you are truly an inspiration.

I’ve been trying to get my butt out of the chair and into the gym, but despite a gym right downstairs, I’ve been slacking.

I guess the one thing my butt needs is a kick now, so I go rolling downstairs!

You will make to 100 by March 2, don’t worry, you are too goal-obsessed not to 🙂

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