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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Five Gyms on Vacation

My last trip was to Las Vegas and to Acapulco. I spent a few days in Las Vegas on either side of my four days in Acapulco.  During this vacation I went to the gym almost every day. But what gym?? Five different ones.

I was glad that I had talked to Clara about these trips. I brought along my resistance bands, which as it happens I used only a couple of times.  I also knew I could do the five basic physical-therapist exercises on my bed, morning and evening.  Apart from that, I had to adjust to whatever was available. Among the options were, for example:

* The cardio movie room in Henderson, Nevada. The Gold's Gym there has a room that is dark and contains a full-size movie screen. Instead of seats it has cardio machines. Mary and I chose bikes and treadmills and watched part of The Bourne Supremacy, as I recall.  Lots of car chases and people speaking Russian in hurried whispers. Actually filmed in Moscow. It was funny to try to set the machine variables in the dark (people use their cell phones for the light).

* Another Gold's Gym in Las Vegas, very nice, equipped with railings where I could use the resistance bands (the cardio gym didn't have the railings), lots of cool up-to-date equipment. None of the equipment in any of the gyms was like equipment in other gyms, so I was constantly hunting down leg presses, leg extensions, row machines and so on.

* Aqua aerobics at Las Vegas Athletic Club. There is a special separated pool, next to the lap pools, where the aqua classes are held. The water is the same level the whole distance, and it was about four feet, maybe a little more. For me, it was not high enough. The class was led by someone who was clearly not a regular group trainer, but instead appeared to be someone like the rest of us who went through specific training for this class. In a way, it's a nice way to go because a class member is not going to be intimidated by someone who looks like she or he does. I could see that she was following the basic rules - so much time for aerobic, so much time for weight training, and so forth, but she didn't have enough experience to move from one thing to another quickly. Thus, "What shall we do now?" Also, she did not emphasize form as much as I would have liked. Still, I got it done, it was worth the time, it helped me.

* Machines in the gym at a hotel in Acapulco. We stayed at the Las Brisas hotel, which is a fifties-era resort hotel built up a hillside. A lovely place. We had a casita high up the hill and had to call for a ride (in a pink and white jeep) every time we wanted to go somewhere in the hotel (except when Mary walked or ran and sometimes dragged me along). The gym is in a separate building overlooking the bay and has a few bikes, treadmills, a couple of universal type machines, and some other odd massage like tables. I did the bike and figured out some ways to do some of the other exercises on the universal machines. Not a complete workout but not bad, considering I also walked and swam most days.

* Weight room at the Henderson Multigenerational Center. Great place. It has two pools (one olympic-sized, used that day for water polo competition), a water park, an indoor running track, several classrooms, and more. I am able to get most of my routine done in the weight room, with the bikes and machines.  Sometimes when i visit my daughter and grandson come too and we all use the indoor pool.

It was an adventure just working out how to get into these gyms. I think the most reliable type when you visit another city is the gym in your hotel, if there is one. Otherwise, I'd be using the resistance bands and trying to find a good way to get some cardio in. I'm lucky in Las Vegas because my daughters live there so I can find ways to get in, at least once, to some gyms.  If I were able to walk more consistently there would be many more options available. For now, I am grateful for what there is.

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