Zen and the art of Rosalita maintenance


After two months of slogging, I have come to detest the treadmill.

Don’t get me wrong; the gymnasty has terrific treads complete with LCD screens and inputs for IPods but even that doesn’t seem to be enough for me.

That’s because, on the weekend, television sucks.

When I first started, it was great on the weekends. I could watch Will and Grace and Friends and actually find myself laughing out loud at Jack’s gay antics. But now, the satellite police have switched off the W Network and I’m left with infomercials and CNN.

Kitchen disasters and tornadoes.

It’s so depressing.

Down the channel it isn’t much better.

CTV is running 30-year-old reruns of the Littlest Hobo with Harvey Atkin prancing around in a bald fro and a paisley shirt. You remember him, don’t you. He used to be in everything, til he finally got gigs in the U.S. playing judges on Law and Order.

These Hobo reruns are ancient.

What’s next? Hammy Hamster? Wait, there he is!

CTV really got its money out of that German Shepherd. Poor old London must have died 25 years ago. You wouldn’t know it watching CTV. He’s still romping in the fields as far as CTV is concerned.

After Hobo comes Sue Thomas: FB Eye, another crusty old CTV confection that’s at least ten years old.

That’s how cheap CTV is.

I’m sure twenty years hence, Hugh Dillon will be in a home somewhere and CTV will still be repeating Flashpoint six times a day on the weekends.

A couple of weeks back I decided that I’d had enough with all the bad television, so ventured on to the rowing machine.

At first, I was intimidated. It looks like a lot of work, but I’ve come to love it.

In just one week, I went from five minutes to a half hour, nearly effortlessly. It really seems a machine that is made for me.

It’s not the case for everybody.

Yesterday, I had a guy come up beside me and sit on the adjacent rower. He’s on it for five minutes and he’s panting like a pug. In my peripheral vision, I see him looking over at me, over at the clock which shows I’ve been there twenty minutes. The guy obviously doesn’t want to be out performed by a girl, especially a girl who has ten years on him, so he continues to slide, sloppily up and down. After another five, he’s out.

This happens nearly every time.  I can out row nearly everybody in the gym except the professional ball players.

Why?

I have a secret.

It’s called pedigree.

I come from St. Catharines, the home of rowing. My brother was an international rowing coach until he was banned for shaving down the oars from the heavyweights because the lightweights forgot theirs.

All my boyfriends were rowers.

I, too, was a rower for three seasons for Carleton University. I was bad at it and we always lost, but I loved it.

I had the best body in my life. Killer legs, washboard abs and taut upper arms.

Kids, if you want a great bod, forget the yoga. Take up rowing. It will give you the body beautiful you’ve always hoped for.

I digress.

I love the rowing machine because I can sit in the window of the gymnasty and daydream that I’m out on the river on a hot summer day, with cold water splashing onto my forehead. I do a few sprints then relax into a timeless rhythm, with all of my limbs working in harmony.

It’s Zen.

 I forget everything.

Thirty minutes on the rower is like five on the treadmill.

When I’m done, I feel a little sore, but fantastic.

Rejuvenated.

There is nothing like it.

At least for a girl from St. Catharines.

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