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Fitness Challenge, part 3: Queueing up

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By Marcos Najera

Marcos meets with his trainer, Tasha. “I’m scared to show her my food journal.” PHOTO: MIKE MAEZ

Is it normal to wait in line to work out?  Apparently

in Los Angeles it is.  I am back in Phoenix, everyone, after having been away on assignment in California for the last few weeks. My awesome trainer, Tasha, devised a plan to help me keep on track while I was on the road.

Tasha outlined a cardio schedule for me where I would do four days of 45 and one day of 60 aerobic work minutes: spinning, running, or elliptical. Then she gave me a structure for resistance training. Tasha said to take into account all of the exercises I had learned with her and to mix it up as I saw fit. The only rule was that I had to do four upper body and four lower body exercises during my workouts. Of course, along the way, I had to keep my food journal.  This all proved fabulous and disastrous at the same time.

It all gets back to those damn L.A. lines. There were three different Bally’s gym locations within easy driving distance of the hippie compound I was staying at in Venice Beach. I tried them all to see which one I felt most comfortable with. I usually found myself working out in Culver City because it was a newer location. Some of the other locations where a little worn.  But the Culver City Bally’s is filled with motivated people who were there to boost their fitness level. Good energy.

That also means this gym was popular. I usually had a certain set amount of time to hit the gym. What I didn’t count on in Los Angeles is that you have to factor in parking time and cardio line time.

Pulling into the parking lot at a gym here in Phoenix is pretty easy.  You grab an open spot and go inside to workout. In L.A. – whether it’s Culver City, Hollywood, or West L.A. – you pull into the parking lot and either join a car queue or you pay to park with some stupid little gold token system. Neither case, however, guarantees you a spot even after you wait. Usually, I found a spot, but it was definitely a challenge.

Then, once you are inside the gym, you get into a cardio wait line. For several minutes, you stand around and stare at everyone sweating on the treadmills and stationary bikes while you wonder when your time will come. Some days, the lines move quickly; other days, the wait in line ate up my time to lift after doing some cardio.

Working out on the road, I’ve decided, means making choices, especially in a crowded city like Los Angeles. You almost can’t fit everything in unless you are able to go at the oddest of hours.  That said, I did a decent job of working in most of Tasha’s plan. When I encountered the crisis of the queue, I opted for cardio. We’ll see what Tasha thinks of that!

I’m going to see if I can keep the conversation focused on that, because I’m scared to show her my food journal.  Ssshhh!!!

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