WE JOINED A GYM!!! We’ve started working out there this week. They have elliptical machines, treadmills, recumbent bikes, and a stationary bike. It’s in a safe neighborhood in the Plaza de Las Americas so we can also plan and get on the internet on our working-out trips. It’s a little more than we wanted to pay, but it has what we need and won’t completely break the bank like the Swiss Hotel would have. Anyway, the first afternoon we worked out we had to go at different times to fit it into our schedule. When I arrived I saw Tim on a recumbent bike happily spinning away. I changed in the locker room and then the owner introduced me to the personal trainer on duty: Gonzalo. Gonzalo walked me over to the aerobic equipment near Tim and asked, in Spanish “so, have you ever worked out before?” Um. Yeah. I wanted not to be insulted, but I was sorely tempted to retort, “Yes, I have worked out before, in fact, my team won a national championship in the US.” I didn’t though because 1) I am out of shape and that statement would have come off as pretty conceited 2) it isn’t as common for women in Ecuador to workout so the question wasn’t as strange as it would have been in the US and 3) I’m sure he just wanted to be sure I wasn’t going to hurt myself on the equipment which, considering my history with injuries, isn’t a bad idea. So anyway, I took it pretty easy my first day: warming up, stretching, working out, cooling down, and stretching some more. These last few months here I have been doing some yoga and walking tons with a circuit or two thrown in, but I wanted to ease into steady-state workouts.
After working out I deciphered the towel system and showered. The shower was a wonderful surprise. It was phenomenal. The normal showers in Ecuador leave a few things to be desired. As we posted when we first got here, usually the water is heated with electricity. So you control the water temperature basically by adjusting the pressure (hot water = very little pressure, high pressure = cold water). In our apartment you can have a hot shower with a steady stream of water, which is more than adequate. At our gym though, the shower isn’t electric so you can have a piping hot shower with as much pressure as you want. It’s beautiful.