Fruit Trees, Hike, Goodbye Shoes

January 25, 2011

I hung out with my friend Tavi this morning.  I’m totally envious of Tavi, for a couple reasons.  First of all, he has a super cool job: he’s an aerialist.  Yep, an acrobatic, ultra-flexible, death-defying performer.  You can catch him right now in a show called Cirque Berserk, playing in downtown Los Angeles – go here for info and tickets (act fast – it closes this weekend).  I’m also envious because Tavi has fruit trees in his backyard.  Two grapefruit trees and a tangerine tree.  Check out his fruit!

I totally wish I had fruit trees.  How fantastic would it be to wake up and think, ‘I want some juice this morning’ and then walk 15 feet and pluck some grapefruit off a tree!  Since Tavi has more tangerines and grapefruit than he knows what to do with, he let me help myself, which I did:

Tomorrow morning, I’m making some juice!

Tavi and I also went on a great hike this morning.  The last time I went hiking with Tavi, which is documented here, it involved a burned-out bridge, leaping over creeks, and coming across a naked old man.  Needless to say, hiking with Tavi is fun!  This morning we went to Fryman Canyon, a nearby trail in the Hollywood Hills.  I’ve been to Fryman before, on an early morning hike with my friends Jen and Tiffany.  I told Tavi this, and he says, “you’ve probably been on the main trail.  I go on a steeper, tougher, narrower trail.”  Yep, it’s fun already!

He was right.  His trail was tough.  I was out of breath at times.  It wound up and down through the hills, through canyons, alongside ridges, and through countless different types of terrain: lush tropical rain forest-lookin’ parts, sloping fields of 6-foot shrubs, rocky chasms with streams at the bottom…  and there were some great views, too!  Like this one:

There was also a fallen tree than we walked across:

And a random trapeze tied to a tree (why I’m the one holding it, and not Tavi the aerialist, is a good question):

Oh and did I mention Tavi got a great parking spot?

Near the end of the hike, we had to come down a steep ridge.  Tavi ran down it, full speed, but I was a wuss and negotiated it foot by foot:

It was on that descent that I decided to was time to say goodbye to the pair of shoes I was wearing.  They’re Under Armour shoes, and I loved them, but I wore them out, and they don’t have any traction anymore.  No good.  I bought them probably over a year ago, and wore them as gym shoes for three or four (or six) months.  When I got new gym shoes, I kept these around to wear occasionally: like when it was rainy outside, or when I went on hikes and there was the potential for lots of dust, dirt, or mud.  But just a few minutes before starting to write this post, I tossed them down the trash chute, into the dumpster.

Goodbye shoes, you served me well.

Oh, and that hike?  It was nearly two hours long.

Keep it up, David!

A Two-Week Hiatus From the Scale

January 24, 2011

It’s been 2 weeks since I last weighed myself.  For most of those two weeks, I was in Michigan, and I’m convinced the scale at my parents’ place is broken – when I was there at Christmas, I weighed myself 3 times in succession, and got 3 different numbers that varied by over 20 pounds!  I could have weighed myself at the gym, like I did when I reached my most recent weight loss goal, but that takes planning – I only weigh myself first thing in the morning, before drinking or eating anything, and on this most recent trip, I never got my act together to get to the gym without consuming anything, plus bringing food and water with me, so I could get something in my system before beginning my workout…  It’s a hassle.  It’s just easier to wake up, walk to the bathroom, get on the scale, and move on with my day, which is what I did this morning.

The scale displayed the same number it displayed two weeks ago: 243 pounds.  And, truthfully, I’m pretty happy about this.  It’s tough to me to stay on program when I’m traveling.  I worked hard to keep up the exercise, and ended up hitting the gym 9 out of the 11 days I was there.  And my eating was pretty good most days.  On the day before my grandmother’s funeral, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, and as much of it as I wanted, and it was a lot.  Reminiscent of the way I used to eat.  But the very next day I got back on track.  And then, on my last night in Michigan, I had a midnight snack (something I very rarely do anymore) of an entire bag of microwave popcorn.  It wasn’t “light” or “reduced fat” – it was a regular bag, and I don’t know the calories or fat count because the box had already been thrown out, and I had found the lone singular pouch in a drawer in my parents’ kitchen.  It was very buttery (and delicious) and the first time I’ve had popcorn in a looong time, since my microwave can’t properly make a bag – it prefers to pop 1/3 of the kernels and then scorch them.

Anyhoo, time to update the chart:

That’s a long horizontal line, but better horizontal than heading upwards!  I should also point out that the vertical dashed line on the left marks the beginning of 2011, and the vertical dashed line on the right marks the 1-year anniversary of starting this diet.  I also started my 6th sheet of graph paper – my chart keeps growing and growing and growing!  Here’s the 6th sheet:

In order to fit the 6th sheet on my closet wall, I had to shift the other five pages over, so now my chart begins above the upper shelf.  Here’s the entire thing:

What you don’t see in the picture is that the wall ends just a few inches beyond the 6th sheet – so I don’t know what I’m going to do when it becomes time to add the 7th sheet!

Moving on…

Because of the very wintery weather in Michigan, I haven’t been running in a few weeks.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Twice, in Michigan, I warmed up at the gym by jogging a mile around an indoor jogging track.  It was 16 laps around a track that’s basically a hallway that circles some racquetball courts, and after 16 laps, I was so bored that I moved on to other equipment.  My last real outdoor jog was on January 4th, almost three weeks ago… until a few hours ago, when I hit the sidewalks of my neighborhood.  Because it had been so long since I had gone running, I didn’t have expectations for duration or distance, I just started running.  And it felt great!  I could tell I was moving along at a good clip, and I picked some streets I’ve never been down before, and, before I knew it, I had gone 45 minutes without stopping.  When I got home, I plugged my route into Google Maps:

I went 4.4 miles!  I’m still a little ways off from reaching my running goal (which you can read about here), but I’m very happy with today’s workout.  Time to add it to my chart:

  • 9/21/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 41 minutes.  MPH: 4.53
  • 9/27/10: Distance: 3.3 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 4.4
  • 10/5/10: Distance: 3.2 miles.  Time: 40 minutes.  MPH: 4.8
  • 10/12/10: Distance: 3.8 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 10/16/10: Distance: 2.9 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 11/1/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 36 minutes.  MPH: 5.16
  • 11/6/10: Distance: 5.1 miles. Time: 60 minutes.  MPH: 5.1
  • 11/14/10: Distance: 3.9 miles. Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 5.2
  • 11/28/10: Distance: 4.2 miles. Time: 46 minutes.  MPH: 5.47
  • 1/4/11: Distance: 3.0 miles. Time: 34 minutes.  MPH: 5.3
  • 1/24/11: Distance: 4.4 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 5.86

My fastest jog ever!

Keep it up, David!


Richard Simmons’ Daily Message

January 24, 2011

I’m working on a blog post for today, don’t you worry, but this just can’t wait.  Every day, Richard Simmons writes a Daily Message on his website.  Sometimes he gives tips on how to keep your diet on track, sometimes he shares what he does to keep motivated, sometimes he shares the stories of other people.  Today’s Daily Message is entitled “David” and it’s all about me.

Reading about Richard’s website and email blowing up after our appearance on Ellen brought tears to my eyes.

Click here to read Richard’s Daily Message. You have until about midnight tonight before it’s gone, and tomorrow’s Daily Message is posted.

Keep it up, David!

One Year Ago Today

January 23, 2011

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the start of my weight loss journey.  On January 23, 2010, I met with Richard Simmons, who planted the seed in my mind that I could make a change in my life, and had, a few weeks earlier, generously offered to help me.  One year ago today, I began.  I began writing down everything that I ate in a food log.  I began working out more.  I began changing my diet – cutting out soda; cutting back on processed foods; eating more fruits and vegetables, and eating more of them raw.

One year ago today, I stepped on the scale, and held my breath for the few seconds it took before a number appeared.  The number was 402.  One year ago today, I weighed 402 pounds.

One year ago today, I was skeptical.  Maybe all my thoughts from the past couple of years were true: that I was always going to be obese, that I would have to find a way to continue living with this body, that I should continue being resigned to the idea that I would be unhappy, for the most part, for my rest of my life.  One year ago today, I started thinking, well, I can give this whole diet thing a whirl, but don’t get any hopes up.

One year ago today, I started working hard.  Really hard.  I decided I would need to exercise 4 or 5 times a week.  I decided I would need to start planning what I was going to eat that day, where that food would come from, and when I would fit in my exercise.  One year ago today, I decided it was worth the effort.  I was worth the effort.

One year ago today, I knew I was ready.  I knew I had an opportunity, wearing a crystal-studded tank top and short shorts, sitting (and dancing, and singing, and laughing) right next to me.  One year ago today, I knew I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by.

One year ago today seems like an eternity ago.  One year ago today I weighed 159 pounds more than I do now.  That man, one year ago today, seems like a different person, who walked differently, ate differently, moved differently, dressed differently, saw differently, thought differently, felt different, was a different person.

One year ago today, I rarely felt proud of myself.  I allowed my shame to collect and build up around me, clouding my vision, affecting my decisions.  One year ago today, I didn’t like myself very much.

What a difference one year makes.

Keep it up, David!

January 21 Adventures – Part 2

January 22, 2011

Previously on Keep It Up, David: Click here to see January 21 Adventures – Part 1.  For you lazy sonsofbitches, here’s the cliffnotes:  I had a looong, eventful day yesterday.  I came back from the gym to find I had locked myself out of house.  I headed to Ann Arbor for lunch with a friend; saw lots of friends at a reception at my old University, and headed up to Flint to meet up with other friends.  Oh yeah, and my day ended with a cop giving me field sobriety tests on the side of the road.  Why was I pulled over?  What happened next?  For the answers… keep reading!


Midnight. “I’m going to have you walk nine steps, heel-to-toe, along this tire track.  Then you’re going to turn to your left, and walk nine steps in that direction.  And this is what I mean by heel-to-toe…”  The officer demonstrates.  “You may want to take your hands out of your pockets for this,” the officer advises.  My hands were in my pockets because they were freezing, but I do as he suggests, and start walking the line.  I wonder how much I have to stumble to fail, but I walk the nine steps, turn, and walk back towards my car.  I stop after the nine steps, and stand still, facing away from the officers.  “There’s just one more thing…” the officer says.

7:30pm. I made it to Flint, and picked up my friend Lynn, who I grew up with, have known my whole life, and is a fantastic friend.  Then we picked up Kate, one of Lynn’s best friends, who I’ve known for a few years (at least), and I like her a lot and she’s a lot of fun to be around.  While driving to Kate’s, I asked Lynn what the speed limit was on the road we were on, as I hadn’t seen any signs.  Lynn knew it to be 55 mph.  I was going 40.  I sped up a little, and Lynn started talking about how cops around here are known for pulling people over for going 1 mph over the speed limit.  Fantastic.

7:50pm. The three of us headed into Sagano for dinner:

It’s one of those Japanese restaurants there you sit around a big communal table and a chef prepares your food right in front of you on a big grill, while flipping food around and showing off knife and spatula tricks.  Our chef started the cooking by lighting a big ol’ fire on the grill and then extinguishing it – which we knew was coming as we’d seen other chefs across the restaurant do it – but we got to looking around, and noticed a complete absence of smoke detectors and sprinklers.  Hmmm… safety first, anyone?  Here was our chef, but I forgot his name (or maybe I never learned it, I’m not sure):

Lynn, who is a regular reader of this blog, mentioned only about 4 times over the course of the evening that she wanted to be featured in the blog, so get ready for this, Lynn!  Here’s you and me and Kate at our table! (Lynn’s on the left)

The food was delicious, and not the healthiest (I noticed every time the chef added oil and butter, which was frequently), but I didn’t eat tons, and it was definitely a fun experience.  First came some miso soup and a small little salad:

The dressing on the salad tasted like a peanut sauce, but we were corrected by Tyler, our non-Japanese waiter, who said it was sesame seed and sesame oil-based.

Next, our table-side chef whipped up some assorted grilled veggies and noodles.  I only ate half of my noodles, and Lynn took the rest home:

For my main course, I ordered tuna, cooked medium rare.  Very tasty.  I also got some steamed rice on the side (I ate about a 1/4 cup), and in the upper right corner, a couple different dipping sauces.  Our chef described the orange one as a ‘shrimp sauce’ and the red one was ‘ginger sauce’, which was very gingery – a good thing.

Oops – I’m not going in order – we also got a couple shrimp as an appetizer (hence, I suppose, the need for Shrimp Sauce:

There was some fun people-watching at the restaurant, including a woman across the way still sporting a ’80s metal band perm/hairdo, and it was a good meal.

9:30pm. There are times and situations where I instantly revert to being a 13-year-old boy.  Talking or thinking about VG’s is one of them.  VG’s is a chain of 17 grocery stores in Michigan, and there’s one by Lynn’s house, and at 9:30pm we were pulling into the parking lot:

When I was visiting a few years back, Lynn, Kate, and I made a quick stop at VG’s, which was the first time I had ever heard of the store.  My mind instantly went into the gutter, and I asked Lynn and Kate: “What does VG’s stand for?  Vaginas?”  We all had a big laugh and now, I can’t drive by VG’s, or talk or think about it, without making dirty jokes like a middle schooler.  “Do you need anything?” I asked Lynn on the phone during my drive from Ann Arbor to Flint, “because I could poke around in Vaginas all night long if I have to.”  It’s that, times 50, and raunchier, every single time when I’m with Lynn and Kate.  Immature?  Surely.  Hilarious? I’m laughing just thinking about it!

Anyhoo – I was out of hair gel, and thought that’d be the perfect excuse to pull into Vaginas.  I found my gel, and I also scored souvenirs when Kate got me a couple reusable bags that I will proudly shop with when I’m back in southern California.  Thank you, Kate!

By the way, the website printed on that bag, (which is a terrible website address and is just begging to be the source of endless dirty puns), doesn’t even work.  The store’s website is actually

9:50pm. Driving to nearly Flushing, Michigan, which is Kate’s hometown, to get a drink and play some Keno.  After not seeing any signs, I ask again what the speed limit is on this road.  It’s 55 mph, and I’m going 44.

10pm. We pull up to Johnny’s Pour House, a bar:

Here’s me and Lynn with the wooden bear sculpture inside the front door:

I ordered my first and only drink of the night, a Bud Light, and we settled into at a table, and got our Keno on.  The Michigan Lottery sponsors Club Keno, which you can play in bars across the state.  There’s drawings every couple minutes.  I won $5, which sounds great, until I mention the part where I also lost $30 or so.

Midnight. Back in the car, headed towards Lynn and Kate’s houses, so I can drop them off and head back down to my parents’ house.  We’re drove along a quiet 2-lane road.  There’s no other traffic, anywhere, except for a car behind me.  I approached a 4-way stop, and stopped completely.  I accelerated past the intersection, and that’s when I see the dancing blue lights bounce off my rear-view.  Crap.  One other car on the road, and it’s a cop.  What did I do?

After pulling over, I slid my license out of my wallet and asked Lynn to get the registration and insurance cards out of the glove box.  “I can’t find them,” she said after a few seconds, “except for this registration card that expired in 2007.”  Crap.  No insurance card, and no current registration card.  This is one of my parents’ cars, and it’s not like them to be unprepared in this way.  Crap.  It doesn’t matter what I was pulled me over for, I can get tickets just for the lack of paperwork.

The cop appeared at my window, asked for my license, registration, and insurance, and I sheepishly handed over what I had.  He asked a few questions, and I answered:  We’re coming from a bar.  I had one beer a couple hours ago.  He took my stuff, and Lynn and Kate’s IDs as well, and disappeared back to his cruiser.

After a few minutes, he returned, and had me step out of the car.  I asked him, as we walked to the shoulder between my car and the cruiser,  “Why I was pulled over to begin with, Officer?”  There’s a pregnant pause, and the cop responded.  “Your taillights were dim.  It seemed like the only light coming from them was the light reflected from my headlights.”   Bullshit.  I can see my lights right now, and they’re on. But I kept my mouth shut, because that’s when the cop started explaining the field sobriety tests I had to complete.  I followed the pen with my eyes, and then walked along a line, heel-to-toe.  After I finished the walk exercise, I stood still, faced away from the officers.  “There’s just one more thing…” the officer said.

Crap.  This is where I get the lecture about having all the proper paperwork.  This is where he pulls out his pad and starts writing a ticket.  Crap. I spun around to face the cop, who was walking towards his cruiser.  He reached in the open window, leaning so far inside it that the whole upper half of his body disappeared.  A few seconds later, and he walked towards me.  “Here’s your things back.  I’m going to let you go.  You’ll want to get those taillights looked at.”  Whew! “Thank you, Officer.  I’ll do that.”  No, I won’t.

I climbed back into my car and exhaled.

I later learned, from my dad, that the car indeed has the proper, current registration and insurance cards, in a hidden compartment inside the glove box door that I didn’t even know existed.

2am. Pulled into my parents’ driveway.  The long day is over.  Field sobriety tests aside, it was a good day – I worked out; ate well…  there’s nothing left to say about January 21, 2011, except…

….Keep it up, David!

January 21 Adventures – Part 1

January 22, 2011

Midnight. “I’m going to have you step out of the car,” the officer said to me, the light from his flashlight partially blinding me.  I unbuckled my seatbelt, opened the door, and stepped out onto the two-lane country road.  I had glanced at the thermometer in the car moments earlier – it was 2 degrees outside.  2 degrees.  The night air gnawed at my fingers and ears – why did I leave my hat and gloves in the car?  The officer had me join him in the shoulder of the road between my parked car and his cruiser, brightly lit by the cruiser’s headlights, and within seconds my teeth were chattering.  “Please put your glasses right here,” the officer said, pointing to the trunk of my car.  I did as I was asked, and stood there, unable to see anything beyond a few feet, watching the heat from my own breath spiral upwards, like cigarette smoke.  The officer continued: “I’m going to have you do a couple field sobriety tests.”

9:30am (14 and a half hours earlier). The day started off like most days this week – at the gym.  I arrived at Bally’s, and quickly bolted from my car to the lobby.  I had made the decision at the house, before leaving, to wear my shorts and hoodie – it was going to be a long day, and I could save a few minutes if I didn’t have to change at the gym.  Sure, it was only 10 degrees outside, but I’d be fine wearing shorts for just the few seconds to get from my car into the building.  I ran a mile around the jogging track to warm up (in 10:45 seconds), then headed over to the stationary bikes.  The book I’m currently reading, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, had gone from really good to can’t-put-it-down, and I know I can get a great workout in on the bike and tackle a few more chapters in the process.  It total, I spent 42 minutes pedaling away.

11am. I pull in the driveway, open the ashtray in the car to grab for the garage door opener, and it’s not there.  Crap.  I check my pockets and the arm rest, knowing full well the garage door opener isn’t in those spots either, my mind is fixated on the dining room table, where I remember leaving the opener last night.  Crap – why did I bring it inside the house?  Dumb move, David.  Because now you’re locked out. I don’t have a key to my parents house, just the garage door opener to get in.  Crap.  I make a mad dash around back, silently cursing my decision to wear shorts on a January day in Michigan, to check if any other doors were accidentally left unlocked, which of course they weren’t, and then I’m back in the car.  Time to head to my father’s office to borrow his keys.

11:40am. Back home, for the second time, with his keys in hand.  I made a quick breakfast – 2/3 cup egg whites, scrambled in Pam, carrot and celery sticks.  Part 1 of my breakfast was a big bunch of grapes that I ate before going to the gym.  Then I jumped in the shower.  By half past noon I was back in the car, where I began the 45 minute drive to Ann Arbor.

Midnight. “I’m going to move my pen from side to side, and up and down, and I want you to follow it with your eyes.  Only your eyes.  I don’t want to see your head moving, just your eyes.  I’ll try not to blind you with my flashlight.  Do you understand what to do?”  “Yes, Officer.”  He positioned the pen 6 inches in front of my face, and slowly moved it from left to right.  I followed it with my eyes.  I could see, in the darkness beyond the pen, a second officer that watched from the far side of the cruiser, not moving, his features obscured by the night.  Soon the pen moved up and down.  I followed it more.  Then the officer stepped alongside his cruiser, and ushered me towards him with a wave of his hand.  “May I put my glasses back on, officer?”  “Yes.”  The fields around me came into focus when I slid my glasses back onto my nose, as did the officer, who was pointing at the asphalt beneath our feet.  “You see this tire track?  I’m going to test how you walk.”

1:15pm. I picked up my friend Jim outside his office in downtown Ann Arbor for lunch.  Jim and I became really good friends in college, in Ann Arbor, over 10 years ago, and stayed really good friends since then.  We headed to Pizza House, because it’s been years since I’ve had one of my favorite foods ever, a chipati.  Here’s Pizza House, on Church Street:

We both ordered chipatis, and here’s what mine looked like with it arrived:

It looks like a giant loaf of bread, but it’s not!  It’s actually a whole wheat pita, and when you peel back the top layer of pita, you see:

A salad! The one I ordered today was spinach, onion, mushroom, and tomatoes (it’s supposed to also have mozzarella, but I ordered it without).  The orange sauce on the side is Chipati Sauce, the dressing, which is delicious and somewhat mysterious, although according to a website I just found on the interwebs, it’s just a mix of ranch, Frank’s RedHot, and ketchup, which is disappointingly boring and pedestrian but probably true, for all I know.  I decided to only eat the top half of the pita, and used only a few teaspoons of Chipati Sauce, so it was a pretty healthy lunch.

After lunch, we walked around the corner to another one of my favorite Ann Arbor establishments:

THE ARCADE!  I used to come to Pinball Pete’s between classes to play Ms. Pac-Man, my all-time favorite arcade game.  I was so glad to see they still had it!  Here I am playing:

Jim, meanwhile, is a Dance Dance Revolution fan, so he played that (I played once with him too):

We made a stop at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, which, since I graduated, had built a new wing that has some of the coolest gallery and exhibit spaces I’ve ever seen.  It’s always been a nice museum, but now it’s stunning.  Go when you’re in town.

4:45pm. I dropped Jim back off at his office (I hope, Jim, that your boss doesn’t read this and learn about your nearly 3-hour-plus lunch!), and headed to North Campus.  This part of the University of Michigan is now home to the Theater Theatre Department, of which I’m a proud alum, with a degree in Theatre Design and Production.  Every year, the students’ work (costume renderings, intricate models of set designs, and the like) is put on display for about a week in a gallery open to the public, and they kick off the week with a reception, which was that afternoon.  Being at the reception brought back a tsunami of memories, and it was great to see and catch up with a bunch of former professors and friends, and meet some of the students currently making their way through the program.

6pm. Back in the car, merging onto highway 23, starting the hour-long drive up to Flint, Michigan.

Midnight. “I’m going to have you walk nine steps, heel-to-toe, along this tire track.  Then you’re going to turn to your left, and walk nine steps in that direction.  And this is what I mean by heel-to-toe…”  The officer demonstrates.  “You may want to take your hands out of your pockets for this,” the officer advises.  My hands were in my pockets because they were freezing, but I do as he suggests, and start walking the line.  I wonder how much I have to stumble to fail, but I walk the nine steps, turn, and walk back towards my car.  I stop after the nine steps, and stand still, facing away from the officers.  “There’s just one more thing…” the officer says.

UH-OH – WHAT ELSE DID THE OFFICER WANT?  There’s only one way to find out – and that’s to come back for Part 2 of “January 21 Adventures” – which I’ll post before going to bed tonight!  I just love a good blog cliff-hanger...

Another Day, Another Gym

January 20, 2011

I decided this morning to keep switching things up and work out at the third gym in the area in Michigan.  It’s the Powerhouse Total Fitness Gym in West Bloomfield, and here it is:

Doesn’t it kinda look like a movie theater to you?  That’s because that’s what it used to be.  The building opened as the AMC Americana West 6, and I grew up going to see movies there.  The Americana West closed when I was in college or so, maybe even earlier than that, and a few years later, Powerhouse vacuumed up the popcorn crumbs embedded in the carpet, gutted the building, took down the marquee, and reopened the doors as a health and fitness emporium.

Powerhouse is a national chain that got started right here in the Detroit area, and now boasts more than 300 locations, including, according to their website, facilities in Chile, Germany, China, India, and Thailand.  There’s actually a location a few miles from my place in Los Angeles, and one of my neighbors is a member, and he really likes it – he says it has everything he needs and is pretty cheap.  I didn’t inquire about membership rates when I visited their West Bloomfield location today (nor did I inquire at Fitness 19 yesterday) – I just paid the 10-dollar day rate and worked out.  The ten dollars a day is adding up, but it’s only for a few more days, and I can swing it.  It’s the same or even cheaper than I pay to take classes at Slimmons or Heartbeat House in Los Angeles – therefore, it’s in the realm of ‘reasonable’ when it comes to exercise expenses.

This is my second visit to Powerhouse.  I came with both of my sisters a few days ago, because one sister wanted to take a spin class, which they offered.  The gym has three classrooms – a spin studio, a boxing/kickboxing studio, and a general big open space that’s used for everything else.  My sister liked the spin class – it was good and tough, although the music wasn’t her cup of tea.  That day I did 50 minutes on the CrossRamp.

Here’s the inside of Powerhouse:

The weight area in the foreground used to be the theater where my dad and I saw an advance screening of “Jurassic Park” in 1993 (and on a school night, to boot!), and the cardio area, in the background, just before the blinding light of the sun, is where my sister and I saw “Clueless” in 1995.  I saw dozens of movies there over the years, but for some reason, I specifically remember which theaters those two movies were being shown in.

The ceilings are nice and high, and there’s big murals on the walls that used to have the movie screens.  Here’s my favorite one:

I like working out on top of pedestals on the beach wearing all pastels, so this mural really hit home for me.

Powerhouse also has a deli!  This is the first gym I’ve been to that sold food (excluding protein bars). I didn’t take a good look at the menu, but the guy at the front desk said it’s really good.  I sneakily took a picture:

I only got 2 of the refrigerated cases in the picture, but there’s about 8 total, mostly full of tons of beverages – from soda to Snapple to juice to protein shakes.

Today I decided to confront my best friend dreaded enemy, the StairMaster, which I have not stepped foot on since early December, when I conquered my workout goal of climbing 73 stories without stopping.  Well, just in case you’re wondering, I still hate the StairMaster.  It’s a good workout, but it’s just terrible.  I managed to do 6 minutes and 30 seconds before stopping the machine and stepping down.  I climbed 31 flights.  So, without further ado, here’s the skyscraper of the day – Ocean Towers in South Padre Island, Texas.  And just to switch it up, instead of just a photo, it’s a YouTube video of Ocean Towers getting imploded!  Turns out the weight of the 31-story-condo building caused the ground to compress and shift during construction, making the building unsafe, forcing the developer to knock it down instead of completing it.  Whoops.

Then I hopped on the CrossRamp and finished my workout by completing 45 minutes – burning nearly 600 calories!

Keep it up, David!