Paul Oberjuerge header image 2

And on March 15, I Went Inside for the Summer

March 15th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Abu Dhabi

Sad but true. March not even half complete, and I’m done exercising outdoors, during the day, in this town until, oh … maybe late November.

But not to worry.

Sufficiently alarmed at the idea of 90-degree days for the next week (and much worse in the next five months) … I have solved my exercise problem.

The answer is … “The 2 in 1 Elliptical Trainer” … made by Head and sold at Carrefour here in town for 1,299 dirhams. Or $350. And now sitting about eight feet from me here in the Tiny Apartment.

Lots of thinking went into this. Mostly of the “that won’t work … neither will that … don’t want to do that” … sort. My new device is here mostly by process of elimination.

I’m not a gym-joiner kinda guy. I don’t like exercising in a public setting. Because I don’t want to feel as if I have to go at it harder because people around me are watching (as if) … and I don’t want to be the oldest/droopiest/chubbiest guy in the room. Plus, what if someone tries to strike up a conversation while I’m doing my semi-OCD “count to 100 over and over” thing? I’ll lose count!

Plus, joining a gym around here costs at least $1,000 for a year, which is three times what I paid for this piece of equipment. And to get to a gym, none of which are near me, I was looking at two more cab rides a day, and taking clothes, and carving out time for traffic and … no.

I could try to jog/slog really late at night, and that would work for another month, maybe … but the time is coming when it will by a muggy 95 at 1 a.m.  And I don’t know about you, but doing a 5K after a day of work … not really something I’m fired up about.

I wanted to buy a treadmill, frankly. But we had a couple of issues there, too.

It seemed as if I was looking at 3,000 dirhams, maybe 4,000 dirhams, to get one that might work. It appears, now that I have looked around,  that the department stores in this town have about 20 types of treads, none of which have any internet reviews. Or history, even. So, how to know how good any of them are? And where are they coming from? Bangladesh?

And the space issue. Have I mentioned this is a tiny apartment? To bring in a real treadmill (and the real ones don’t fold up) … there would go about 50 percent of the open space still remaining in here. It would take over the “hall” between the living room/kitchen and bathroom/bedroom … or it would be something I tripped over in the dark in the bedroom because it would be sticking out the door.

So, I spotted this … thing … an elliptical machine that also operates as a stationary bicycle!

It doesn’t have a motor, so I was able to try it out right there on the floor of Carrefour (which is a French company but, in this town, seems to operate as our answer to Wal-mart). And it seemed to offer some challenge, with a variety of resistance levels, some basic electronics (via battery) … and I don’t have to plug it in. Which is good because the fridge is already plugged in to one of the few heavy-duty outlets in the room.

It was 90 at noon today, so I broke in the (let’s see) … The 2 in 1 Ellipitical Trainer.

Oh, wait a minute. Backing up. I bought the thing at Carrefour before work yesterday, and they said they would bring it to the apartment and assemble it for me.  Cost another 150 dirhams (about $40). And it’s a good thing I went for that because it took two guys to get it off the truck, and they needed nearly an hour to assemble the machine.

I was at work when this happened, but I saw the directions, the “exploded” diagram and all, and I believe I would have a better chance of building Little Boy or Fat Man from scratch. About 200 moving parts. Sheesh.

So, the new machine. Gave it a go.

I never really felt comfortable, which is perhaps not a good sign. But maybe I will get used to it. The cycle didn’t seem high enough or low enough — it seemed like I was pushing around a very short crank, you know? A couple of inches up and down and forward and back. I did 20 minutes of elliptical and 20 minutes of cycling, and I was able to listen to music on iTunes, and that part of it worked out fine.

I broke a sweat, and I wasn’t outside, and the chances of me falling over in the middle of this seemed far less likely. But if it were only a little more dynamic to operate. Hmm.

So,  me and my 2 in 1 trainer … we’re going to be friends during the long, really really long, hot summer.


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Judith Pfeffer Long // Mar 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    I guess I should never again complain about the Mojave Desert in high summer. Although I suppose I could gloat that it is a dry heat here.

  • 2 MMRCPA // Mar 18, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    You forgot the most important use! It makes a great clothes rack.

Leave a Comment