November 2012


A Little Remembered Anniversary Passed This Week

Working Out

I work out.

While Germans were observing the anniversary of Kristallnacht and celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall, I observed the second anniversary of my gym membership.

By coincidence I had a meeting with my personal trainer – and we discussed my progress over the last two years.

And as I look back at my notes, it’s amazing how much progress I’ve made, even as my weight has held relatively steady, with only a slight decrease at best.

Five months after I started, I was able to 70 kg on the leg press, 3 sets of 10 repetitions each. My current regime this consists of 100 kg, this time doing 3 sets of 20 repetitions each.

The abdominal crunch has increased from 3 sets of 10 repetitions at 22.5 kg to 3 sets of 20 repetitions at 37.5 kg.

On most of the exercises I feel like I’m making progress, although on the shoulder press, I have only increased the repetitions over this time frame. I asked my trainer why I haven’t made any progress with it, but she pointed out that I have doubled the number of repetitions and, at the same time, I did actually start 2 years ago at 10kg.

This past Wednesday I hoped to lift 30,000 kg, but I missed by 445 kg. On the other hand, had you told me two years ago that I would think it was within my reach to do 30,000 kg of weight in one trip to the gym, I would have laughed.

On the cardio front, counting the motion on all things except the bicycle, I’ve run the New York City Marathon 17.5 times. When I feel motivated, I can do straightforward elliptical machine cardio for 90 minutes, with resistance significantly higher than when I started.

When it comes to the bicycle, I’ve managed to increase my endurance from 35 minutes to 95 minutes. Actually – I think that the first time I rode the bicycle, I couldn’t even make it to 35 minutes. Unfortunately the motivator for the bicycle is the Tour de France, and I haven’t even finished half of one lap. And I checked with my personal trainer, I’m not allowed to take performance-enhancing drugs in order to be like Lance Armstrong.

My general plan to go to the gym every other day has, for the most part worked. I skipped days when I hurt my back and while on vacation, but while in Berlin, I go.

1 comment to A Little Remembered Anniversary Passed This Week

  • November 9 is indeed a day laden with commemorations in Germany. I learned something last year about the term Kristallnacht that I didn’t know before after a colleague phoned to complain about how one item on our line-up of news items had Kristallnacht in the title. He complained that we should never use that term anymore, that the correct term should be Pogromnacht, as it indeed is now officially referred to. The reasoning behind it is the Nazis appropriated the term for their own as another derisive way to refer to Jews, modifying it also to Reichkristallnacht as some sort of reference to official State policy. At least that’s how it was explained to me as to why I should avoid using it.