Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


finding motivation where I can


The YMCA we attend has a computer system called FitLinxx. Okay, I think every YMCA has FitLinxx, but this is about me and my gym. So you sign up and get a password. Then you and your trainer come up with exercise goals which are put into your file. One of my goals is to accomplish four hours of cardio work every week.

You also pick certain weight machines, decide how much weight you can lift, determine how many sets and reps you will do and then all of the information is put in your file. The next time you work out, you log into FitLinxx (the computer kiosk) with your password. Then when you go to the weight machine you put your password in the small monitor that is attached to each machine. All of your personal information is then waiting for you.

So when I sit down on the leg press machine and enter my password my information reminds me that I am supposed to set the machine to 125 pounds and I am supposed to do two sets of 11 reps. Stay with me here. The best part is coming up. Because everything is computerized, every workout is saved and you can access your information via the internet at

In my opinion, the best part of this system is that it saves all of your exercise data and then it allows you to rank yourself against other females in your age range at your YMCA! If you know anything about me, you should know that I am one competitive mofo. My mind can be stronger than my body when necessary. So it seems this system was tailor-made for me.

There are three criteria you can compare yourself in: FitPoints earned (each exercise is worth a point, each minute of cardio work is worth a point, etc.), calories burned and weight lifted. If you wanted to, you could compare yourself to every woman in your age range across the nation, every person at every YMCA, every man at your facility in your age range, etc. There are a lot of options, but I focus on the chicks at my facility in the 30 to 39 age range.

It does sort of freak me out that next February I will be in the 40 to 49 age range. When I started FitLinxx, I was nestled in the midst of the 30s at 35. I felt like I would be in that box forever, and here I am finding myself on the edge of a new box. I suppose the upside is that those women are aging too and I will have an edge against them being the youngest compared to the others in that particular box.

In my hey day (which I am frantically trying to regain) I was number one on all three criteria. It was August 2004, summer had settled in and all of my clothes fit me to a T. I had hamstrings to die for and the closest I ever got to a bona fide 6-pack. I had the lead on FitPoints earned, calories burned and weight lifted. Yes, I printed that chart out. Yes, it is still on the refrigerator for motivation.

Most of the people who are on FitLinxx hide behind the generic name of "Facility User." I, on the other hand, use my actual name -- first and last. A handful of other 30-something chicks use their real names as well. Back then my nemesis was a gal named Sherry Greg. She nipped at my heels every month. I tried to search the gym while I was sweating it out on the elliptical to figure out just who Sherry Greg was. I never did find her. And now she is no longer in the 30 to 39 box. My new adversary is code name tatsu30.

As of today I am number one out of 27 in FitPoints earned and calories burned. I am number two in weight lifted. It's a huge motivator for me when I don't want to go work out to imagine tatsu30 sweating away on the treadmill. She has no face, no personality but I figure she is a cardio robot intent on knocking me out of the number one standing. Maybe she could care less, I don't know.

But it is fun for me to picture her sitting in front of her computer waiting for the FitLinxx standings to come up (the site does run slow, even on DSL). I see her calculating her points in her head wondering if she has bested me. Then the chart comes up and she says "Damn you, cardiogirl. Damn you to hell!"


2007-04-09 at 8:10 a.m.

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