My last workout was a week ago — Saturday, a water workout — but I hit the gym at the Loong Palace (aka “The Lonely Palace” due to its utterly remote location and long distance from downtown Beijing) as soon as I arrived on Monday afternoon — China time — and discovered I had forgotten my running shoes, forcing me to shuffle through the library in white socks and stupid plastic shower slippers. There I found the usual anemic exercise equipment. Rack of dumb-bells, stair-master, elliptical, stationary bike, recumbent bike, and of course
No Concept2 ergometer. The closest one was 50 km away at my step-sister’s house SE of the city, and I expect it probably is one of the few in the country save for those used by the handful of Chinese crews (which I have seen rowing on a river in the city last year).
So, since my boss was on the elliptical, I climbed onto the stairmaster and trudged away for ten minutes, switching to the bike for another ten. It is frustrating to only workout half of your body after getting the full treatment on the erg. But, breaking a sweat after the flight is a good thing, the only cure, and a necessity to, in the words of Joe Nickerson, to teach “the body is evil and must be punished.”
This morning, back on Cape Cod, I managed an brisk half-hour on the machine, my lungs burning from six days of Gobi desert dust, Beijing smog, and reprocessed United airplane air. But, it felt great and the time was decent.