As predicted, eight of the last nine days have been no-spend-days as I continue to house sit and work on my writing. This has been great news for the minimum wage challenge. As mentioned before, I had everything that I really needed which gave me the opportunity to save a bit of money, although it made for pretty boring writing. One would think that this situation would keep me out of trouble, but then one would be greatly underestimating my ability to turn every day simplicity into something much worse. In the process, I also have a new perspective on home exercise rooms.
I’ve always thought gym memberships and home exercise rooms were a waste of money. They just have never made a whole lot of sense to me. While there really isn’t any such thing as free exercise, it doesn’t have to cost a lot, and one can even make money doing it. Now, there are a couple of caveats that I need to address. First, I have never lived in a cold weather climate which has allowed me to get outdoors year round. Second, I’m not worried about sculpting my body to look a certain way, only to stay relatively healthy so I walk a lot. These two things make a gym membership or a home gym not nearly as important as they might be for someone else living in a different part of the country or who was trying to sculpt their body in a certain way.
The house where I’m currently house sitting has an exercise room and since it does, I thought I might as well try it out and use it a bit. I would normally prefer to exercise outside, but decided to give the treadmill a try. There were also free weights and since I do very little to improve my upper body strength, I thought it might be a good idea to see how strong I was in this area and work a bit on it.
The advantage of the treadmill was that I was able to do shorter and quicker exercises throughout the day rather than take out a several hour block of time to go hiking. This actually worked out much better than I thought it would. I would work for an hour or so, then do a quick 10 – 15 minute jog. I then would go back and write a bit more and do another 15 minute run. Wash, rinse, repeat. I found that taking the breaks were a perfect way to get away from the computer a bit so I didn’t burn out and the shorter times gave me a chance to work out without tiring me out too much. While an investment in a treadmill definitely doesn’t make sense with my current living conditions, it might be something that I consider if I ever decide to get my own place in the future which is something that I would have never done before experimenting a bit with it.
The free weights were another matter all together and prove that I should never be allowed near them unsupervised in the future. I decided to see how much strength I had by seeing how many repetitions I could do with ever-increasing weights with a number of different exercises. It seemed like a good idea and I was surprised that I could do a lot more than I thought I would be able to. Then I woke up the next morning and literally could not move my arms…
I have never been so sore in my life. My arms could barley function for about four days and every movement I made just made them ache. I didn’t even attempt to lift them over my head and everyday things like taking a shower turned into a game of “How can I do this in the least painful way possible?” Now, you might think that after this experience I would have the common sense to simply stay away from the free weights and stick to the treadmill, but for some unfathomable reason, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Once my arms began to function again, I decided that I needed to see if my first workout had actually allowed me to have more strength, so I did it all again with the exact same results and another 4 days of barely being able to use my arms. I do, however, think that the second round has cured me from ever wanting to touch a free weight again…
With the current house sitting job coming to an end, I needed to go to the grocery store to stock up on the basics for when the owners returned. I bought bananas, strawberries, apples, milk and eggs which set me back $8.97 as my only costs over the last nine days. Since the first third of the month has been so successful at not spending money, I have decided to take a short trip since I don’t have any plans for the next few days which should be a nice break since I have been spending so much time indoors. Here are the current numbers:
Nine Day’s Spending
(Photo courtesy of elliottcable)