Scooting at the gym

Summers can be weird for me from a physical activity standpoint. The campus rec center only lets Summer semester students use the facility, so in a sense I’m “gym homeless” for a few months. Unfortunately, this is also driven by my reduced pay rate in the summer at my assistantship. Thankfully my husband has a black card membership at Planet Fitness that allows him to bring a guest with him, which also means that he has more incentive to actually use his membership.

My TravelScoot has been the magic that has made getting to the campus rec center possible, with the added benefit of not needing to worry if I work out so hard that my legs aren’t functioning well enough to walk. I was a bit nervous using it at Planet Fitness though…probably a combination of thinking “the parking lot isn’t that far from the door, so I should be able to walk that distance” and partially from the painful visibility of being a Scooter Fatty in a space that’s marketed for body transformations (PF has partnered with the awful “reality” TV show The Biggest Loser, which is one reason why I don’t have my own membership there anymore).

My scooter next to a recumbent bike at Planet Fitness
My scooter next to a recumbent bike at Planet Fitness

As a part of my Access Fitness project, I needed to get a real idea of what the facility looks like from a seated viewpoint, so I used it to jump my ever-present shyness hurdle. The picture to the left shows the row of recumbent bikes with a gap in between where my TravelScoot sits as well as glimpses of the signature yellow and purple strength training machines in the background. I was initially really giddy about there being a space between bikes that a wheeler could park their device, but realized that it’s there because of a large pole that would block a person’s view of the TVs that are mounted to the ceiling. Accidental accessibility…well, it worked out.

I haven’t gotten any comments from other gym goers about the scooter, but I have had some interesting looks. Some people look really confused when I zip over to a recumbent bike and get on (although I think most people subconsciously realize that a lot of scooter users can stand and walk a little…I would expect this reaction to be more blatant with my manual wheelchair because people freak out a bit seeing me stand with that). I’ve had a few people give me weird looks during my ride as I keep a decent cadence (usually 70-80bpm for fellow fitness geeks, but that depends on what I’m listening to or if I’m talking to my husband while we bike). At the end of my ride, no one looks at me quizzically since I’m usually holding the bike white-knuckled when I get off the bike and I usually manage to trip on either my feet or the floor trying to get to the scooter (this is why I usually wear fitted pants or leggings to the gym…I really don’t need extra fabric either tripping me since I’m short or catching on any part of the bike as I try to dismount!).

I have to admit that the scooter has been giving me license to go too hard, which is something I’ve always struggled with (I still remember my MMA instructor telling me that I only had two modes, on or off, and my Crossfit instructors probably would have said the same thing). The other night my husband decided that he needed to match my time, program selected, and level (60 minutes, random hill, level 5-7), which left him drained and walking slowly…I didn’t have to worry about using my legs to get to the car plus my endurance is pretty good, but I should have been worrying about how I was going to get up the stairs to my second floor apartment. Not my smartest move, but there’s something that I find satisfying about peeling off a sweat soaked shirt & bra…tangible signs that I busted my ass in the gym and enjoyed it! It’s a little difficult to get out of my sweaty leggings when I’ve fried out my nerves, but I don’t think my husband minds helping me in that regard 🙂

More fitness adventures await!

Pre-race photo before my first 5k on wheels
Pre-race photo before my first 5k on wheels

*I do not get paid by TravelScoot to endorse their product. I am just a huge fan of this amazing company that puts out a product that has had a huge positive impact on my life. However, I do receive a small referral payment if someone mentions my name when they buy a TravelScoot from the company.


One thought on “Scooting at the gym”

  1. Hi!! I just came across your post about cosplaying Oracle (as I also do that, easiest costume when you have a manual chair!) And then saw your blog and that you also use a TravelScoot now. I do too. 🙂 Anyway, Hi! My blog is at http;// I don’t always write about fandom and disability/mobility stuff but they both often come up.

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