Yesterday, in a bid to shed some pounds before I jet off to the South of France, I decided to accompany my younger sister to her new hang-out – the gym. After a 9 a.m wake up call, on what should have been the day of rest, I slithered out of my bed and rummaged through my wardrobe to find some kit. Sister was already glowing in her brand spanking new Nike compilation, looking every inch the gym bunny she has become. I pulled out a moth-eaten t-shirt, which on very close inspection I found had the remnants of a Kappa sign on it (I know, Kappa?!), and a pair of shorts.
And off we went. Now, I am partial to a nice jog and have been running 5 miler’s at the weekend for about a month. I was thinking about this as we entered the studio and met our class colleagues – all of whom were a good 15 years or more senior. An hour fitness class is going to be fine, I’ll probably put these women to shame, I thought.
I thought wrong. Indeed, even now as I write, my shoulder blades are seizing, my back twitching and my legs aching. Oh I was taught, I was shown the error of my ways; never underestimate the fitness class. Are all classes like this? Barely able to breathe, running forwards, running backwards and then squatting, I thought I was going to faint. When I tried to disclose this information to my sister, I was shouted at and made to do 20 press ups – not even the girl kind. Jumping jacks, leg kicks, grape vines, more squats, lunges (when you jump from lunge to lunge), were exhausting but bearable, but then came the plank. Now I’d heard of this before, well as planking – when in a club or bar you pretend to be a plank (a classic game, trust me).
Sadly, I was wrong again, this was a different type of plank. For one, you don’t get to lie flat on the floor. No, this did not entail relaxing on the floor at all. This was torture –
For some reason, despite the fact that I thought my lungs were going to implode and my back break, I still wanted to impress the coach. So even when the shaking of my abdomen became increasingly sporadic, I continued. But 30 seconds after this point, the pain became unbearable, and even though the 45-year-old woman in front of me hadn’t broken into a proper sweat, I decided that I had no choice but to give up. I made my decision, started to lower myself and then…then came the piercing shout of the coach in my ear. Back up I went, and then for added punishment she pushed down on my back. I would not let her see me fail, I would not let her see me fail. Alas, then came one exceptional arm twitch and I collapsed – right onto my face.
It’s been just over 24 hours since I returned home, dripping with sweat, recoiling at the muscular horrors that were inflicted upon me, but even with the lapse of this short amount of time, I am starting to look back at yesterday in a decidedly different light – exerciser’s amnesia?!. I may be stiff and aching, but I also feel good. In fact, I’ve already booked myself in for this weekend.