So there I am in the gym, being put through my paces by my formidable He-Mannish trainer.
I secured his services in order to solve the problems with my back-, shoulder- and arm-muscles, said problem basically being: I have no muscles, and no shoulders, and it’s a miracle I can even hold up my gin class for a toast. Ask any media person: we all end up as shoulderless creatures from the dank depths after a while, due to excessive exposure to Macs, PCs and bar stools.
Anyway. Music’s pumping, sweaty bodies are glinting, and I’m lunging my way across the gym, 10 kilogram/ 10 ton bag of bricks (it felt like it, okay) across my shoulders. And then doing some single-leg presses, single-leg extensions, double-handed pulldowns, more lunges and stuff like that. And I am She-Ra, I’m Superwoman, I’m Olive Oyl who’s just decided to take some spinach, I’m… hyperventilating.
Just a little light hyperventilating, which quickly turned into heavy hyperventilating and general dizziness and my heart racing and then I was reminded of passing out while having my blood taken (I do that on demand), and then I started to plan the quickest route to the bathroom in order to avoid projectile vomiting over the Muscle Mary’s ogling me suspiciously. By then my trainer was shouting at me to “sit down, drop your head, breathe!”, and I’d decided I wouldn’t make the bathroom, so I should just steal the chick on the machine closest to me’s towel and vomit into it (I’m sure she would have got over it, eventually).
Luckily, round about then my trainer flipped me onto the ground in a pleasingly dexterous way and there I was, lying legs in the air, commandeering a sizeable piece of gym floor as well as one dodgy-looking machine and generally getting in the way of all the other lungers looking down at me in a haughty way.
It was kind of embarrassing. But I felt better almost immediately.
Mr Trainer looked at me gravely (and perhaps with a touch of worry: am I the kind of client who sues?). “What did you eat?”
“Uhm, this and that and this and an apple on the way here. I prepared, see!”
“Well, I think your blood sugar crashes quite hectically. Also, I think you could seriously do with some more cardio training.”
Uhm, yes, that might be true… I am what is known as embarrassingly unfit, despite priding myself on being able to kick any irritating person of your choice right inna head. ‘S true.
Anyway, I recovered, and I’m quite proud to say I finished the training session. Something to the sounds of, “They can take my dignity, but they won’t take the last ten steps!” Or “This… Is… Virgin Actiivvveeeee!” Or “You shall not pass out!” So I didn’t wuss out completely.
I am just a bit worried, though. May was supposed to be the month I got my Mojo back. This entailed various activities and To Do-lists. Some of these I failed at miserably (blogging more, for one – this being the sole May effort so far!). Others I’ve done better at: eating a bit better, sorting out my back and shoulders, taking a shot at playing piano again…
Just… Stuff. Stuff to make me feel like the person I used to be before work started devouring so much of my time, creativity, passion for life and just general happiness.
The fitness thing scares me a bit. I’ve always enjoyed being active, and I’m not used to feeling physically weak, but now, I am, and it kind of terrifies me. It makes me think of all the people I know who’ve died in the past few months. Some epitomes of healthy living, others just normal people. Not one saw their deaths coming – and they were (mostly) all so young! And the stuff they died from: heart attacks, blood clots, aneurisms… Things that could quite possibly be related to stress? (Oh, how this blog has taken a turn for the morbid. I also need to get my sense of humour back.)
I’m not going to prattle on about how we should all aim for more balanced lives and stop sweating the small stuff and not let work get to you. I could do that for days, and still not believe or listen to myself. And we all KNOW what we’re supposed to do anyway.
Instead, I’m focusing on little things, day by day, to try and get some reason back for why it is I’m actually alive, and why I’m doing what I’m doing.
Little things like getting up and going to the gym again. But this time, with an empty Checkers bag stuffed into my sports bra, just for in case…
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