Falling, Farting and Fancying in the Gym!
I need to get fit. I realised that the other day when my youngest kid ran off down the road and I couldn’t catch up with her. The problem is that I like my food and I have a bad case of Gymophobia.
What’s that? I hear you cry. Let me tell you…
There is very little that scares me in life. In fact I’m quite happy to stand on stage in front of 1,000 people and give a speech, I can present to a board of directors or go to a million job interviews – in fact I love all that limelight stuff. I also gave birth to both my girls with nothing but a bit of teeth clenching and some heavy breathing – so I have no problem with a bit of physical discomfort either. BUT, the idea of walking into a gym and sodding about on all that equipment surrounded by Lycra-clad hotties who know what they are doing brings me out in a sweat. Which is about the only sweat I ever break into near a running machine.
So a few months ago I said Enough is Enough! I WILL brave the gym and I WILL lose my jelly belly. So I joined and turned up to a load of gym classes… and failed. Miserably.
So what lessons did I have to endure until I found my fitness Nirvana? Here is my list…
I chose this one first because I thought it said Pirates, which sounded fun. It wasn’t. When I turned up it was just a bunch of grey-haired wiry ladies in baggy cotton trousers so I figured it would be a load of stretching and stuff. It wasn’t. It hurt! The amazing looking instructor, with her arse that could crack walnuts and her perfect glossy hair had us in positions that I haven’t even seen in the Karma Sutra… then made us hold still until my legs shook and my tummy ached, and not in a sexy Karma Sutra way either. And she was really sexy in a really clean and healthy way, and kept smiling at me encouragingly, and I was beginning to Girl Crush on her which was putting me off. So that was crap.
I liked the sound of that one. I got out my sparkly hot pants and watched a video of Kylie dancing in a nightclub on YouTube psyching myself up for my Spinning Around moves at the gym the next day. It wasn’t that. It was stationary bicycles… what the fuck?! The last time I was on a bicycle I was 12 years old and it was a secondhand rusty Raleigh that was too big for me and every time I braked I fell off as my feet didn’t touch the ground. And this was even worse. If it had just been sitting and letting my legs go round and round I could have just about coped, but the bastard had us cycling while STANDING and then SHOUTED at us to go faster and lean in and lean back. Then he went around and upped the resistance, until he reached me. And he took one look at me, smiled, patted my shoulder and moved on. I was partly grateful and partly mortified. So that was crap.
Yep, I could do that. I always fancied myself as Lara Croft. I had a boyfriend who used to be a kick boxer and my husband does karate and boxing so yeah, couldn’t be that hard. Wrong! I bought the special gloves and I got kitted up – all the gear and no idea – and was fine with the jabbing and kicking and left hooks and upper cuts. Then the Drill Sergeant (I mean, teacher) wanted us to side step to the right and jab, jab, jab, and then run to the left and kick and run and hit and… I fell over. At the front of the class. And the music was turned off and she came running up to me and I died a little flabby death. So that was crap.
My next attempt was Zumba. Which I figured would be like getting pissed on a Friday night and going dancing with your mates, but without the Tequila. Plus I had seen fat ladies do it on TV and still come away laughing so I should be safe. Wrong. This was hard work! By the end of it, even though I was somewhere stuck at the back and had only managed half of the steps, I had a bright red face and couldn’t breath. Ladies of Spanish origin don’t go red in the face, it’s a matter of pride, and people saw me fail at the Samba. ME! So that was crap.
Yes, I stifled a laugh too. Pumpin’ on a Monday morning, yes please… make it a hard pump ha ha. So I slipped in to my class eagerly, my little black fingerless gloves at the ready (a girl has to have her accessories) and then saw the weights. WEIGHTS?! I couldn’t lift weights. Not the proper ones on the end of that stick thing that butch women in the Olympics do. Well I did do it, and I even did it in time to the music, and in the mirror I looked pretty cool too. Until the next day when I couldn’t move and my entire body seized up for three days. So that was crap.
How hard can yoga be? Bending down and touching your toes? Sitting cross legged? Pah! So I tried it and it was okay, a bit boring but I was okay. Until we all moved on to Slutty Doggy Style position (that’s not the real name, I don’t think, but it’s the position you get into when you want it hard from behind) and I realised I had huge holes in the crutch of my leggings which all the ladies behind me could no doubt see. Then, when I was just getting into it, I felt it… at first a small rumbling, then an ache and then an undeniable mounting fart. The big kind. And I was head down, arse in the air and hands in the prayer position. But no amount of praying was going to help me! Clutching my buttocks as hard as the Gods would let me I held it, and held it and then… it came out anyway. Quietly. The worst kind. I could smell it, every other woman in the room could smell it, even the instructor could (the same hot one from Pilates), so I gave the evil eye to the old lady next to me who looked like she hadn’t washed her hair since 1973. But I didn’t fool anyone. So that was crap.
Finally, I have found it, I’ve found my perfect class!!! It involves standing on one leg, passing a Tai Chi imaginary ball of energy from my left side to my right side again and the odd bit of standing on tip toes. And the best bit? The teacher sticks on some whale music at the end and we all get a ten minute sleep on a mat. Result!
Who said going to the gym was hard work?