I was feeling a bit at a loose end earlier today. Everyone was off doing things and I think the end of a packed week just had me at a low ebb.
There’s a stereotype that being poly means being in each other’s pockets all the time but if I’ve learned anything it’s the importance of both making sure that I am comfortable being in my own space, and embracing how important for other people to have that too. Remembering that felt difficult today, but I knew that if I got on with something it would help.
So I went to the gym, because its something I’ve not been doing as much as I’d like. And that helped. I have a routine that takes about an hour and includes a lot of cardio. With headphones on and an audio book playing that hour went quickly.
Combined with some time for a coffee and people-watching in the bar area later it definitely helped lift my spirits. Sometimes just plodding on is all that’s needed.
After a more hectic than expected beginning of the week, Lady M and I have taken a leisurely wander to the gym to work out some of the aches and pains with a mixture of exercise and spa pampering.
I usually start with a half hour brisk walk on a treadmill as it gives me time to let my mind wander and eases my sometimes creaking joints into acknowledging that there’s work to be done. I’m finding it gets me into a positive mindset, but also that it lets me switch off a bit.
Today’s thoughts came in general as my gaze occasionally passed over the other people using the space. There’s nothing earthshattering in the thoughts, but I felt it worth acknowledging and recording that:
A) everyone, even the most chiselled and glowing among us, had to start somewhere.
B) most people using the gym are in their own headspaces and couldn’t care less about what I look like
C) it’s easy to see how people can get obsessed with measuring themselves against other people and the weights they use or the machine settings they are on.
D) The only person I’m measuring against is myself and the difference from where I started
I’ve worked up a good mixed routine of cardio and resistance training via the KickStart coach at the gym which I’m looking forward to getting to grips with. I made a start on it today but by necessity I couldn’t entirely focus on it as I also had the cub with me.
He lives splashing around in the pool. After complaining about the days heat in the flat today it made for a good reward for doing his homework to bring him along. Lady M is mired in paperwork so stayed behind, while boy s is working today. That meant it was our first visit just the two of us, rather than the whole triad trading off watching duties.
If I’m making this sound more momentous than it was, it’s not deliberate. The cub is familiar enough with the pool, and gym, to not be phased if I’m momentarily out off his line of view. That said, I did make sure that the treadmill I used was in plain view overlooking the pool so we could gesture or smile as needed to reassure.
So I’m now sat in the cafe area, waiting for him to emerge from showering and changing, then we’ll go pick his dad up from work
According to various lateral flow tests we’re now in the clear, though aches and pains and lingering symptoms are still making it very clear that we’re not as well as we might like. What we did do last night though was go in support of boy s to his induction at the gym and take the cub swimming.
Well, by that I mean introduced him to the changing rooms and then sat and watched because I’ve tweaked my back and am currently hobbling round with the aid of a cane, but I’m pleased to say that both the cub and boy s enjoyed themselves immensely, while Lady M and I were walking wounded and looked after bags and food.
We hadn’t intended to be there that long, but suddenly it was nearly nine in the evening and I’d missed my counselling session (for which I’ve made copious apologies and set a very loud alarm on my phone for next time)
The cub went from being very reluctant to be away from his computer to being very engrossed in swimming and then the treadmills and cycling machines in the gym (never underestimate the power of animations and YouTube on gym equipment) while boy s is now seeing the draw of studying in the quiet area and taking a break in the gym while working on his degree.
So it looks like we have an addition to our social activities and general health to look forward to. Here’s to my back muscles relaxing soon.
I had my first session, known as a “kickstart” today at the new gym. It was basically a quick chat about immediate goals and measuring some baseline statistics to compare the (hopefully) improvement to come.
My previous experiences of these have tended towards a focus on BMI and an underlining of poor condition that has made me snarl: “I know that, why do you think I’m here?”
What was a relief this time was a recognition that BMI is flawed and instead a wider range of scanned body parameters being looked at. All of which recognised that I’ve a lot of dense muscle, so I would be labelled as a Solid Build rather than Obese – even if just on the boundary of it.
You know what, I’ll take that as a starting place to build from. I’ve basically said I want to build back into regular exercise as part of managing my diabetes and blood pressure and I don’t think that’s unreasonable as an initial set of goals.
We had a great time yesterday at the Preview event at Thorpe Park – a pre-season day exclusive for annual pass holders and staff and their families. In previous years before the plague times we were the former and dropped in with the Charleesi. This year it was as guests of boy s.
The sun was out, the cub unsure of what he might like, and the after effects of Storm Eunice were still evident in some closed attractions. We had fun. I’m feeling a bit battered and bruised, and it took a while for my brain to remember how to process the signals from my inner ears, but I’m so glad I tried some new things.
Even remembering I should have been at counselling just as dessert arrived at our restaurant meal afterwards didn’t put too much of a dampener on things.
And then today we joined a gym – biting the bullet to manage various health conditions. The last time I was a member of a David Lloyd gym I was deep in depression and generally all over the place. My brain has therefore wasted no time in trying to recall and castigate me over non issues from that time period. No surprise there.
I am reminding myself instead that my last gym membership did me a lot of good and I did actually enjoy it.
And never more so now that I’ve started playing Poke Mongo (oh alright, Pokémon Go if you’re going to be boring about it). Today for example I’ve walked some 18000 steps straight after my weekly yoga/Pilates/body balance class and it’s only the intake of large glasses of gin that I’ve just finished that has me not caring too much about how tirehoI suddenly am.
For your information, a couple of fingers of Hendricks Gin, with three or four fingers of Robinson’s Apple and Pear Fruit and Barley, a generous top up of Tesco tonic water with cucumber and a plug or two of coconut water in a tall glass makes a lovely Sunday post-exercise antidote. All credit goes to Lady M for the recipe.
I’ll save the moody introspection that’s rattling around my brain for later posts. For now, go enjoy your Sunday and try mixing it up with your gin if that’s something that appeals…
It’s a tough old lark this trying to get healthier and lose some weight thing. Having dragged Lady M into coming along to the gym, she got her revenge by convincing me to join her in a Body Balance class. These 45 minute classes combine Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga and hit most of the main muscle groups, focusing on balance and core strength (he says, reading off the label).
What better way to spend a Sunday lunchtime? Tying myself in knots, discovering that I’m far more flexible than I reckoned on, and have a knee that’s still surprisingly weak ten years after surgery. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. Okay, eating would be a better way to spend Sunday lunchtime, I’ll grant you that, but it did mean that when we got home I felt no guilt about setting up open sandwiches topped with smoked grilled back bacon and slices of black pudding fried in butter.
I have no shame.
What the lesson also taught me was precisely which muscles I haven’t been using in a while – because the first half of this week has been spent walking around feeling like someone has stapled the top thigh muscles to my legs with iron spikes. Yesterday was the first day I could get out of a chair without wincing. I celebrated by going back to the gym.
I know it’s going to be worth it – in fact I already know it is worth it because my resting bpm has already fallen significantly and a bit of weight loss has started too. I’ll try not to bore you all with it in huge detail, promise.
I joined our local gym a few weeks ago, driven by doctors’ nagging and a growing dissatisfaction with my general health and appearance. I’m pleased to report that the combination of near-daily 30-45 minute cardio-heavy sessions and a renewed focus on logging at least 10,000 steps a day is paying off. Weight is starting to shift, and a routine is starting to suggest itself.
That said, I did overdo things the other day by throwing some weights into the mix – for the first time in maybe nine or ten years. Although I thought I’d been reasonable in my starting weight selections, the pain in my upper arms the last couple of days would suggest an over-extension or two. If it wasn’t so painful I’d no doubt find it as funny as Lady M does.
Speaking of the redoubtable Lady, she too has taken the plunge today and joined up too. She’s booked into a yoga/Pilate’s/body balance session already. I shall limit myself to the gym while she attends her class. Anyone wishing to talk to us afterwards may find themselves trying not to laugh at our synchronised groaning.