I have never been a Sunday Gym bunny, much preferring the great outdoors either gardening, walking, visiting gardens or more recently since downsizing, dare I admit it actually doing nothing. My long-suffering I believe is quite happy these days to find me still in bed beside him at the crack of dawn, instead of having to scour the garden torch in hand looking for me.
This morning the long-suffering is in Barcelona on a stag weekend with our son – the groom – and his best man, leaving me home alone. The art of the weekend lie-in still needs practice on my part hence my decision to visit the gym, that and the fact it was tipping down with rain.
Arriving just after opening at nine, I card swiped in and got straight on a cross trainer to warm up. Already it was busy. After 10 minutes I moved on to the weight machines and from there the free weights area and finally the floor. Halfway through my programme ‘busy’ became ‘hectic’ all shapes and sizes, old and young all with their own goals in mind if not always in body!
The committed bodybuilders – lifting the heaviest weights their loud grunting and groaning making sure everyone else is aware of their every lift, followed by the ringing clang and the bounce of the floor as the weights are dropped with such force as to render anyone near by deafened, myself included.
The less committed – they whizz around the equipment at breakneck speed some at times with such unusual technique, they look to be doing more harm than good.
January newbies – most will have given up by March but for now kitted out in their trendy gym wear they got for Christmas, they are keen and focused on the task ahead, maybe a beach on a pre booked holiday giving further motivation.
There because they have to – Doctors orders – get fit or die – recovering from injury, wife/husband/teenager pressure.
Lastly the stayers – never miss a session, respect the equipment, friendly, not scary, happy to chat while in recovery period between reps if they are not on their phone that is!
Where do I fit in then? Somewhere between the last two I think and occasionally when life, holidays get in the way I become the newbie again and boy does my body let me know.
After only a two week break the first session back renders my bad side especially, into a meltdown. My left bum cheek feels as though its reverted to its post operative size – think celebrity implants, it never is but I check nevertheless. I walk around with the feeling of carrying a bag of spanners in my left back pocket. If I abstain for too long nerves come into play and I am rendered temporarily immobile as the shocks radiate from my hip, bum and down the back of my leg with no warning. The latter I am enjoying a current respite from.
If I’m really honest the gym is not my preferred place to be on any morning, I go because it really does make a difference to the strength of the muscles around my hip. When I don’t get to the gym or do home exercises my leg becomes weak again. The saying really is true ‘use it or lose it’ I still have a lot of work to do on stubborn weak muscles to reach my own personal goals but I am nothing if not determined……just not on a sunday!
Goal one – that shopping for any length of time will be a comfortable experience and not send my gait into decline.
Goal two – not lurching sideways when rising from the table on a meal out as though I am inebriated – on the many times I am not!
Goal three – to be able to relax and just walk normally again without constantly thinking about my shoulders being even, heel to toe, roll the foot etc.. etc…….
Goal four – Having strong enough muscles to stop the dreaded limp coming back when my leg is tired.