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two hilarious chapters from my new book..

Life Begins At Fifty - The Book
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Young at heart

Soooo, I’ve joined a gym!  Miracle of all miracles!  The first time I joined a gym was many moons ago when my youngest daughter was just a few months old and I thought it was time to ‘get back into the swing of things.’  So I popped along for my induction and the trainer said I needed to have a go on a few machines so that he could access my fitness.  Hmmm, okay!  So, after about 25 minutes panting away on several machines that made my heart pump like billeo, he said, ‘Okay, let’s see.  Ah, yes, you’re athletically fit.’

‘No, I’m not,’ I laughed.  ‘I haven’t done anything for ages.’

‘Err, yes, you are!  My chart says so,’ he told me earnestly.

So, I didn’t bother going back.  I mean, why would I when I was already athletically fit?  No brainer, really!

In the interim, I’ve occasionally gone riding, water skied, skied, climbed the odd mountain when pushed (not literally!) and had a go at Zumba, which I loved.  But then the old excuses kicked in…I broke my toe, my knee hurt, my back ached…and so on.  The thing is, it’s a catch 22; the more you do, the more you want to do.  The less you do, the more your body creaks and stiffens up and the more you go to the physio for every lump and bump.  So, it was time to toughen up.  No pain, no gain and all that malarkey.

I started off with Bounce, which, as the name suggests, is half an hour (perfect!) of jumping, twisting and turning on a rebounder (a small trampoline).  I went with my daughter, Nicola, who looked mortified when after 15 minutes I bounced off it and sat down for a few minutes.  I was having palpitations and felt as if my heart was going to burst, which was embarrassing enough, but even more so when the whole class (including the instructor) seemed to be overly-fascinated by this gasping heap on the floor.  Still, better to be alive than a bouncing corpse!  Then I returned to my rebounder with an innate grin, as if nothing at all had happened.  Very British!  Very KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!

A week later, we were off to the gym, where Nicola showed me round a few machines and told me how to use them (sort of!).   I started getting all cocky, thinking ‘Ah yes, now I remember.  This is going to be fuuun!’  The week after that she cried off, so I gave myself a talking to, knowing that if I didn’t make the effort I’d never go again.  Feeling proud as punch, I ventured there on my own.   Ooh, very brave, I thought.   Hilariously, I couldn’t even get through the revolving door for five minutes, as when you’re a member, you have fingerprint access (very high tech!) so I stood there feeling like a right nana for quite some time, until somebody came to my rescue.  Not an auspicious start, but hey ho, I was there so I was going to make the most of it.

I started out gently with the treadmill, and spent most of the time squinting at the five different TVs in front of me, trying to make out what the subtitles were saying, whilst the hip hop and happening people around me all seemed to have something plugged into their ears or were engrossed in their smart phones.  Greaaat!  Next was the rowing machine, which is supposed to get rid of bingo wings and give you a six pack.  Hmm, here’s hoping, but I was probably doing it wrong because the only part of my body that hurt seemed to be my neck and shoulders.

And then…the piece de resistance – the stair walker, which is basically like a moving flight of stairs.  I pressed the PLUS button to get it going, and realising that it was easier to do it when the machine was going quickly I pushed it again.  Ooooh, errrr!  The steps were going so fast I had visions of being ejected off the back of it, so as I was stepping madly – up down, up down, up down, marching like a soldier on speed – I tried to reach the MINUS button, but it was as if the machine was going sooooo incredibly fast that I was just getting further and further away.  Heeeeellllp!

In a last ditch attempt to save myself I lurched at the front of the machine and jumped up onto it, a bit like a kaola wrapped around a tree!  Yes, yes, yes!  It worked!  I pressed the minus button and the machine eventually came to a stop, thank the Lord!  Just as I realised there was a bright red button right in front of me marked EMERGENCY STOP (silly me!), I clocked the perfectly manicured 20-something girl on the machine to my left looking at me with the sort of expression usually reserved for embarrassing members of your family.  Oh Lordy!  Still, at least I survived…until the next time 🙂

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