Fitting up

A couple of weeks ago, I did something I never really thought I’d do.

I joined a gym.

I’d been slowly but steadily gaining weight, mostly flab around the tummy, and thought it was time to get serious about getting rid of it, as well as improving my general fitness and strength.

So far, over the two weeks, I’ve been every second day. A trainer has mapped out a workout for me, including cardio and weights. It’s a good mix, and I’ve been really enjoying it.

I’ve already noticed an increase in what I’m able to do; I ride longer and run faster, I can handle more weights on most of the machines.

What hasn’t happened yet is a tummy flab reduction. Maybe it’s too soon, or maybe I need to tweak my diet. By ‘tweak’, I mean ‘stop eating crap’. My diet is a funny thing; all of my actual meals are quite healthy and balanced, and I don’t eat a lot during the day. But after dinner, in the evening, I just compulsively snack. Pick at whatever I can find. I’m not even hungry, I don’t know why I do it. But I think it has to stop. So I’ll work on that and see how I go, I guess!

Taking a metaphorical plunge

That’s me up on the wall, with Andrew on the ropes. (Chantell took the photo.)

Rock climbing is something I’ve wanted to do, on and off, for many years. It’s a desire that was rarely expressed and never acted upon, indeed it was nearly forgotten. Until a few weeks ago, when I watched Cliffhanger. And then I was like, oh yeah, rock climbing!

So I googled, and I found Hard Rock Climbing Company, who run beginner courses for those of us who had never done it before. So I gathered together my unsuspecting friends, Andrew and Chantell, and off we went!

Andrew had been climbing before, but not for a long time. Chantell and I were complete newbies. So I think we were all a little bit nervous, but in the capable hands of our instructors we were soon swarming up and down those walls like… well, like slightly nervous newbies, to be honest, but we got better and better as we went on! The three of us have agreed to do it again, maybe semi-regularly, and I’m looking forward to getting better at it!

Being moved

I have never been the fittest or most active person on the planet. I’ve never been to a gym or attempted a marathon like some of my very admirable friends. I’ve always liked to walk, though, and prior to having children I did maintain a certain level of fitness.

However, due to dizziness and discomfort during both pregnancies, movement was severely reduced. Even my walking took a hit. I suffered for it, losing fitness despite keeping my figure. Second time around was worse, and I now find myself short of breath after only a brisk walk to the shopping centre less than 2km away.

This is not me.

So now, prompted by my outbursts of “I want to get fit!”, Aidan has taken the matter in hand. He already has a training regime in place for himself, but now he has added elements specifically for me and included me in some of his regular things, keeping in mind my current limitations (my episiotomy and my separated abdomen). One of those new elements is boxercise.

I confess to a some hesitation at first. I have a self-consciousness about trying new things like that, and my initial instinct was to refuse. However I told myself firmly that, whilst Aidan could push me and motivate me and encourage me, the ultimate responsibility for the fitness I wanted lay at my own door. So I stepped up to the plate, said yes, and began.

This one is me.

The training circuit Aidan has devised currently rotates boxing, skipping (yes, the kind with ropes, it’s like being back in primary school), and push-ups. Despite finding it difficult (especially the push-ups; the upper body has never been my strong point), I find that I come away from our sessions pleasantly exhausted. In defiance of my fears, I’m not dying or even being tortured by it. Exercise produces endorphins, and endorphins make you happy.

It’s tough right now, and I can’t do very much at a time, but I know that my capabilities will build up over time, particularly as my body heals and can be pushed harder. Maybe one day I will be joining Aidan for his entire circuit, including running and doing strange things with the medicine ball!