Yesterday Mr RR and I went to the gym. Yes, you did indeed read that correctly. I went to the GYM. It was my second time in two weeks, having previously been for a consultation where they could design a programme for me post accident and where they deduced which machines I could use due to my disabilities and which I couldn’t. Turns out only the exercise bike and treadmill would be suitable, I’m not envious, the cross trainer and I, well, we always had a turbulent relationship. More off than on really but the treadmill, well we were more of old chums who meet occasionally, have a jolly good old natter and then promise, faithfully to meet again soon with cries of “We really must do this more often” fading into the distance. And the rower and I? Let’s just say we weren’t on speaking terms.
In any case, I managed to hop onto the exercise bike and cycle on the lowest possible setting on the exercise bike for 2 minutes. I was bursting with glee and so proud of myself, until I took my feet off the pedals, stretched my legs and nearly passed out from the pain. Not one to give up easily, I decided to soldier onto the treadmill.
11 minutes I lasted on the treadmill. Lest I give you the wrong impression, this is not 11 minutes of hard core, running like I’m a marathon runner straight out of training. This is 11 minutes of the slowest setting (0.8km/h) and me bumping it up as and when I felt up to it.I have to say though, it’s getting easier, emotionally I mean. Previously I’d walk into the gym and be overwhelmed by the familiar equipment, all of the super fit people doing super hard workouts, and my mind would inevitably compare my pitiful walking to speed to when I used to run on the treadmill. I’d walk out more disheartened than when I walked in (not helped by the people who would open the curtain to my cubicle when I was struggling to dress and feign surprise that I could still be in there changing.) As an aside, why does it have to be that I’m one of those people who can only think of a witty retort once the occasion has long since passed? I know I’m not alone with this one, there must be millions of us out there, just making goldfish type faces when someone is rude or abrupt with them. Maybe we should get together and form a support group, pooling our brains together to come up with the wittiest retorts to any social situation.
Now I have a bit of a routine going, I use the disabled changing room which is much bigger and has a seat in the shower, plus chairs to sit down on. The staff are used to me, they call the lift for me to go up to the work out area, they open the electric door for me, things are much nicer and I feel much more a part of things. They even let Mr RR get changed in the disabled changing with me so that he can help me to wash my hair and get dressed should I need it.
In any case, yesterday was a momentous day for me as I also managed to swim a length in the swimming pool. Again this process has taken a number of months to get me to the point where I was able to do this but there’s something about the head space that swimming provides, the sheer luxury of having time to contemplate while the water eddies around you, almost seducing you as you exercise, that I love.
Flushed with my success, Mr RR and I went to our favourite restaurant for lunch, we walked (well, Mr RR walked, I meandered) to Boots as the sun was shining, the sky was the deepest hue of blue and, once more, I felt that life was good.