As I was being put through my paces at the gym today I found myself marvelling at how far I have come. Here I was early on a Saturday morning on a cross trainer, dripping with sweat, thighs killing me, exhausted and yet still going. Even while my personal trainer popped to the loo and left me unattended. What’s more, I was there willingly AND I was paying for the torture, sorry I mean privilege…oops! This is the same person who avoided all forms of sport and exercise at all costs during childhood and if forced to engage in a physical activity (a rare occurrence) would complain long and loud about it.
The only exception to this was my weekly ballroom dancing classes that I happily attended for five years. I loved these classes but I suspect I never would have started them if I’d realised it was actually exercise.
It was not that I was lazy (at least not entirely) I was just terrified. I had always been told that I was weak and fragile and that my condition meant that I was doomed to have only a twenty per cent muscle capacity which could never be improved upon so I never tried. If you don’t use it you lose it and so as I got older my body grew but my limbs began to weaken. This made ordinary tasks such as walking long distances (50 metres or more)’ climbing stairs or lifting anything heavier than a phone book very difficult. As a result I relied more and more on others. I did this for years.
After my body had been ravaged by yet another medical saga which included 3 operations, a mini stroke and various hospital stays as well as blindness and deafness (partially recovered) and because someone told me I couldn’t, i knew it was time for a change.
I found a small privately run gym and began training two half hour sessions per week, the aim of the game was strength, flexibility, balance and stamina but honestly I had my doubts. The more I did the more I wanted to do and I could actually do it…. I started seeing my abilities increasing and, hang on, are those muscles?! Everything became easier and less of an effort.
I now do two full hours at the gym and an hour of Pilates a week. I’m not quite ready for the Olympics but I can now walk more (my Pb is 1.5kms) , climb stairs and, depending on the exercise, lift up to 8kilograms so YAY!
I know what you’re thinking, she’s so far up herself she’s inside out but I do have a point, you don’t know what you are capable of until you try.
I should have realised this sooner though. These same “experts” told My parents I would be a vegetable then I began to speak at six months old. But that’s a story for another day.