Grunt! Urrgh! Mrrrgh! Oof! KAPOW!
I’ve been a complete stressmonkey this week, and had almost convinced myself that hit of Green & Blacks was the answer. But on Thursday night I spied my dumbell collection under the bed, all lined up in a neat silvery row. They were calling out, Remember us?
Weights are my favourite exercise when I’m crabbit. I like the routine of dragging out Reebok step, tying my greasy locks into ponytails, placing all the dumbells in numerical order, closing the blinds and cranking up the DVD on the laptop. All that organising has a soothing effect!
I’m still on my Cathe Friedrich kick. Since I hurt my knee I haven’t been able to do Body Pump classes at the gym, as squats and lunges are agony. So I stick to Cathe’s upper body DVD’s. The moves are gruelling, but her all-American winning smile never wavers. She’s motivating without being nauseating.
And just like my beloved Body Pump classes, Cathe bosses me around and tells me exactly what to do. I am lazy, people! All I have to do is Obey Cathe and I’m guaranteed to wind up in limb-trembling agony without any thought on my part.
I don’t even mind that I’ve done the tapes so many times that I know what’s coming. I still feel a wee internal woohoo every time she grins, "We’ve got a TOUGH workout ahead of us today, are you ready?".
Sometimes I’ll chirp back at the screen in an unconvincing American accent, "I’m TOTALLY ready Cathe!"
Thursday was Chest and Triceps. First up was the dreaded dropset of 72 pushups, which I am still doing wall-style (a tip from Marla!). After that it’s bench presses and flys. Then you remove the risers from one side of your step so you can do incline presses and flys.
The incline was when I became aware that all the stress had somehow evaporated from my body. All the crap I’d been panicking about all week suddenly seemed a lot less important. If I hadn’t been pinned down by 15 kilos of metal, I would have slid off the step in a blissful puddle. There’s something about the repetitve grunt of the movements that clears my mind; the simplicity of lifting those dinky dumbbells up and down. Many people complain weights are boring, but I like them because they’re boring. Once you know what you’re doing and what muscles are meant to be screaming, you can just switch off your brain. You are free to daydream of bunnies or shoes or sushi while your body sings along without you.
"You did a GREAT JOB!" Cathe cheered, 45 minutes later. As she always does. "I’ll see you NEXT TIME!".
I felt completely relaxed and rebooted. Lately I’ve been distracted and antsy, so exercise had fallen by the wayside for almost two weeks. I’d almost forgotten I had a body; I was just a nervous, blobby brain floating round aimlessly. But now mind and body were hooked up again and I could get on with things. I love you, exercise. Let’s never fight again.
I emerged from the Bedroom Gym red-faced and stinky. Gareth enquired with a twang, "How was your TOUGH WORKOUT?"
"Cathe said I did a GREAT JOB!"
"Will she see you NEXT TIME?"
I’ll crack on with Back, Biceps and Shoulders today. Huzzah!
Hope you’re having a GREAT weekend. I’ll see you NEXT TIME.