Dude, I’m a top athlete. I’ve tried two new sports in the past week!
Well I dunno how sporty these sports are. The first was clay target shooting. It was part of that whole team building thing. There were 14 of us shooting and I was the only chick on the day. Normally it doesn’t both me how testosterone-heavy my workplace is, but as soon as I had the stupid gun in my hand I felt so out of place and wimpy. And I was soooo rubbish! Out of 25 shots I only hit one stupid bit of clay, and that was only because the instructor told me when to fire.
He was a nice enough bloke, encouraging; but a tad patronising at times. He’d tell me to lift the gun higher, that I should be able to do it because it was only four pounds. Grrr. I’d began the day with a positive attitude, determined to Have A Go and all; but as it dragged on I let my confidence dissolve and just wanted to go home. I was cranky at myself for being so crap at it, and for letting myself feel intimidated. Grrrr.
I also just didn’t like the feeling of brandishing a weapon, even if it was just a clunky old shotgun. The recoil made my dodgy shoulder burn. And I couldn’t help thinking of how hard it was to hit a target, and how there were millions of people out there with guns who may be as just a lousy shot than me. Scary!
When we were done the instructor said how well we’d all done! We were naturals! We should come back for further coaching!
But then he added with a grin, "Except for you, Shauna. I don’t think shooting’s your thing. Maybe you should try waterskiing or something?"
I’m sure shooting would have been my thing if I could shoot at close range. I wondered if he’d volunteer to be my target.
Tuesday night’s sport was far more dainty – Aquarobics!
The lovely Lainey once again gave me a guest pass to my old Fancy Gym, woohoo! Good lord, I felt like a right dork, splashing and thrashing and kicking and jumping. It didn’t feel at all grueling at the time, which disappointed me as I like my exercise to be torturous and humiliating. I said to Lainey maybe I would give it another chance when I turned seventy. But my muscles were singing when I got out of the pool, and even more so the next day. I will never be quick to scoff again.
(My stupid knee hurts too, despite me being sooo careful during the kicking. I’m not going to even talk about my knee on here because I’ll only get cranky. Let’s just say I had hoped I’d be capable of far more than 20 minutes of plodding, resistance-free cycling and would be well and truly back Spinning and Body Combat-ing by now, but alas, I am not. Which really makes trying to bust lard So Much Fun.)
. . .
I was saying to Lainey afterwards how cool it is to meet up with someone for exercise, instead of eating. Social engagements so often revolve around food. There’s always a cup of tea, at the very least. And maybe some cake. Or twenty beers. Then a curry. So it’s good to catch up with a friend and do something good for your health at the same time!
I used to prefer the company of food to people. I’m currently reading Marian Keyes’ book Under The Duvet and there’s a story about her being an alcoholic. She writes about how the addiction grew and grew, and she crossed the line from drinking too much when out with mates, to preferring to stay home and drink too much by herself. It was much easier and she could avoid the scornful stares too.
Oooh that story was a real slap to the chops. I realised I’d one reached that point with food. When I’d go out for dinner and try and think of an excuse to leave so I could buy a second dinner on my way home. When friends would come over I’d wish they’d leave so I could get on with the leftovers and stop pretending everything was just fine. Or when I finally stopped contacting friends altogether, so I could draw the blinds and be alone with my food. I didn’t want people around, getting between us and looking at me with disgust. Happiness was a two-litre tub of ice cream and spoon, and the comforting knowledge that the pantry was loaded with more of my good friends — chips, bread, chocolate and cheese. In case the ice cream wasn’t enough.
I’m just glad that I prefer people again.