Thanks everyone who kindly left Entry Requests in my last post. I initially wrote that line as a joke but later thought I quite like the idea of you guys bossing me about. And I’d like to be helpful. Maybe it could be a weekly feature? I remember when I was starting out I had so many burning questions and just wanted some honest answers and encouragement, dammit. So leave a comment or send an email if there’s anything on your mind – food, exercise, what’s with the Freddo obsession, whatever 🙂 And of course I shall link back to the Question Asker’s blog, if they have one.
I’ll start with the Loose Skin Conundrum as it’s such a FAQ. I’ve touched on it before but I’m getting together some more thoughts and information.
. . .
It’s now September and if my shaky maths serves me correctly this means TWO THIRDS of 2007 is gone! But I’ve knocked off a New Years Resolution ahead of schedule – Try three new sporty activities. First we had kickboxing in January and canoeing in April and now finally… kayaking!
Yesterday I did a wee taster lesson and it was pretty cool. The most traumatic part of the whole experience was donning the wetsuit, surely the least flattering garment on earth. And even more so when you put it on inside out by mistake, and the inside of the suit is bright yellow with black sleeves, so you look like a bloated neoprene bumble bee. I’m just glad my friend pointed this out before we left the change rooms.
I quite enjoyed paddling around the loch in my sexy yellow boat, even when I kept running into the banks and/or spinning round in circles. I like how I don’t feel panicky anymore doing sporty things, just willing to have a go and not feeling like my self-esteem is in danger of being demolished at any moment.
There was one Fat Girl Freakout though; albeit a quiet one. There were five of us in the class – me, Gareth, two of our friends Dave and Lynne and their 8-year-old son Alexander. We had to paddle close together so our kayaks were in a row, then hold on to each others boats so we formed a sort of kayak raft. Then we had to take turns jumping out and walking across the raft then back again. One by one they wobbled over, laughing and struggling to keep their balance.
As I watched them clamber over me I couldn’t help crunching numbers. Dave and Lynne are a lot shorter than me and a good 20-30 kilos lighter. Alexander would be no more that 20 kilos himself, and that svelte bastard Gareth is about 5 kilos lighter than me too. So I when it was my turn I froze in my kayak thinking stubbornly, "No bloody way."
It’s been so long since I’ve thought about my weight. As in, you know, my heaviness. I haven’t felt conscious of being at all weighty. I wasn’t scared of falling or drowning or whatnot, but I did feel my Impending Humiliation Detector going off.
Gareth said, "C’mon Marsho!" and the instructor said, "You’ve come all the way from New Zealand and you’re not going to have a go?" and I just said quietly, "Not today thanks."
Blah. Sometimes you feel like you’ve come so far then sometimes you feel the opposite, and those moments can happen ridiculously close together.
After the kayaking lesson we got the canoe out again for some capsizing practice! Dave, Gareth and I are going to try some bigger water soon and it’s really very highly unlikely we’d ever get chucked out, but Dave likes to err on the side of caution. So the three of us spent about an hour throwing each other overboard and snorting up vile loch water and flipping the boat over and trying to haul ourselves back in. It was such a hoot, especially when I accidentally kicked Gareth underwater and he yelped in shock and said, "I thought it was f*cking Jaws!"
I feel like I’ve found real joy with exercise this year. Real joy in just living in this body, in general. I’m spending far less time in the gym but I’m so much fitter. Yesterday I felt such strength in my arms and shoulders as I pulled myself back into the canoe from deep water. I also felt goofy and messy and drenched and scared but uninhibited. Today my shins are covered in bruises and it feels like they’re the bruises I was too tentative and self-conscious to accumulate when I was a kid.