I did two scary things this weekend!
1. Held A Tiny Baby
When I wasn't scoffing hot cross buns on Good Friday I got to cuddle my friends brand new bairn. I am rubbish with babies; I'm terrified of breaking them. But this little fella was gorgeous, and it warmed my crusty heart to see the parents so completely besotted by their new creation. I also felt an attack of the warm fuzzies to see Gareth holding him somewhat nervously but overall my overwhelming feeling was, "Lovely, but not for me." Not for now, anyway.
All of a sudden I have reached an age where people ask about my breeding intentions. Wasn't it only yesterday they were asking what I want to do when I finish high school? I haven't even figured that one out yet!
Just the other night I was out with friends and one of them said, "So when's the baby due?". I got all huffy, "Are you saying I look lardy? I have been BUSTING MY ARSE at the gym!". But he said no, it was because I looked happy and I'd only been drinking pints of water all night. Ahh, nice logic.
Anyway. Babies. It would be great if we could have a wee family in a few years, but right now I'm not interested. I have only just started to look after myself properly, let alone a screaming child. I spent so many years all surly and depressed, merely enduring life and just dragging my lardy arse through the days. But now that I'm finally fully present and participating, I'd like to enjoy my delayed youth for a bit longer.
2. Climbed Up A Big Hill
Gareth is mad into hillwalking at the moment. His fitness level makes me spew with jealousy – not only does he cycle a casual 80+ miles per week, he also wanders in the hills for hours on end.
Anyway, the other day he was heading out to Dumyat, a small hill of 418 metres (1,373 ft), and asked did I want to tag along. He assured me it was a quick and easy walk, popular with old grannies and small children.
"And you could add hillwalking to your New Activities list!" he said.
I was not sold. It wouldn't really count as I used to walk up Mount Ainslie back in Canberra. Not as high but felt bloody grueling back in 2002. People run up that hill in 10 minutes, but it used take me nearly an hour!
But then he told me he'd packed sandwiches and a thermos of tea, so my stomach led the way.
There is a very straightforward, gradual path to the top but of course Gareth likes to be different and took us on a much steeper cross-country route.
I have to admit I got shitscared. And really puffed. And cranky, because Gareth was barely breaking a sweat.
Why do hills have to be so… hilly? I don't trust my balance. I seem to believe that my body will somehow defy gravity and I'll fall off the hill and break all my bones.
My first worry is the ol' knee. Not the pain, but the fear of pain. Almost two years since I first hurt it, I am terrified of hurting it again. So I am really awkward and tentative on my feet.
The second problem is my former belly. For many years I couldn't see my feet because of my huge stomach, and I was always worried I'd lose my balance and fall down stairs/escalators/ravines etc. And even though the stomach isn't there anymore, I'm still nervous in descent mode. It's irrational and highly annoying. So I couldn't let myself enjoy the climb because I was too busy worrying about how I'd get back down again.
My tactic was to haul myself up the hill like a demented gorilla. Back hunched over, arms outstretched, fingertips grazing the ground, ready to catch myself if I started to fall. Not the most efficient technique, I tells ya.
The world was beautifully silent and peaceful, far away from our neighbours and their squeaky tumble dryer, far away from work worries. I could finally understand why Gareth enjoys it so much. It puts the world into perspective. Plus if you've been puffing uphill for an hour you can totally justify a big sandwich.
Our descent was painfully slow and took even longer than the climb, no thanks to my Baby Learning How To Walk technique. Tiny, lurching steps with arms waving in the air and lots of screaming. But it was satisfying in the end, looking back at how far we'd shuffled.
My muscles were deliciously hurty the next day, but my knee felt fine and I was feeling rather smug about the whole thing. I realised again that my fitness level is quite good these days, it's just my silly fears that keep slowing me down. So I will keep working on that.
Of course Gareth had to go out-smug me yesterday by climbing another hill with his mate while I was still whimpering about my tired legs. It was four times higher and involved rocks and extreme steepness and scrambling on hands and knees. But I guess one man's Everest is another man's stroll in the park, so I will stop comparing our feats all the time. The sporty git.