The blood clot thickens
After almost crippling myself during my first warm-up in years on day one, I’ve survived the first of six weeks of regular exercise and am now on the long narrow path to a healthier tomorrow. Just.
Enter week two and I’m already dicing with the idea of ditching the home exercise plan and seeking help from the professionals.
Initially I considered investing in a home gym. After a quick reality check I soon realised that the kitty was bare and besides, trying to fit anything larger than a pair of dumbbells into my already overcrowded hovel doesn’t bear thinking about.
So, how about swallowing the little pride I have left and crawl back to the gym? My last gym membership afforded me little more than an expensive key ring and incessant phone calls from a personal trainer I refused to hire. Certain that I needed his business he would regularly badger me to make an appointment to confront my issues while getting a sadistic thrill out of telling me how incredibly disappointing it was that I hadn’t been to the gym for the third week in a row.
“Working 12-14 hours a day is no excuse sir. Your body needs release and exercise to refresh and rebuild itself.”
All of which could probably have been achieved with a cheap date and a couple of litres of crappy Dutch lager. But that would risk feeling an altogether different kind of burn.
“Why put off feeling good sir? Workout hard and don’t look back!”
I don’t recall if “get fucked” ever came to the forefront of the conversation at any point but it was mighty tempting, particularly as I was up to my eyeballs in other people’s office work at the time. Doubt it’d have dissuaded him anyhow.
So, to hell with it. Have decided to stick to the home routine I mentioned in Part 1, and see what happens. If after six weeks of exercise and healthier eating I don’t feel much better or stronger or whatever else then I’m going to do a Leaving Las Vegas, substituting vodka for cheeseburgers and moderately priced Dutch larger. Or maybe I’ll just watch some telly.
Anyway, after a week of almost daily running, sit-ups and push-ups I have to admit I’m starting to feel a few of the benefits. Heart palpations when reaching for the TV remote are at a six-year low, blood pressure not rising as much when aging Barbies in SUVs cut me up in traffic, no more back spasms when tying shoelaces. The possibilities are endless.
So, an approximate summary of the last week – each day was pretty much the same.
Wake up. Sod the shower, I’m just gonna be back in there in an hour or so. Stretch arms and legs at a safe distance from the sideboard. Sit fat ass down and start warming the leg muscles up. Fun, fun, fun. Dachshund rolls over in bed to give me a withered look, as I’m clearly disturbing the peace.
A 30 minute run followed by five minutes of coughing six years-worth of lung butter up from an earlier smoking habit. Smoking kills, kids and makes you look like a tit when you exercise. If you must, then add it to the post-retirement to-do list, by which time all things unhealthy and fun will be illegal anyway.
With lungs feeling as though they’ve been filled with wet cement I decide to powerhobble for the next half hour like the cripple I am. If anyone asks I’ll say I’ve been mugged – less humiliating than trying to explain wheezing, chaffed nipples and sore teeth.
Next, park ass on the couch and drink a glass of water, then another. Rumour has it I’m supposed to be getting through eight glasses of this per day. That’s a pipe dream at the moment but I’m working on it. Besides, my old boxing coach always said you shouldn’t drink more than a mouthful at any one time during training or you’re just setting yourself up for a stitch and a definite migraine from your sparring partner.
Twenty sit-ups followed by twenty push-ups. I’m hoping as the weeks go by I’ll no longer feel like passing out after each set of reps and my dachshund will start showing more compassion.
With everything feeling sufficiently jelly-like I wobble my way to the shower and contemplate the meaning of life. Then life without meaning. Then life without cheeseburgers.
I’m beginning to feel like Lester Burnham minus the interest in teenage girls. Come to think of it even he got the hang of this exercise lark. As I stare into the mirror I see no American Beauty, rather a work in progress. Next week I’m starting weights. Bring it on.
With more tension than your mother’s suspension, I am Frisco Rosso. I’m likely to deliver a few lines worth at any given moment regarding film, music, sport, books and anything morally unsound that strikes a blow between the eyes in the name of entertainment.