Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Get Fit!

We live three minutes walk from a leisure centre. We often drive past and say 'We should go to the leisure centre and take some exercise, it's very convenient, only three minutes away . We could even walk there.' We did join the gym when we first moved here more than four years ago. I'm not keen on gyms so I lasted only as long as it took me to get tangled up in the cross trainer and fall off the exercise bike. Andy did slightly better but he's more tenacious when it comes to repetitive exercise. But even he fizzled eventually.

So on Monday I wandered into the leisure centre and inquired about a swimming membership. I can do swimming. Mostly because you don't have some eighteen year old gym instructor who is the size of a runner bean shouting at you and telling you can pedal harder, faster and longer when you know that if you do you'll fall off the bike and give up gyming altogether (see above). I asked about the financial aspect - all you can swim for £18.95 a month - the best times to come and swim and avoid having teenagers jump on your head - I was provided with a completely incomprehensible but very colourful timetable - and then I signed on the dotted line, handed in my attractive passport size photo for my membership card ('It'll be ready for you in a day or so) and went home feeling very smug that I was doing something to improve my fitness.

I was up and out the door at 8 the next morning, having shaved my armpits and checked my cozzie fitted. It was only slightly baggy round the bottom as I have lost a considerable amount of weight since I last wore it but not baggy enough to justify purchasing a new one. I just won't do any diving in, I thought. Off I went, bag packed with towel, undies, brush, shampoo and conditioner specially formulated to get chlorine out of your hair, talc (because no matter how much you try and dry yourself, it is a well known fact that swimming pool water is much wetter than any other kind of water), my spectacles case and a pound coin for the locker.

Once there, I headed for the changing rooms where there were a couple of large, old ladies, completely starkers, towelling off after their swim and discussing the price of novels these days. I avert my eyes and nip into a cubicle just as their conversation turns to the best way to cook mackerel.

Now, the biggest problem I have with swimming is that once I remove my glasses, everything becomes a bit of a blur. I make it to the poolside without crashing into anything, leave my towel and shampoo on the bench and get into the water. There are various blobs swimming up and down. Some of them are, like me, focused breast-strokers intent on doing their 30 or 40 lengths. Some swim in pairs, very slowly, chatting and getting in the way by veering unexpectedly to one side or stopping suddenly. There are a couple of blokes splashing like wild things and making dreadful grunting noises which don't sound quite right but I assume from the lack of response from the lifeguards that this is normal for blokes of a certain age and they aren't, as I thought, drowning.

I finish my 40 lengths. I get out, shower, hair wash, and leave feeling very virtuous. I get home at nine o'clock and feel like I could sleep for a couple of hours. I fight the urge and have a very productive day. I sleep well. I wake up this morning. With a stinking cold.

Keep fit? Pah!

(p.s I apologise for changing tense half way through this blog but I am feeling far too weak to go back and do anything about it. Ditto spelling errors...)

1 comment:

Andy said...

never apologise!