I have been working out, which is why you haven’t heard from me.
I have worked out nearly every day for 17 years. I never intended to do this as a young person. I had been adopted into a family where exercise was a dirty word; I was talking to a cousin recently about fresh air and exercise, who opined that you really only needed the fresh air. My mother famously was dedicated to getting someone else to do it while sitting watchfully to supervise. My father swam and was good at it, making endless sub aquatic films of the same grouper going round a rock and appearing, as if by magic, from the other side. I did carefully examine the first couple of hundred of his still slides of seaweed but then got devil may care and just dumped the rest, if there was a rare octopus or a shy mermaid they are lost to dry land.
When a teenager I briefly tried tennis, and was laughed at by my mother, watching, derided later as ‘Standing there like bloody Queen Victoria.’ Hindsight suggests that the inactivity may have been prompted by my then undiagnosed myopia. Tennis balls were for me mysteries that suddenly appeared about five inches from my face, perhaps I realised that I was statistically less likely to get hit if I stood still. I also failed to learn bike riding, despite my cousin’s outgrown bike being procured for me and myself being instructed to learn. Perhaps it was the frequency with which I sprained my ankles that discouraged me, perhaps the bike was too well sized to ‘grow into’, yet, as a child I was a wonder on a pogo stick and could walk miles on my stilts.
So exercise and adult me were too foreign to each other to be friends until I hit fifty and developed polymyalgiarheumatica. As this auto immune disease, formed round old scar tissue and causing the muscles to go into paralysing and very painful spasm, usually hits people in their eighties, it took some time to be diagnosed, so I spent a couple of years hobbling around on painkillers that did for my digestion. When it was finally caught with a blood test I proved to be allergic to steroids, the first line of treatment. Asking the old family doctor how I could keep moving, I received the answer that the way to keep moving was to get moving and keep it up.
So when a shopping channel produced a roll-out ab worker that could be wrapped up and hidden under my chair in case I got laughed at by the N&D I bought it. For the first two months when alone, I rolled it out, fell over and laughed. One day I rolled it out and then rolled it back. So began my fitness career. The benefits have been remarkable. I thought working out every day might help me lose weight or develop muscles, even. Neither of these things occurred, what happened was that my appearance has arrested, I compare myself with the OH and contemporaries and I definitely look about 17 years younger than I am. Short, fat and flabby but a really young short, fat and flabby. I get whistled at by builders, universally acknowledged to be the epitome of judgement of female pulchritude.
So I am no stranger to the work out. Working out the frozen arm with the ton of metal embedded, is, however, a different proposition. After every work out I am finished. Tired, knackered, knocked out, ready for bed. And I’m supposed to be doing it four times a day and I am now trying to fit in my back-to-normal usual work out too because I have lost fitness in the last three months. According to the physio I am still growing bone too.
So that is why you haven’t heard from me. If anyone had suggested to the teenage me that I wouldn’t be able to write because I was tired from working out I would have laughed a mighty laugh. Ha ha. Like that.
Life is nothing if not educational.
I have no idea how long it is to anything. I have stopped counting. I just get up, work out and rest.