Why Getting Fit is a Dangerous Occupation: And the Dog is to Blame

I’ve procrastinated long enough. I’ve checked my email, Facebook, bank account, daily newspapers (Europe and the US), sorted laundry and scheduled my research and work for the day.  I can delay no more, not without starting to do the most mundane of things like cleaning out the kitchen draw, which even I realise is an excuse not to exercise.

Waking this morning feeling energetic I decided to don my exercise gear as a statement of intent and a psychological reinforcement. There would be no excuses, first priority this week is getting fit and making it part of my daily routine.

I must point out that I’m not an athletic type, never have been, never will be. School memories of sports are not good – I have no hand/ eye co-ordination when it comes to anything spherical requiring to be hit by bat, racquet or club. Throwing or catching? Forget it. I have no interest in sport either as a participant or observer. None.

Hockey at school was a nightmare, not so much the sport as having to get out in the winter months and play it. I have horrific memories of playing in falling snow wearing only a thin cotton polo shirt and impossibly short hockey shorts, hands and knees numb and a fetching shade of blue. I couldn’t figure out then, or now, why it was necessary.

Summer sports were only a smidgen more appealing because the weather tended to be warmer than in the winter – on occasion anyway. Sitting down on the playing fields in the sun was infinitely more fun than declining latin verbs in a stuffy classroom, along with the odour of adolescent boys sweating profusely in heavy woollen blazers they weren’t allowed to remove.

Outside in the bright sunlight, with the scent of new-mown grass wafting on the breeze, it was easy to wander out of range of the gym mistress’ voice on the pretext of hunting for a lost ball (totally believable in my case) or practising cross-country running. It was worth the risk of a detention for the peace and quiet away from the frenetic running up and down the track or throwing the javelin.

You’ll appreciate then how this morning was a huge deal for me. And before anyone starts to think I’m a couch potato I’d just  like to point out that I’m on the go most of the day – the only time I sit is to write, or in the evenings, where of late I’ve been asleep by eight o’clock. What I don’t do is organised exercise in the same way I don’t do organised religion.

I have friends who will be at the gym four days a week and play competitive tennis on top of that. I join these dear friends for an aprés-gym coffee once a week as I’m flying around running errands, but to join them in a class is not going to happen. I understand it’s a great way to meet and make new friends, and the perfect antidote to the stress of moving to a new country with all those endorphins keeping depression and angst at bay.

Over the years I’ve accepted what works for me – exercise has to be undertaken on my own, not at a set time, and involve things I enjoy doing. Being somewhere at a certain time and having someone yelling at me to try harder doesn’t do it for me. I use dance exercise to burn calories and Callanetics (similar to Pilates and Yoga) for toning the body and clearing the head. Swimming. Walking the dog for a couple of hours a day.

I decided to take the latter up a notch and go for a run with the dog, figuring this was good time management. Not that I’ve run for a while and haven’t ever run with the dog. Biked with him alongside, but not run. I’d toyed with putting on roller blades (yes, I have some) but decided to err on the side of caution first time out.

There had to be a first time and I sallied forth with enthusiastic dog at my side. The results were the same as the first time I biked with the dog. Ice packs applied to elbows and knees, and a bruised ego.

In the zone, focused on breathing, I failed to notice a small dog off a side path – the Archster hadn’t.  He flew across the front of me tangling my legs in his leash and in the momentum of running I fell forward, arms windmilling. With neither grace or elegance I fell heavily and without dignity onto the tarmac.

The worse part? We have a formal function on Friday evening for which I have the perfect dress. Elegant, it fits, is sleeveless and knee-length, and will expose grazed flesh on elbows and knees, along with the golf-ball sized lump which has appeared in the middle of my knee cap making me look like something out of a freak show.

I’m beginning to think this getting fit lark is far too stressful and dangerous – perhaps it needs rethinking.

This is my idea of a perfect morning at the gym…

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
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10 Responses to Why Getting Fit is a Dangerous Occupation: And the Dog is to Blame

  1. Byron Eaton says:

    Maybe you should take a parachuting course, they teach you how to fall.However comiserations

  2. sheila eaton says:

    Have to say felt more toned going to the gym – but at the moment keeps dropping down the to do list.!!

  3. rosemary says:

    This sort of injury really wouldn’t have happened if you had joined us at Zumba!
    At least the floor is softer to fall on in the gym.

  4. nwkatje says:

    I agree with you about the organized exercise. I prefer to walk, bike and swim. Sorry about your mishap. Hope you recover quickly. At least you will have a conversation starter if needed at your function.

    • wordgeyser says:

      Thanks for stopping by to comment. Mishaps with the dog are the stuff of legend in our house – at least no broken bones this time. I’m thinking a kaftan for Friday!

  5. Jane says:

    no point in telling you about the gladiator workout on wednesday then… it is done outside, which is possibly its only redeeming feature.

  6. Oh dear, you had me at ‘Post Script’! At least your arms ‘windmilled’, very apropos for Nederland! Hope you recover quickly…

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