Diary of An Old Gym Bunny 4

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Posted on: 20 June 2011 by Diane Priestley

Today I meet the weight lifting machines and discover that I have pairs of muscles in my flabby arms that contract and extend! Well you could knock me down with a feather!

Maddy and I are getting along like old chums now. We trade stories about our weekends and it turns out we both wear snazzy red glasses. I don’t feel as antiquated knowing we share the same taste in frames.

This is my initiation into the muscle-building machines. I’m still struggling with the tail end of a head cold at the unpleasant, anti-social (snotty) stage. So I’m still not in top form, stuck in ‘taking it easy’ mode. 

Maddy starts me on the cross trainer to warm up. I am pouring with sweat after .7 of a minute. (Is it any wonder I fled the humidity of the Tropics!) Puffing and wheezing, I realise just how unfit I really am (delusion is no longer an option).

The first weight-lifting machine I “meet” is to build my pecs (women have them too, just over the boobs). Then there’s one that works my back muscles and hooray, one designed to tone the muscles in my arms (I forget what they’re called).

 I learn that there are pairs of muscles; the one on top contracts and the one underneath (bingo wings) extends the arm. Wow! So my arms are meant to do more than lift a pen and type! (I have led a sheltered life in my head, cut off from my body!)

I decide, and the lovely Maddy wisely agrees, that I should start with light weights so I don’t get discouraged and give up! Better to increase the reps (I feel very cool saying ‘reps’) than over-do the weights too soon. That way I will feel capable and build my confidence, instead of like a pathetic weakling.

Maddy shows me the leg machines. My thunder thighs are my most powerful asset. If I was in a fight (unlikely, but those Post office queues do get edgy) I would drop to the ground and use my legs as weapons.

I get down for some mat work, doing natty little twists that strengthen my extremely relaxed stomach muscles (I think they have been on a secret holiday in the Caribbean for 20 years). I finish the session with some essential stretches.

I am so glad that Maddy is going to write down all these machines and what I’m meant to do with them because I can’t remember anything she said. 

I ask: “Where is the machine that exercises your memory?” She tells me. But I can’t tell you because I have forgotten. 

I finish my strenuous session with a soak in the Jacuzzi, a few slow laps of the pool and a stint in the steam room (to remind me of Home.) I shower and shampoo and blow dry my hair and relax in the café with a soya cappuccino while reading Saturday’s Guardian magazine. The delectable Jack stops for a chat. There are worse ways to start Mondays.   

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