Today's Weight 175.5 lbs
I’ve had a couple of pleasant surprises on the fitness front this past few days, and it’s a real ego boost to suddenly realise that I’m not as unfit and out of condition as I’d feared.
Firstly I went - drum roll, please – to my first Pilates class on Friday, and I loved it! Yes, loved it – will wonders never cease?
It helped that the instructor was a lovely lady, really down to earth and non-intimidating, and she made me feel really welcome and comfortable.
As for the ego-boosting part, I didn’t find the class hard at all, and I was able to easily keep up with everyone else without any difficulty.
The colleague I went with (who is stick thin) told me that she really struggled for her first few lessons, and she still sits out many of the challenging moves, despite three or four months of practice. I’d fully expected to be collapsed in an ignominious heap by the mid-way point of the lesson, so to get to the end without any problems was a huge bonus.
Either I was doing it all wrong and wussing out on the hard bits, or I’m stronger and bendier than I gave myself credit for.
The second pleasant surprise came today, when my daily lunchtime walk on the beach was hijacked by a couple of my co-workers, who tagged along and ruined my customary tranquil vibe.
Normally I stride out (as well as I CAN stride given that my inside leg measurement is a stunted 27 inches!) and do the entire circuit in around 48 minutes, but because I was forced into sociability I took a slower pace, and finished the walk in 53 minutes.
By the halfway point, my two co-workers were totally knackered, dragging their heels and pausing for little breathers ever 200 metres or so. They bitched and whined every step of the way, and said they’d never come with me again because I set such a gruelling pace.
I did feel a bit bad about maintaining a pace which had them visibly struggling, but it wasn’t as if I’d dragged them along against their will. I’d warned them before they tagged along that I like to walk fast, and they’d promised to keep up, so it was their own damn fault.
Both of them are 5-10 years younger than me, and both are in pretty good shape, but I kicked both of their arses without even trying. In fact, kicking their arses was the last thing on my mind – my only concern was getting the most benefit from my limited exercise time, and I’d have been much happier if they’d kept up with me – or even whupped MY arse if it had made me go faster.
So whilst their lack of discomfort made the walk less enjoyable, it did have the benefit of opening my eyes to my own improved fitness. I felt comfortable within my own skin, and I was exercising well within my comfort zone. I could easily have walked faster or further, and it was revelatory to me to find that I was the one not only setting the pace, but also finding it a breeze. Hell, I felt almost Amazonian! Heh heh.
Whilst I’m not deluded about my fitness – I know I have a long way to go and that for my age I’m woefully unfit – it was still a bit of a boost. I guess I should try more often to see how far I’ve come, rather than how far I still have to travel.
After all, one of the (very few) benefits of a lifetime of obesity, is that it tends to give you increased physical strength and endurance.
Have you ever noticed that?
These tree-trunks I call my legs have had to support and mobilise up to 230lbs of bulk, and they’ve performed that function impeccably for 40 years. The joints are probably shot to hell, and I may suffer problems further down the line, but for now at least my legs are strong and dogged and resilient.
I can walk the legs off the average skinny-Minnie, and cycle the legs off the average gal too – not because I’m fitter (usually I’m not), but because I’m simply stronger.
And because I’m stronger, my stamina is better, and I can just grit my teeth and plod on and on, keeping going when skinnier girls have fallen by the wayside.
It’s the same with swimming. Have you ever noticed that when you go to a public swimming pool, it’s always the big gals who are lapping length after length after length, whilst the skinny gals do a few fast laps and then quit?
I tell ya, we big gals can whup the skinny gals at just about every endurance sport out there, and we ought to take a bit of pride in that strength and staying power.
I’m not built for speed, but just set me on my feet and point me in the right direction and I’ll plough on relentlessly until I get to where I need to be.
Hell, that’s why my sister nick-named me Tank Girl when we were kids – it wasn’t just for the hell of it, you know – a nickname like that (intended insult nothwithstanding) has to be bloody EARNED!