Last year, I turned 40. I can, unashamedly, say that I love being 40. I love being able to use the excuse that I am too old for something when it suits me, but at the same time, being able to kick the dust in some youngsters’ faces occasionally. Like the scene from Fried Green Tomatoes where Evelyn is cut off in a parking lot and the girl retorts “Face it lady, we’re younger and faster”. Evelyn then rear-ends them six times and when they ask her if she’s crazy, she replies “Face it, girls, I’m older and have more insurance”. Gotta love it!
Unfortunately, with age comes the increased risk of all sorts of illnesses that you disregard when you are young. Heart disease, coronary diseases, the list is never ending…(I swear they add a new disease every day).
And of course I know the spiel…
- Eat healthy – well I try most of the time, normally more successfully during the week. And there are some advantages to working out in the sticks…like the lack of Sandton lunch spots.
- Don’t smoke – yay!, at least one I can tick without a ‘but’. Unless you count the occasional hubby bubbly…
- Limit the alcohol intake…well, I am sure my few-times-a-week glass and a few more catch up glasses on weekends are still within the normal range…
- Watch the weight – that’s a tricky one, as I (like I mentioned before) don’t have the skinny gene…but I try and watch my dress size so that I can avoid the bathroom scale…
- Drink lots of water – that I do, although occasionally it does slip my mind… If I remember, you may see me demonstrate my impressive skill of chugging 2 big glasses of water at once…(which reminds me)
- Exercise regularly – bugger…(question…what is the weighting of this risk?)
So, there is my lifetime struggle…exercising regularly…
At school I seriously sucked at sports. Big time. I was always the one who lagged 50m behind the rest of the girls in athletics (you know the one who gets a gold star for trying). I could not throw a javelin, discus or shot put if my life depended on it. I am very short, so trying to do any jumping was in complete vain (I think they only made me try for the laugh). The only thing I was good for during the athletics season was my contribution to the spirit trophy, which meant screaming until I could not speak. In matric, with my friend’s help, I managed to train for longer distance and ended up doing the 3500m run (came last, but I managed to finish, which was the aim). But, man, that was a lot of laps around the track!!
The only exercise related ‘thing’ I ever really enjoyed at school, was dancing. Oooh how I loved dancing. At the ‘skool sokkies’ you would definitely find me dancing all night. I had endless energy. Start playing the music and I had no stop button. I was like the Duracell bunny, I could just go on and on and on.
When I started working and hit my mid 20s I realised I had to do something to enable me to eat out at fancy restaurants and not turn into the Oros man. I tried gymming, and hated it. I tried it a few times (actually, let me rephrase, I joined the gym a few times). Most of the time I ended up going a couple of times, and got fairly irritated by standing in queues, waiting for an exercise bike or something to become available (after driving around for 10 minutes to find parking). Once I gave up after the condescending trainer guy did my evaluation, pinched my arms with some silly tool and declared that the fat percentage in my arms were far too high and that I had something like 10kg’s to loose. If I did, I would have weighed about what I did in school (they really should teach those guys a bit about motivating). From embarrassment or stubbornness (don’t know which), I did not go again. On one occasion I signed up for a one year gym contract over the phone (you know those pestering phone calls, playing on your guilty conscience). I never collected my membership card.
The only exercise I have been able to sustain for more extended periods of time (i.e. more than 2 months), have been walking and Pilates. I love walking. And I love doing Pilates. Unfortunately, on the walking side, I lived in a small complex for the last 10 years where walking soon became tedious, as you might as well walk around an athletic track if you are going to walk around in the same 40-unit complex day after day.
Pilates was passed on once my kids got bigger and I got tired of driving way out for classes in the middle of the night. I have tried a few Pilates studios again over the years, but I really need something to be almost on my way home, else I will not get there. The last attempt lasted about 3 months, until I realised that it was virtually impossible for me to get to the studio on time for the 6pm start. The last time I went, I ended up picking my sweats up on the go (the girls passing me the bag at the gate of our complex), and getting dressed in the car (it was dark) and STILL arriving 15 minutes late. (Btw, do you know how difficult it is to put trainers on in a car??) As this was the how many-eth time I was late in so many weeks, I was too embarrassed to ring the entrance bell and went to Woolies to get dinner instead. Haven’t been back since….(the Pilates class, that is…Woolies sees me very regularly)
Last week I went on a GNO (girls’ night out) with some friends to the Barnyard. I love the Barnyard. A combination of some of my favourites: music (live music, nogal, with really sexy musicians), wine and dancing. Well, we always end up dancing when I go to the Barnyard. (The first time I ever went to the Barnyard, a small vein in my hand burst…very painful…from all the clapping…true’s bob). So, the Barnyard…I ended up going home with sore feet and a voice that was breaking (from the singing, you know). But worst of all was when I tried to get out of bed the next morning! I could barely walk. This got progressively worse over the next couple of days. My calves were so stiff I had to wear heels on the weekend to make it bearable!
So, I finally decided that I have to do something. And since I don’t have the excuse of living in a small complex anymore (as I moved to a large estate in June), I lugged myself out of bed this morning and went for a brisk 20 minute walk. (I also lugged both girls out of bed at sparrows’ fart, not sure how long that will last!). But I am adamant that I will continue. And as I get fitter, I will increase the distance, maybe start jogging, but fit I will get. No way I am letting some silly fitness get between me and a good party!!
For now, I am learning a new routine (how many times to you need to repeat something to form a new routine again???). Of course, it will always be nice to find myself a BF who can join me in my exercise routine….but I doubt it will be walking though 🙂