Friday, 1 November 2013

My 3 failed attempts at doing exercise

Exercise and I have never been pals. We've met on occasion, but in each instance I got the feeling that she's inwardly sneering at me. Competitive sports are a no-no - mainly because I can't do the 'competitive' bit (forgive me, but the idea of briefly being named the best at a game that will invariably involve running after a ball of some sort seems to lack any sort of benefit apart from a fleeting sensation of smugness, which you cannot express to anyone for fear of appearing smug).

Here is a rare image of me after an attempt at exercise:
To me, exercise only has any appeal if a) no one can see me, and b) it doesn't make me feel like death. The chances of this are often slim. However, I have made an effort to try and exercise a few times this year, with varying results:

1) I tried to do a Pilates workout, similar to this.
Trying to find an alternative to jogging, an activity that triggers a frankly embarrassing display of puffing and wheezing, I had a brainwave: Pilates. If you just watch the video, it doesn't look like the woman is doing anything difficult. To the untrained eye, she lies on her back and does a few stretches, all without breaking a sweat. 
This just looks like a fun pose for a photo, doesn't it? WRONG. There is NOTHING fun about this. Pilates stretches muscle you didn't even know existed. It even tells you when to breathe, like some kind of evil totalitarian regime. I am not exaggerating when I say that I nearly fainted. I partly blame my bean-shaped head (don't get me started on this) - my skull doesn't stick out very much at the back, so if I lie on my back all the blood goes to my head. But mainly I blame the crazily painful stretches combined with inconceivable breathing regulations. Never again.

2) I went for a five-minute jog.
By my old house in York, there was a lovely footpath next to the river that ran all the way into the centre of town. One day, I steeled up my courage and decided I would walk halfway to town and then run back. Something nice to ease my return to exercise. The walk to town was 15 minutes at most. Running half that distance home seemed like it would be a doddle. Well. 
About a minute into the run, I thought about stopping and walking. Well, not really thought, more like longed for. But I stupidly went for this run at about 6pm, i.e. primetime for people walking and cycling to and from town.. I couldn't just stop, everyone would judge me! They probably already were, due to my wheezy breath and pained expression. I had to get home. I had to get home. 
So I kept going, running and running until I got home and collapsed on the doormat. Then I looked at my watch and realised I'd only been running for FIVE MINUTES. From my beetroot countenance, you'd assume I'd run a marathon. And by the way, the adrenaline rush you get afterwards? SO NOT WORTH IT.

3) I bought a sports bra.
Like the proverbial bad workman, I decided to blame my lack of luck with exercise on my tools. Obviously I wasn't wearing clothing designed for the task in hand. I had the right trainers - Alex had seen to that - but I hadn't bought any other specialist clothing.
So, I spent a whole evening researching the best sports bras for my body shape and the kind of exercise I wanted to do (none), and at about midnight I finally placed my order at a delightful online shop called Less Bounce. I was so excited when I got the parcel a few days later. Well, of course I was, I love getting parcels. Plus I chose a really blue and yellow design.
I think that was in June. I've never worn it, except to try it on and marvel at how sporty I look.
The moral of this tale of woe is that conventional exercise is not for me. Instead, because I want to be healthy without fainting, I try and exercise in the following unconventional ways:
- swinging my legs under my desk
- laughing excessively
- fidgeting
- chasing cats from my garden
- running upstairs to get to the shower before anyone else
- shivering

I'm finding this exercise regime far more preferable and less deathly.

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