Twist me like a pretzel

With ‘Project Me’ well underway exercise has to be the next elephant in the room to rugby tackle.  Sitting on the couch eating tubs of ice cream and moving not an inch clearly isn’t going to get me a pert bottom and a flat tummy so I’ve treated myself to a membership at the local health spa.  It’s a glorious place set in the heart of the Scottish countryside.  My mood lifts just driving over there, and yes I see the irony in driving 20 minutes to sit on a bike or walk on a treadmill but it’s a beautiful location and makes me feel very special.

In a fit of generosity, I treated Teen 2 to membership too.  Teen 1 is not quite old enough but Teen 2, the actor, works out on a daily basis and has abs of steel.  He’s also an exceptionally brilliant coach and I figured it’d be easier to motivate myself if I had a gym buddy to work out with.

It’s going ok so far and I actually rather enjoy our mornings in the gym.  We have a workout plan that’s tough but is (slowly in my case) reaping rewards.  We both feel fitter and healthier plus the time spent together is just lovely.

One of the many joys of the spa is that they offer a wide variety of exercise classes to try. Some I’ve enjoyed immensely, others less so…

Circuit training – What fresh hell is this!  Who in their right mind enjoys that class?.  Stations are set up around the room with different apparatus of torture.  The class I went to had a step, a skipping rope, a weighted hula hoop that clanged against the shins causing almighty bruises, boxing gloves and pads to punch seven shades of all sorts out the trainer, a kettlebell and a mat for sit-ups with hand weights.  By the end of the 35-minute class I was literally crawling from station to station, unable to stand up as my legs had gone to jelly.  It’s obviously effective as the trainer has an amazing figure but I’m not convinced it’s for me.

Burlesque – I’ve seen the film, who doesn’t want to be sexy and fabulous while enjoying the benefits of good music and exercise?  Sadly it’s as I first thought, I’m not the least bit sexy.  You know how it is, in your head you’ve got the moves like Jagger, but faced with the reality in the floor to ceiling mirror I was puce, my hair stuck up in 100 different directions, sweat trickled down into my socks and the yoga pants I thought were oh so flattering are not!

I gave it a good go though until I got stuck on the chair.  You know the move, you straddle the chair and gyrate throwing your head back in ecstasy.  Well, that only works if you’ve got legs a shade longer than mine.  I straddled the chair ok but my legs are so short they just stuck out sideways and wouldn’t touch the floor.  I couldn’t throw my head back as the chair would tip up, and then I couldn’t get off.  I bet Christina didn’t have to be helped off her chair during the making of the film!

Ballet – I used to be a dancer and was really rather good.  It’s amazing exercise so I thought I’d go back to class.  A bit like riding a bike I thought, I even treated myself to a little pair of ballet shoes.  Have you seen Vicar of Dibley dance with Darcey Bussell?  Check it out on YouTube if you haven’t.  Yep, that’s exactly what I looked like.

Yoga – one of the mums in the village has started a yoga class.  It’s amazing, incredibly relaxing and actually terribly challenging.  I ache in parts of me that haven’t ached for years.  However, twisting like a pretzel gives me wind!  I can usually hold it in until we have a break but at the last class I started downward dog and farted in the face of the lady behind!

Running – both boys enjoy running and keep trying to tempt me to give it a whirl.  I’ve been once or twice but can’t even manage the 30-second run, 30-second walk thing.  I literally run slower than walking pace.  However, as the boys keep saying, I’m lapping everyone on the couch so am determined to master it.  I envy the fit folk in their lycra and hi-vis jackets and long to be one someday.  With a little bit of effort I may just make it.

With diet and exercise greatly improved and under constant review what’s next for ‘Project Me’…


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