Scrap Yard

With my ever increasing litany of injuries, my physio has ordered me to try less physically taxing sports for a while in the name of damage limitation. The only reason he escaped a verbal slap when referencing my 48 years of “wear and tear” was because he is older than I and it would be churlish to take umbrage under those circumstances. So, despite the fact that his “no running or jumping” regime has scuppered my pro basketball dreams and despite him leaving me feeling a little like a clapped out old Ford Fiesta I will, nonetheless, oblige him.

So where to? The gym is mind numbingly dull, like being inside the largest mutant hamster cage in the world, ever increasingly full of people who think that’s it’s perfectly acceptable to sit, motionless, on machines whilst catching up on their busy life (or lack of) on social media. There are a lot of folk out there who, seemingly, are simply unable to complete a 20 minute jog without life threatening FOMO kicking in. Worse though is when they start with the “look at me, I’m at the gym selfies”. Stop it. You look like fools. Have turned into my mum, audibly tutting at people as I pass by.

Thought I would try, in a two birds one stone way, hiking with the dog. Unfortunately, my dog is a social pariah in the canine world due to his self diagnosed Aspergers – I have diagnosed him, I’m not suggesting the dog has communicated this to me. Basically it all goes swimmingly unless he meets another dog, then the front end starts snarling whilst the back end sometimes attempts a wagging movement; hedging his bets perhaps. He just doesn’t understand dog lingo – I’m not even not even a dog and I’ve got the hang of it. His behaviour is marked, in particular, at the sight of any dog bigger than him and, at around 12 inches tall, that’s approximately 85% of the canine world so walks are fraught with danger as far as he is concerned. In the dog walking world you are supposed to, according to etiquette, cheerily greet your fellow walkers, allowing your 4 legged friends to sniff n frolic together to their hearts content. I, though, have adopted a stride and smile technique all whilst calling my petrified pooch to heel in the hope that everyone makes it out alive. Stress is not part of my vocabulary so I shall vito the long park walks.

Swimming went on the list. The issue with swimming though is really down to my own conceit. Firstly, in my gym clothes, everything looks alright – the high Lycra content of my outfits ensure that the illusion of being a svelte, smooth size 10 is still in my grasp, in a swimming cossie however, I’m forced to face facts; I may have my membership rescinded from the Body Positive movement at this point but I can’t look on my dimples and wobbles without a huge pang of sadness at what used to be. Additionally, I’m very lazy and I can’t deal with all the hair washing kerfuffle each time but, on the grounds of image alone, could not countenance wearing a swim hat; I have enough issues to deal with without voluntarily making myself look like a total buffoon plus I can’t shift the image of a particularly rib-tickling Victoria Wood sketch where she attempts, swim hat on, slathered in lard, to swim the Chanel, that I simply cannot shift.

Sex? No impact it may be but this irregularity only takes a minute thus not conducive to any kind of serious fitness regimen.

Zumba. My wonderful cousin is a big fan of the dance class that is Zumba, but despite thinking that I’m really quite content and laid back it turns out that I’m really very self aware. If you can’t even so much as shimmy without looking like an awkward teen wishing the ground swallow her up, then this is simply not for you. If you can’t spontaneously whoop with gay abandon through sheer joy and elation, leave it. Turns out I can’t actually let go enough to get into the groove.

I’ve had a Google at no impact sports and Darts was on there! Darts is not a sport people! Yes, it’s competitive but so is the Bake Off and, although I’ve not seen the program yet, making a Croquembouche is not going to be featuring in the Olympics any time soon. Sports are physical so unless you count standing up on your own two feet physical, then Darts players can go and do one … I can’t even believe I’ve capitalised the word “Darts”. I stood at the check out today for, like ages, and, at work, I stand up for 7 straight hours; that would make me one of those Ultra Athletes. I’m not going to kid myself into thinking I’m an Olympian – I’m just a receptionist. Just because they call darts “arrows” it doesn’t make them so – that way, madness lies.

Golf? That would be total carnage. I have zero hand-eye coordination thus there would be significantly high injury risks involved plus I don’t have 6 hrs a day free to wander around after a tiny ball.

Bowls? No, not dead yet.

So, I’m off to the gym then, safe and snug in my spandex. Might take my phone with me.

By Kim Hawley

I’m a mum ... 48 years on our glorious planet and I have got some stuff to get of my chest!