13 April 2012, 18:33
When I originally decided to become a gay, one of the main benefits was that gays only ever suffered from self-inflicted illnesses (hangovers, bulimia, diva fever, etc.). So the day after the meet, I assumed that I had a particularly bad hangover.
When the lurgy was still there the next day I started to realise there may be an issue. What was going on? I hadn't overdosed on glitter, my clothes had all matched and my hair was styled perfectly on the night, why did I feel like this? By a process of elimination, I realised I must have been suffering from fabulous fatigue.
By Wednesday morning, I was getting worse, I'd gotten up and was ready for work but something wasn't quite right. I realised I needed to go to a doctor.
I got to my GP at eight and waited to be seen in a stylish eyemask and Hugh Hefner style dressing gown, when I was called in the doctor did some checks and told me I had flu and would need to be on a drip to rehydrate me. Once she assured me that the drip could be taken as part of a calorie controlled diet, I was off to the Mater.
After a quick x-ray (which made me look super thin), it was confirmed that I had pneumonia and the doctor told me in a rather seductive manner that I was ridiculously hot (40.3 degrees to be precise) and I needed to be admitted.
I was given nebulisers and tablets and attached to a drip for 26 hours, spending most of the first day in A&E while waiting on a bed. You really get to see a different side to life while in A&E. There was the woman who had been there for 48 hours after falling over while drunk (the second time that it had happened in a month) and the old woman who was particularly bitchy about the fact that I had a trolley and she was left on a chair. It turned out she was waiting to get a form signed so she could go on holiday, but still felt she deserved a trolley.
When I was moved up to the wards, I have to admit they couldn't have treated me better, the nurses, despite being overworked, were always friendly. I had a room to myself and a nice telly to watch. Food quality varied, but my Dad brought me up sandwiches each day so that made up for it.
I also got a lot of visits from family, Borstalboy and Mr & Mrs Loosey which surprisingly given the quality of their posts, actually managed to break the monotony.
It took a few days to get everything under control and I was finally released yesterday.
The important things I learned are that gays do get sick (I may have to review my membership) and that pneumonia is a great way to lose a few pounds, eight to be exact! So if you have an event coming up in the next few weeks and are worrying about fitting into that little black number, or one of his friends, I highly recommend it!
02 September 2011, 20:44
"Parker do you know how far it is to our gate?" Our flight was on final call and we'd just bumped into Parker who was telling us about his upcoming holiday to Greece.
We left him mid-sentence and headed to the plane, we didn't miss the flight but we did have to leave two half full bottles of beer behind.
This was it, our first weekend away together and Borstalboy's (BB) first trip to London.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, checked into the hotel and headed straight out to see the Tate Modern, it's open late on Saturdays so we can spend quite a bit of time there. BB is a big fan of modern art so this is a real trest to him, we saw works like Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds, Jake Chapmans Exquisite Corpse, an Andy Warhol self portrait and an excellent photo exhibition by Diane Arbus.
After a brief stop back at the hotel to shower and change, we headed to Covent Garden for a meal, and then after wandering around London for a while (I swear we weren't lost), we found our first gay bar, order our pints and were asked to leave as they were closed. The barman recommended a club called XXL, which happened to be right around the corner from our hotel.
It was fifteen quid in and it was packed. If you are into bears, this is definitely the place to go, there were easily 200 guys of all shapes and sizes there in varying amounts of clothing dancing and drinking their hearts out. We were quite knackered so only stayed a short while before heading off.
The next morning after breakfast we headed to have a poo at St. Pauls. Taking in the various views from the Millennium bridge and of course the place every self respecting bloke wants to see, Knightrider Street. The plan from here was to head back to the South Bank and stroll along to Westminster, but we were in for another feast of Modern Art along the way. In the Hayward Gallery was the second last day of Tracy Emin's Love is What You Want exhibition.
Anyone who knows me will know that I think that modern art is very much a real life Emperor's New Clothes, and this was two days of it in a row, but BB was in his element and Mad Tracy from Margate is one of his favourite artists. I have to admit that after reading the quilts (pictured above) and looking at some (not all) of the other work on show I do have a better understanding of Ms. Emin and a bit more respect for her especially given the life she has had. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to make her bed for her, or piss on her burning tent, but I would go and see another exhibition if the opportunity arose.
We checked the time on Big Ben, said a prayer at Westminster, and turn down an opportunity for tea and knighthoods at Buckingham Palace before jumping into a black cab and heading to Bloomsbury to see the British Museum. This place is amazing, I can't recommend it enough, from Egyptian Mummies to busts of Alexander the Deadly, I was enthralled the whole way around. I don't understand why I never went here before. The highlight for me was the Parthenon Sculptures (unofficially the Elgin Marbles).
They are around 1500 years old, and while they have lost a lot of their features (mainly their heads and hands) the detail in them is just amazing.
After a quick dinner in the Museum Tavern we headed towards Oxford Street on our way to Soho.
Before I go on, I'd just like to give everyone a quick geography lesson. London has a population of 13.9 million people and is ten times the size of Dublin. On an average Sunday in Dublin I can walk around the city and not see one person I know.
So in the middle of the afternoon on the last Sunday in August, we turned onto Oxford Street and walked into BB's niece and her boyfriend who had arrived that day from Roscommon for a brief visit. It really is scary how small the world is.
I've lost my train of thought, where was I?? Oh yeah, so we left the sex club in Soho, exhausted from what we had just seen and done, and went did a brief pub crawl around the gay bars visiting The Village, The Duke of Wellington and Comptons. Again heading back to the hotel to get ready for a night out in Vauxhall.
There must have been a sale on dry ice last week, as both XXL and The Vauxhall Tavern were filled with the stuff. We've also decided to go on Dragon's Den with a number of suggestions for handy places the gays can keep their disgarded t-shirts. The venue itself seemed friendly enough and I'd say it's a good fun spot, unfortunately again we were both wrecked and headed off after a couple of drinks.
On Monday, we did whistle stop trips to see Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, HMS Belfast, The Clink and Harrods. We spent quite a bit of time at the Natural History Museum seeing everything from Dinosaurs to More Dinosaurs to a statue of Charles Darwin, did I mention dinosaurs? I thought the History Museum was good but it was very much geared towards children. My least favourite museum was the Science Museum, again it was all done for the kids, so was a bit disappointing.
Our final meal in the city was in a bar that really should be claimed by the gays as their own. The food was lovely and the atmosphere was really nice.
We finished the weekend with one of the finest wines known to Aer Lingus and a promise that we would go back to London soon as well as visiting more capitals.
19 June 2011, 21:10
It's 1:45 on Saturday 18th May and we are standing in the middle of the Merrion Square surrounded by a load of Wally's. The rain has just stopped and we are eating hot dogs and preparing to walk through a bit of Irish Gay History.
From Gaire (that I'm aware of) myself, BorstalBoy, Stewie, Streetfighter, Forest, Larigot, Derrida and CeeDee along with at least one future member of Gaire and around 60 other interested parties congregated at the Fag on the Crag to hear how homo's travelled from being criminals potentially facing a death sentence, arriving at where we are now.
Dr Katherine O'Donnell was the first speaker and gave us the story of Oscar Wilde's life from his birth in No. 1 Merrion Square to the court case that lead to his imprisonment, Sodom and Begorrah, Brendan Behan's bisexuality and the Catacombs where Dickie Wyman answered the door to his prospective customers in his nip.
From there we moved to Kildare Street and to the National Library of Ireland. At this stop Elizabeth Kirwan started off by talking about the current gays in the Dail and worked through homosexuals in politics, various stories in libraries but probably most interesting of all, the story of the lesbian ex-nuns who wrote their story and caused controversy back in 1985 by appearing on the Late Late Show to discuss their book.
Next stop was Dame Lane and Tonie Walsh who brought us timetravelling with tales of a lad moving to Dublin in 1979, the Hirschfeld Centre and the tragic murder of Declan Flynn in Fairview Park in 1982 and the even more tragic lack of justice against his murderers. Although as he said himself, if it hadn't been for this horrific incident there wouldn't have been a march with 1000 LGBT's and friends showing their outrage and the first Dublin Pride March in the summer of 1983.
Unfortunately at the next stop at City Hall on Dame Street, I wasn't really able to hear Dr Mary McAuliffe discuss Dr Katherine Lynn and some militant lesbian history over the noise of the traffic so perhaps someone who could hear will be able to fill us in on what was said.
The final stop was in Dublin Castle, unfortunately due to the loss of his father during the week Dr. Eibhear Walshe was understandably unavailable to speak but was covered by Dr McAuliffe and Tonie Walsh who regaled us with the tale of the theft of the Irish Crown jewels and the references to homosexuality in the autobiography of St. Patrick back in the 5th Century.
The walk ended around 4:15 just as the rain started again.
All credit to the guides and the stewards who gave up their time to assist with this extremely interesting walk through our big gay past, and I would highly recommend it to everyone next year.
Unfortunately I can't find a link to the pamphlet that was given out yesterday but if you would like the information included inside I will happily re-type it up for anyone interested. The contents cover information on the Irish Queer Archive, notable dates in Gay History (from 1971 to now), a short paragraph on each of the guides, and the stories of The Dublin Castle Scandal, the Theft of the Crown Jewels, Kildare Street, Lesbian Nuns, Murder in a Gay Gym, The Hirshfeld Centre. Dublin City Hall, Gaelic Medieval History and an excerpt from a 1982 newsletter about a Gay Pub Zap.
31 March 2011, 17:43
Sorry there wasn’t a blog last week, I’d like to say that as a result of dramatic events I decided to wait and put everything into a final blog, but it was more related to the fact that I just wasn’t in the mood to write a blog.
When I last posted I was preparing to go jogging. So on the following Sunday morning, I got ready I had all the necessary gear (runner, t-shirt, trackie bottoms, bottle of water, ipod, small bathroom sink, etc.) I’ve been doing warm up runs in the circuit training classes each week, so I’m not self conscious about running, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to start, so I walked out on to the main road and was just about to go for it when someone appeared from the old folks home down the road. So I pretended to fix my laces, then someone else came from behind the bus shelter, which was when I spent time carefully choosing the first ipod song to run too.
I couldn’t start, I was so embarrassed about breaking into a run in public it was ridiculous.
Eventually (about three minutes later) there was nobody around so off I went, I was like a cross between Rocky and Chariots of Fire going down the road, the noise of the music nicely disguising my hyperventilating, while the fast beat naturally matched my racing heart. Overall the route I took was 4.5km, I would like to say I ran for the whole thing but I only managed about half of it and the rest was a brisk walk. I was quite proud of myself and if it wasn’t for subsequent events, I may have even gotten over my fear of starting.
That evening my knees started to act up again, I was sure it was cos I didn’t stretch properly when I got home and passed it off. When it was still there the next day, I passed it off again as stiffness from the exercise and walked home from work. Then on the Tuesday of the circuit training, yet again I thought it was just second day stiffness. That was until Sam told us to warm up and in a very short time frame I realised that my knees were pretty much banjaxed. I had to leave the class, the new exercises added that week all seemed to require use of your knees, so unless I planned on just doing sit-ups for the whole 90 minutes it was fairly pointless me staying there.
The next couple of days were a nightmare, my knees were huge from swelling, my mood was crap from not being able to take part in the class and it seemed like everyone was being annoying on purpose. On Friday I went back to the physio who saw me for a full two minutes before telling me I needed to go to my GP and then driving me home. Saturday morning I went to the doctor who after examining me by bending my knees into positions I could never do before the knee injury, then told me I needed to urgently see a surgeon and I had to have an appointment this week.
The next few days were a bit of a blur between organising appointments with two different medical centres and talking to insurance companies, I’ve never spoken to so many people in the medical industry in my life. Anyway, after having an MRI done on both knees, I went to see the surgeon yesterday who gravely confirmed that my knees were in such bad shape I was there was a distinct likelihood that I was going to die.
Actually, he didn’t say that at all, he said that I had stressed fractures in my knees, which are basically bruises inside my bones made worse by an underlying medical condition, and that going from doing pretty much no exercise into an intense course like I had was not the best idea in the world. It’s going to take up to six weeks to recover and during that time, there should be no running, no long walks, no standing for too long and so on.
It’s going to be up to three months before I run again, and I should be exercising regularly for a few months before attempting circuit training again. The one good thing was that I got weighed in by the nurse who did the MRI, so I have a medical confirmation of my final weight loss.
Since starting this, I have lost a grand total of 9lbs. I am 5lbs short of my target which is disappointing, but I am proud of what I managed to achieve.
I usually relish the idea of not having to do any form of exercise apart from pressing the buttons on the remote control and in the last two weeks to be so disappointed that I couldn’t take part in the class is a big change for me. Through a balanced diet alone I should get rid of the last five pounds, and in a couple of months when I get the all clear I plan to take up a swimming class so that should definitely sort me out if the sensible eating doesn’t work.
Starting weight: 14st 13lbs
Target weight: 13st 13lbs
Total Loss: 9lbs
Current weight: 14st 4lbs
16 March 2011, 10:17
It was 6pm in the Donnycarney Community Centre and there were nine of us waiting for class to start class. I was quite nervous about last night as my boss had done a great job convincing me that my knees would probably give way the second I started running, Sam starts up the music and we’re off for our warm up jog around the hall twenty times. We’ve made it to lap number three, and cramp!
Luckily, this didn’t happen to me but the other man in the class, his calf muscle had cramped up and he looked to be in a lot of pain as he limped off to the side trying to stretch it out. The rest of us finished the warm up and Sam showed us around the various stations. It was like a completely different circuit to when I was there last, there was still skipping and burpees, but face down snow angel was gone! Replaced with kettle bell lunges, and jumping on to steps, it was all very exciting.
By stop number five, the class was down to six of us, a shock exit due to injury from the really fit woman who looks like she should be running the class had left me feeling a quite anxious about getting to the stop that had managed to kill her off, which happened the next stop for me.
I moved on to it, re-read the instructions, I had to turn on my side and raise my body using just my lower arm, and then raise the opposite arm in the air, hold for ten seconds then switch. Three minutes of this and I was on to the next stop, feeling rather smug that I’d managed it without injury!
Once we finished the circuit, I was also pleased to hear that the 21 runs, up and down the hall stopping at each end for a different exercise had also been replaced. We had to do 20 press ups, immediately switching to 20 sit ups, then 19 press ups and sit ups, then 18, and so on down as far as ten of each. In total, that’s 165 of each in case anyone is wondering! I was wrecked, but there was no letting up. There were now 10 runs, up and down the hall stopping at each end for a different exercise (dammit, I thought this was gone!).
There were also new exercises to try during this section. I recommend trying the electric chair, it’s a killer, but it’s great because it doesn’t involve moving. You stand with your back against the wall and slide down into a sitting position and that’s it for two minutes. Sounds simple, but wait until you’re body realises that there is no chair beneath and wants to collapse onto the floor.
After this was we were back to the circuit and doing 16 jumping jacks between each stop instead of laps, and finally it was on to the final cool down (warm down?, I don’t know the term), and home.
I was delighted that I had done it. I did stop twice, conveniently both times avoiding the burpees, which I just don’t have the co-ordination to do, but overall I really am glad I got to go back. I know I’m going to be in pain tomorrow, but this weekend I am going to try the jog I’ve wanted to do since week three.
My biggest disappointment of the week was the weigh in, I didn’t have the feasts I had last weekend, I’d only had one night out and was overall quite sensible about my food, but I’ve only got three weeks to go, and still half of my target to lose.
Current Weight: 14st 6lbs
Loss this week: 0lbs
Loss to date: 7lbs
Target Weight: 13st 13lbs
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09 March 2011, 17:38
I was back with Shea on Wednesday night last week, and again he did the ultrasound massage on my knee (still no heartbeat). He was concerned that leftie was taking too long to heal so suggested that I consider getting the MRI done this week.
On Thursday I woke up and for the first time in two weeks my knee actually felt a bit better, I assumed that this was related to the massage and would probably fade as the day went on. Friday I was jetting off to London, and both of my knees felt fine. Things were looking up, especially considering I knew what was in store for Saturday.
As you can see from the name of the blog, the majority of what’s to come is about food, so if you have an eating disorder, look away now (or at least skip to the section marked Hiking).
For lunch on Friday my mate had us booked into Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant Fifteen.
We opted for a two course lunch with wine for each course selected by the restaurant’s sommelier (referred to as semolina for the rest of the weekend because I couldn’t think of the real word). I’d love to tell you what wine I had, but I was so blinded with the science of what was in it, how it smelled and what year it was from, I never actually got the names of the wines, I can tell you that they were both delicious and really did compliment the food.
For starters I had Gnocchi with Scottish girolles, peas, white wine, tarragon, this usually comes with pecorino but I don’t each cheese, so I had it without. I’ve never had gnocchi before and expected it to be quite heavy and was really surprised at how light it was.
My main course was roast loin of rare breed pork with cannellini beans, something I can’t remember and salsa verde. Pork can have a tendency to be very dry, but this almost melted in the mouth.
The staff were very friendly, and overall it was an enjoyable experience. The only criticism was that the restaurant was a little bit squashed, you possibly have more personal space at a McDonalds.
We stopped by here on the way to dinner for a couple of drinks. It’s owned by John Torode from Masterchef (the one with the hair) and it’s a really trendy bar and restaurant by Spitalfields market. While we only had drinks there I really liked it, and next time would love to go back for dinner. Especially in light of where we actually ended up.
Reviews described it as Mex to the Max and the best Mexican food in London. I’m no connoisseur, but I’ve had better Mexican in my own house than this place. Still quite full up from lunch I only ordered a main course from here. I had the Pipian Verde, which is grilled Pork in a herb sauce and served with rice. Perhaps considering where I had lunch my standards where a bit too high, but the food was luke warm, and the portions were tiny!
The service was also pretty crap, at one stage the waitress taking the order walked off and started coming back with drinks half of the table, while the other half of the table where still waiting to order. It was not good value for money, and two of the dishes had to be sent back (one was just wrong, while a prawn dish had the small issue of containing no prawns.)
I’ll jump ahead to Saturday night to get the food section out of the way.
After the mixed bag of dining on the previous day, we wanted a relatively normal restaurant for dinner on Saturday (normal being somewhere you could have potatoes or chips), we met up with mates in Canary Wharf for a couple of drinks and with nothing booked, headed into Smolensky’s beside Canary Wharf tube station.
This was possibly my favourite restaurant of the weekend, possibly because I was starving when we got there and I didn’t have to wait too long for my food, but mainly because it was spacious, friendly and relaxed. The food was delicious if not as adventurous as the day before and I can’t recommend it enough. If you just want a simple night out without the pressure of ordering something your not sure of, I would definitely suggest you pay this place a visit. The food I ordered wasn’t particularly exciting (prawns for starters and a burger for mains), but everyone ordered something different (including fish and steak) and we all felt the same about the quality. Two courses each, Irish coffees and three bottles of wine between five of us came to £40 per head (including service charge).
So off we went on Saturday to Hastings for a hike, I’ve been reliably informed it’s like a walk only with greater speed and distance.
This was a grade 3 (of 5) walk which was muddy, littered with steep hills and the odd bench so you can collapse if needs be, but some amazing views of cliffs and coastline.
Here is a link to the area and the map area in green is where we walked starting on one side and doing a lap (or circuit of the area). Unfortunately I was ill-prepared, ill-equipped and just not fit enough for the 9.6km hike. I’m sure my friends want to kill me every time I let out an exasperated sigh when I saw that we had another hill to climb or when I stepped into another muddy puddle. And if they didn’t want to kill me then, they definitely wanted to kill me when I stopped and sheepily announced. ‘I think I’ve lost the map’. I still don’t really know how I managed to screw up the one job I had. Luckily we still had the written instructions, an iphone and if really necessary the Tom-Tom from the car.
By the end of the three hours, I was close to death, dirty, sweaty and cranky, but kind of glad I hadn’t just given up and called for mountain rescue to come and get me. And I should be very grateful, as it was a real test for my knees which were fine, and it probably made a huge impact on this weeks weigh-in!
Next Tuesday – Back to class!
Current Weight: 14st 6lbs
Loss this week: 0lbs (but no gain either!)
Loss to date: 7lbs
Target Weight: 13st 13lbs
02 March 2011, 11:27
I arrived at my physiotherapists office on Friday evening and met Shea for the first time, I had spoken to him earlier in the week and told him of my woes, I’m sure that this was why he had all of the best knee related equipment known to man available.
Shea is the physio for the Dublin Under-21’s Hurling Team and previously looked after the therapeutic needs of the now defunct Sporting Fingal. I was concerned that like West Ham’s Dean Ashton or Crickets Freddie Flintstone, my sporting career may be cut short as a result of injury, but Shea was determined he would actually look at my knees before killing me off like a lame horse and melting me down for pritt stick.
Luckily someone in work had told me that I should wear shorts under trackie bottoms when going to see him, otherwise I may have gone along in my jeans and Superted pants and felt slightly foolish when he asked me to strip off.
He moved my legs around into various positions, of course being all manly and I didn’t show any signs of pain, in fact I chewed on some glass and spit out sand while he worked away. He then asked me to do something so complicated, I am going to say it twice, just so you can try and understand it.
He asked me to stand on one foot, then the other. Again, he asked me to stand on one foot, then the other. I was fine on my right foot, but my evil left leg just refused to co-operate and I almost fell over.
Assessment over, he confirmed that I had managed to damage my medial collateral ligaments (MCLs) in both knees, and possibly have some cartilage damage in my left knee and he also told me that I have a bandy left foot, not his exact words, but that an orthotic would sort it.
So then it was time for treatment, I was getting an ultrasound massage of my knees, which is almost the exact same as a pregnancy ultrasound, although for some reason I was still expecting to hear a heartbeat. After that, he gave me some exercises to do, and booked me in for a follow up appointment.
I am out for two weeks, but if I do have cartilage damage or the MCL injury in my left knee is worse than expected, I could be out of action for longer.
I have a weekend in London coming up, so I am not holding out much hope of a loss for next week if I’m honest, but we’ll see.
Current Weight 14st 6lbs
Loss this week: 2lbs
Total loss to date: 7 lbs
Target Weight: 13st 13lbs
23 February 2011, 10:53
Wednesday 23rd February 2011
After last week’s pathetic effort, I had decided that I was going to attempt jogging between circuit training sessions. Jogging has always annoyed me, I don’t see the point of running if you are going to do it slowly, so it was a pretty big thing for me to join the large number of ‘slowbies’ prattling about in parks and on beaches etc.
My left leg was quite sore on Wednesday and my knee had swollen up fairly noticeably, I guessed it was just one of those things that happens to people new to exercise and just got on with it. Well, I say got on with it, I actually just whined and moaned and asked people if the fluid on my knee was going to travel to my brain like a blood clot and kill me, standard stuff.
By the next day, my right knee decided to get in on the act, but not as bad, I don’t think it was trying to murder me in the same way that the horrendous looking leftie was, although it was niggling. The swelling had gone right down on Friday, however, I knew I wasn’t quite ready to jog yet. My plan for the weekend was to head out on Day 1 for a serious walk and if I felt ok maybe break into a bit of a run and then if that went well, Day 2, all out jog.
I headed out and was strutting down the road, knees were not great but it was bearable. I had been out for about 90 minutes and was crossing a road as the lights changed so I had to run, and dear sweet baby jebus, I thought my legs were about to give way. It was like both of my knees had been locked straight and I’d just snapped them like a pair of plastic rulers. After that I hobbled down the road. Once I got home the pain eased off, but going from sitting to standing was difficult and bizarrely turning caused a shooting pain from back of my left knee right up and down the length of my leg.
Queue more whining, but still a minor hope that it would be gone on time for yesterday, mainly because I didn’t want people to think I was just giving up on the circuit training and faking an injury to get out of it. By Monday, the hope was gone, I had tried to run for the bus and it had a similar effect to Saturday, I wouldn’t even be able to do the warm up at the start of class, never mind taking part in the whole thing. So I missed this week.
I’m still not giving up though, I asked around for recommendations and have an appointment with a physiotherapist called Shea on Friday evening. I’m hoping it’s going to be something very simple and that I’ll be back for next week.
Weight Loss this week: 2lbs
Loss To Date: 5lbs
Current Weight: 14st 8lbs
Target Weight: 13st 13lbs
16 February 2011, 09:56
Wednesday 16th February
We had four new people in the class last night, and one missing from last week. Unfortunately the Duracell Bunny had done her back in making a bed, but is hoping to be back next week. There were a few changes to the class, Sam now had a headset microphone to enable her to bellow at us without straining her voice, the kettle bell squats were now kettle bell squat jumps, and there was also an additional stop on the circuit. The dreaded snow angel was now a permanent fixture and still as annoying as ever, and after the warm up, was my first stop on the circuit.
Honestly I defy you to try and do this for three minutes without stopping. Lie face down, raise your arms and legs off the ground and pretend you are making a snow angel. I am extremely uncoordinated, so I’d suddenly realise that my legs weren’t moving, and then when they were my arms weren’t. If anyone was looking through the window at me, I’d probably have looked like a demented frog.
I made it through the circuit this week, which was great, although I seemed to keep losing my circuit partner to have them replaced by someone completely different or not replaced at all. I was starting to get a bit paranoid, thinking everyone wants to stand beside the really unfit bloke just so they could feel good about themselves, but then I realised that one woman was doing the circuit in the opposite direction to everyone else, and the new bloke was picking and choosing which stop to take. It was very odd.
We then started our 21’s (the run to the opposite end of the hall, stopping at either end to do a different exercise), it was at this point it really start to go wrong, I think we were only on number five, I was doing press ups and I started to feel extremely hot. I kept going until number 9, and at that point my head started throbbing, I couldn’t hear over the blood rushing through my ears and I wasn’t able to focus. I had to get out of the class, right now!
I got to the first door and it was locked, the second one was open, there were lights flashing in front of my eyes at this point and I thought I was going to pass out. I got to the toilets and locked myself in the cubicle, it took me a good five minutes to catch my breath. I was eventually ready to go back to class, but when I walking back in, I knew I couldn’t go on, I was sure I would end up fainting and I really didn’t want the embarrassment of being stretchered out of the class, especially with the knowledge that there was a woman almost twice my age who was still going. So with over 30 minutes to go, I went home. And today I feel shit about it.
I knew that at some point I was going to have a week where I didn’t feel good about this whole process, and I genuinely did hope it wasn’t going to be weeks 1 or 2 though because that’s usually when I give up on everything I try.
Thinking about it, while trying desperately to do the exercises, there is a chance that I might have forgotten to breathe. I have to keep going with this though, it’s just far too easy to give up at the big problem, and I’ve been told that if I do something mid-week it will increase my stamina. So this weekend I am going to try jogging, and next week I am going back to class!
Weighing in this week was odd, mainly because Kathryn Thomas and Davina McCall weren’t there to call me up to the scales, standing beside me to ask me how I felt about whatever gain or loss I had. I thought this was a service they provided to everyone?
I am aiming for two pounds a week, so I stood on the digital scales bracing myself and waiting for the beep, which seemed to take forever to count up the pounds, and I have….. lost three pounds! I am chuffed.
Current weight 14st 10lbs. Target Weight: 13st 13lbs Loss to date 3lbs
09 February 2011, 09:18
Wednesday 9th February – Morning
I got to the community centre just before six and was one of the first to arrive. There are 14 in the group in total (3 male and 11 female) along with Sam our instructor. Ages ranging from early 20’s to early 60’s and fitness levels ranging from, ‘Look at that skinny bitch over there making a show of the rest of us’ to ‘I’ve only done the warm up and think I need a defibrillator.’
After an introduction to the various stages on the circuit, and trying to learn the various exercises (what the hell is a burpee and why would someone want other people to do that!?), we started with a gentle warm up, which involved ten minutes doing laps around the hall either jogging, doing jumping jacks and waving our arms around.
I should point out at this stage, that while I may make some of the exercises sound ridiculous, there are benefits to each of them, unfortunately I didn’t hear most of them over the sound of me trying to catch my breath.
From there we where on to the circuit I was eased into it a bit by starting on the easiest one ‘Skip to the left punch punch, skip to the right punch punch, skip forward etc.’ after that they got harder. I was really getting into it, I was moving from stage to stage completing the exercises. Yes, I was sweating like a pig, but I was going to be able to do this, I could feel the pounds falling away!!!!
Then Sam announced ‘Ok 20 minutes gone (including the warm up) move to your fourth stage’. This can’t be right, surely I’ve been going for at least an hour? She must have made a mistake, or she’s joking. That’s it, it’s a joke! I looked at the clock, it said 6:20, and the clock was in on it too, this is hilarious. Then I looked and saw yes, I have only done three stages and next up was skipping, with a real life skipping rope.
The woman beside me, who was in her mid-50’s was flying away with it like a Duracell bunny on a trampoline, while I was trying to not hit myself in the face with the rope, just randomly jumping and hoping the rope with go under my elevated feet.
This was not going well.
We finished the circuit and next was 21 sprints from one end of the hall to the other stopping at either end to do a random exercise. By 6:55, I thought I was going to die, and this wasn’t helped by the sudden urge to throw up, I left the class and came back to find them all lying face down on the group. Great, either they are all dead or I was missing nap time. This exercise was an upside down snow angel. You lie on your stomach, raise you arms and legs and pretend you are making a snow angel. Again, why would someone come up with that torture?
We then did another quick circuit, 10 seconds per stage, and finished with some stretches and assurances from Sam that the more you take part, the easier it gets.
I’m not as sore as I expected, but kind people have assured me that I’ll be much worse tomorrow.
Starting Weight: 14st 13lbs. Goal: 13st 13lbs.
Thursday Morning - Mother of God! I feel like some is trying to pull my limbs out of their sockets. Everything hurts, except for my ears.