I don’t usually get this visually visible on my blog, but I saw a post by my cousin Jen this morning on Facebook where she told her friends that I was ‘awesome’. It made me stop and think why someone would say that about me. Seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes can be a useful exercise and I suddenly felt proud of myself for continuing with my personal training sessions while going through radiotherapy treatment. And so I asked Tom (my personal trainer) to take a photo of me this morning because I wanted a record of this.
Plus it’s an interesting looking contraption!
Apart from being my birthday, it’s also International Women’s Day today and as I celebrate I feel blessed to have so many awesome women in my life. They continually inspire me and support me and I know my life would be less rich without them.
Thanks to Tom, my trainer, for taking the photos.
Just one note Tom. Josh gave me flowers on my birthday last year. Just sayin’ …
In February 2016, I went to the gym. Not for the first time, I hasten to add, but this particular occasion was quite memorable because it was my first ‘seniors’ class.
Yes, I snorted too – but it appears, in the world as we know it today, ‘seniors’ means those over 50. I had not, until that point, considered myself a senior and even though it’s a year later and I’m a year older, I still don’t consider myself to be a senior.
But I went anyway. I wasn’t working, the class was included in my gym membership, and it was on a Friday morning when I had nothing better to do with my time.
It may come as no surprise to you that I was the youngest person there (apart from the instructor) … by at least 10 years. And I quickly realised that’s a highly motivating factor. Here were all these oldies doing things, sometimes more quickly and with greater flexibility than I was doing them.
It got me moving I can tell you!
But I also discovered something important that day. I discovered that I couldn’t jump. I stood in front of the box I was to jump on to, and all sorts of thought processes went through my head but none of them helped get my feet off the ground and onto the box. While my mind was very willing, my flesh was anything but.
I simply stood there and stared. And then when we moved to the next exercise, I watched the old lady following along behind me nimbly jump onto the box, and off again, then on again as if she’d been doing it all her life. Well, let’s face it, she probably had.
But not me. I thought back to the last time I’d jumped and drew a blank. It wasn’t something I’d been called on to do in my professional life – metaphorical hoops are much easier, I learnt, than actual boxes, to jump through (or on as the case may be).
And it wasn’t something I’d had any reason to do in my personal life either.
So there I was … a non-jumper. I went home and in the privacy of my loungeroom, turned my attention to jumping, but to no avail. It seemed I was destined to be a non-jumper for life.
Fast forward to three weeks ago when I remembered my inability to jump and mentioned it to Josh, my personal trainer. “Josh”, I said as I was pushing 80kgs of metal with my legs on something appropriately named a ‘leg press’, “I can’t jump”.
He looked at me, slightly stunned that I would say something so outlandish. “What do you mean, you can’t jump?”
“I can’t. I just can’t do it. I try, but I physically can’t do it”.
He saw that as a challenge, and once I was vertical, he held my hands while I launched myself off the ground. With both feet. At the same time.
It turns out I can jump, and now not only can I jump, I can also star jump, and squat jump, and rope jump (as in skipping) and do burpees, and forward bounds, and I’m even getting the hang of running man (my coordination still needs a little work).
So there you have it. When you think you can’t jump*, hold someone’s hands, start out small, gain some confidence, and you’ll be jumping* all over the place in no time.
*Insert any other thing you think you can’t do here 🙂
Zumba, in case you’re not in the know, is a form of dance exercise. Dancercise perhaps? Or maybe exerdance?
Anyway, it’s something mostly women do and it’s about moving to music in a choreographed way.
I went today. Yes, to a Zumba class.
I moved to music. I want to stress that I didn’t move in the choreographed way the others in the class moved, and when I say ‘moved’ I’m not using the word in the usual way the word is used.
After a time the instructor looked at me and mouthed (over the loud, thumping Latin rhythms) “Sharon, you’re supposed to be moving”. I took umbrage. I was moving!
Yes, she said, but you have to move on the outside as well.
I looked in the mirrors filling the wall in front of me and where the instructor’s arms were above her head, mine were flapping in the vicinity of my waist; where her hips were swivelling at a hundred miles an hour, mine were shifting somewhat erratically; where her feet were going right foot tap to the front, left foot tap to the front, right foot double tap to the front, mine were going right foot … what? Just … what?
And she wasn’t just doing these things in isolation … she was doing them all at the same time. In time. Quick time. And then she sped up.
I looked … well, not like I was dancing, that’s for sure.
But I was dancing on the inside. And that has to count for something.