Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A Step Too Far?

The gym is in a large, underground warehouse, which may be one reason why my subconscious mind associates the place with dungeons and general physical unpleasantness. Another reason could be the black, sinister, dangerous-looking pieces of equipment, most of which I have not yet tried for size. I have recently resorted to joining in classes instead, hoping that there will be both safety in numbers and some role-models to help elevate my personal achievement goals.

Another cause for concern might be that Teacher has had an MR scan on her knee and told us that an operation will be required to fix two ligaments and to scrape something or other. She is very nervous about the operation and anxious about being out of action for an indefinite period. Whilst I empathise with her dilemma, I also fear for my own future. Is this the fate of those who over-indulge in physical activities? Her claim that her knee was injured in an (unspecified) accident on Copacabana beach could, of course, be true but it is of little comfort, since I have recently signed up for her Brazilian Body Sculpt classes (not that I am anticipating spectacular results) and I do not want to end up hospitalised as a consequence.

The most likely cause of knee injury for me (outside of the South Americas) is actually the step - that plastic platform which is used in the musical movement routines to strengthen leg muscles. I have no trouble getting onto or off from the step, but I am in extreme danger of falling over it since I have not yet co-ordinated my movements with those of the others in the class - or even with the music. I have tried to learn by example and follow my classmates, but the walls of mirrors reflect so many different people in so many varying positions and states of distress that I end up confused, not knowing my left from my right. I have tried concentrating on following just one of the others, but soon became conscious that I was staring at them too intently and, since they are all female, decided not to pursue this plan. Teacher cannot help, since she is temporarily excused ‘step’ so I flounder on, bewildered by the complexity of routines devised in the cause of keeping fit.

Teacher leads many different classes so she often has to ask us to remind her about what we did in the last session. Mostly we say “inner thighs”, since that is one of the more painful routines, in the hope that she will say “OK, then this week we will do bums”. I realise this is not in the true spirit of self improvement, but at least it brings levity to the sessions and is better than doing “abs”. In any case, sometimes she is suspicious that we might be lying so “inner thighs” it is.

This morning, on my way to the mirror, in search of any noticeable traces of body sculpting, I became aware of a pain. If I were a footballer, or a cricketer, I suppose I might have a claim to be suffering from what I believe they call a groin strain. Since I am neither, let’s just say that I have a pain in the inner thigh region. She probably won’t believe me, though.

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