I’ve never really quite got the exercise thing.
As a child I was never really very good at sport as I struggled with hand-eye co-ordination. I was okay at tennis and hockey, and not bad at orienteering, but generally speaking sporting ability has never been one of my strengths.
To be honest, the last time I played sport regularly was about twenty years ago in a Tuesday night tennis competition when I lived in Bourke. And deep down, I’m guessing part of the appeal was that you could go to the nearby bowling club for drinks in between matches.
I’ve tried to join a gym a few times. In the first instance, while living in Wagga, I had a really good instructor – Tony – who was very encouraging. But after a while I just got bored sitting on a bike and watching video clips.
And then about two years ago I tried again at a gym near to my work. But the guy who did the fitness assessment showed little interest in putting together a program that suited me. It was one size fits all for him, I quickly realised, as he glared at me with a disdain that declared, “you’re forty and you’re fat”. It was a really damaging experience.
I’ve also tried daily walks, but somehow work has managed to provide me with an excuse not to keep that up either.
The most success I’ve had in becoming fitter was last year when I went travelling and lost in excess of ten kilograms. Who would have thought that regular exercise, better nutrition, and drinking less alcohol could lead to weight loss? It’s magic!
I blame my family of course. My family have never really been into regular exercise or general fitness. Even though some of my ancestors have been noted boxers and runners, generally speaking our lot have had little demonstrated interest in any form of physical activity.
But aside from blaming my genes, I know my greatest problem with weight loss and fitness in general is that I get bored really easily.
Gyms. Walks around the park. Swimming laps. Boring. Boring. Boring.
I now find myself, however, dangerously close to having discovered one possible answer that meets both my need to have a new mental challenge, as well as my physical need: Monday night dance classes.
After last week’s class, I came home feeling really pumped, that I had both learned something and was getting some heart-rate-raising exercise at the same time.
It happened again tonight, as we moved onto the “street funk” class, which combined a fairly lengthy dance routine with some stretching, jumping and moving. I loved the way we put together a routine (mental), as well as the way it got my fat arse into gear.
And my two colleagues and I all agreed we loved the instructor (Ilona). She was a good teacher – slowly, slowly, bit by bit and encouraging – and she was good fun, with some genuinely funny jokes.
Don’t get me wrong. I could get bored again and lose interest within a matter of weeks. But at the moment, I think I may have found the solution to one of life’s great personal dilemmas.
“You are the…”