Claire Martin

Gerbils. – by Claire


Photo: Getty Images

Ok – so I’ve bitten the bullet.

I have joined a gym.
Now before you give me that look, I’m joining a gym so that I don’t hurt my foot. I’m getting desperate to do something with this now-rampantly-flabby body, but I know that I can’t run. So here I am, doing something I swore I would never do – become a human gerbil and working out in a room filled with other well-intentioned human gerbils.

If you knew me, you’d know that I have adamantly avoided gyms all my life – extolling the virtues of simply getting outside – walking, running, doing steps up building staircases – etc. It’s always been my opinion that that is the best and easiest way to be fit.
Today I’m learning that everyone has their reasons and while I need to get active, I also must be aware of my skin graft – it’s only latched for 10 weeks.  So, with “suck it up princess” rolling around my brain, I’ve made the decision – THE GYM IT IS.
This is the part when you get to laugh:
I do not look good when I run.. ergo I do not look good when I work out. I do not own trendy running gear; at best I resemble a a short, fat, female version of Rocky Balboa – and quite frankly – on the stationary bike machine the resemblance between myself and Bridget Jones is really quite startling.
So today was day one.
I’m out of breath. I’m flushed (not in a good way) and I have discovered that (being somewhat technically challenged) I need the help of the “attendants” just to get the damn machines working.
But today was day one.
I have already signed up for a race next year.
And here’s the point of this little rant.
It really does just start with a small step. Don’t wait for better weather. Don’t wait for New Years. Head to a gym today, in bad gear, in a bad mood and work out for a bit. Go home – and feel good.
I don’t expect fast and huge results – this is going to take some time. But I am going to try and get this little flabby body into shape.
If you see me – gimme a grin – and here’s to getting fit again, together.
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  • Reply ghmanderson October 25, 2016 at 4:46 am

    I do like your British self deprecating sense of humour and just how you deal with the challenges that life throws at us with the I am going to beat this attitude! Good for you Claire. Cheers, Glenn

    • Reply Claire Martin October 26, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Thanks Glenn. I’ve always found humour helps.. even when I was in hospital, I tried to make the nurses laugh.. it helped me face some of my fears.. here’s to being able to chuckle my way through my get-fit routine!

  • Reply Wendy Beckett October 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Oh Claire I do so enjoy your humour……..just keep writing for us, please……

    • Reply Jody Vance October 25, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Isn’t it SO good????


    • Reply Claire Martin October 26, 2016 at 6:09 am

      Thanks Wendy.. it’s a very British trait! I’ll keep trying!

  • Reply Rick Jemmett October 25, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Understood. I’ve never had any tolerance for doing cardio in a gym, weights certainly but not cardio. Then I hit 40 and a recurring and as yet undiagnosed calf injury came into my life. For the past 15 years I’ve only been able to run for 2 weeks to 3 months before it reappears. Then I’m back to staying fit on a machine of some form for 2-4 months. Blech.

    The good news is this: your body doesn’t really care whether you’re running outdoors or doing something indoors on a machine – it’s all just work as far as your muscles, joints and nervous system ‘know’. It’s only our brain that cares, and that can be modified:) As soon as your skin graft allows, move off the bike and onto a decent stepper… it’s the only machine in the gym that uses your muscles even remotely like running does. There’s still no eccentric load but there’s nothing in the gym (aside from a treadmill) that will give you that. All in good time ma’am, all in good time:)

    • Reply Claire Martin October 26, 2016 at 6:10 am

      Thanks Rick.. appreciate the story and advice.. and yeh, going to take “good time”.. I’ve learned patience this past summer!

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