Ok it’s time to work up a sweat. Move over Olivia, we all want some of the action.
So I’m going to let you in on a little secret from the subscribers-only section of my survival guide. It’s something I learned the hard way and I’ve had enough misfortune to know crying over it (or anything) will achieve sweet f**k all.
However, I have discovered that literally beating the s**t out of your troubles is a therapy like no other. Seriously. Put on some boxing gloves, find a willing (padded) target and hit it (or them) until you sweat the pain right out.
Sweating is a wonderful way to rid your body of the toxins of life and its dreaded poison.
There was a time some years ago when I lost a lot of weight. I was a little anxious. Well, not really. I was STRESSED THE HELL OUT. That’s what I was. Frantic. Broken. And working like a dog.
My mum told me I needed a tonic… “A health drink. I’ll get one from the chemist for you. You’re too skinny. You need to build yourself up again.”
Her heart was in the right place, but God knows what kind of tonic was going to cure that debacle of a life. No tonic was going to pay the lawyer or feed my kids or save the house.
“Well you shouldn’t be going to the gym. You’ll kill yourself. You’ll break in two. Just stay home and rest,” mum warned.
I’m pretty sure she shook her head in disgust when I ignored her and put my sneakers on anyway.
“You need some sleep,” said others, stating the obvious. Yeah I needed sleep, but that was never going to happen. Not if I wanted to keep my job and get the kids to school on time. Sleep has never liked me. She eludes me like a mirage in the desert. She vanishes just as quickly as my mysterious disappearing paycheck. I’m starting to think there is some kind of evil magic contained within my pillow. “She must never sleep,” the spirits whisper. “Imagine the hell she would raise if she actually slept? She must remain awake at all costs. Quick, conjure up a low-flying jet. Find a screaming child.”
Then there were the troublemakers – “You need some wine. That will help.” Oh so many troublemakers (you know who you are). Ok it did help… sometimes… for those few hours. Then it really, really didn’t help. AT ALL. Wine just brings more pain the next morning, along with Irish comedians who raid your bathroom cupboard and surfers who can’t remember their age or that they have a girlfriend. You really don’t need the hassle and there are other ways to work your glutes.
Stress ruled my life. Probably still does, but now to a lesser degree – which is why I still find myself at the gym every single week. Ok, most weeks, when I can juggle a session between doing shift work and running the kids all over the countryside.
What appeals to me most about working out is the sense of control it brings. When every other aspect of my life feels out of control, my body and my health are things I can control. And I’m a frustrated control freak – just ask my kids. It’s some kind of twisted irony that I’m sure God magiced up just for a laugh – who creates someone with a dash of control freak and a splash of OCD and then magics everything in their life to be out of control? Some bloody comedian master of the universe, that’s who.
I have been going to the same personal trainer for almost seven years now. Yep, seven years. That’s a pretty long time. And he’s been a bit of a lifesaver – we talk about politics and our kids and what the world is coming to, in between sit ups and bench press. It is a small piece of sanity in my often crazy week. I’m not going to list all the millions of reasons why you should exercise because I know you already know them… except did you know it improves your sex drive? Sorry, yep that’s one thing you definitely should know. Anyway, just go punch a boxing bag for 20 minutes or run around the gym with some cute guys and you’ll be surprised how much better it makes you feel. If you need somewhere to start I recommend this place.
There is only one rule – no leg warmers! I don’t care what Olivia says.