As my baby gets tubby and chunky it becomes apparent that so is his mummy and so the decision is made to get back on the pain wagon that is ‘the gym’. It doesn’t bode well for me that the ten minute walk there has me panting… and sweating … and needing to stop for water … and to pee.
I arrive at my circuits class. If you have never done ‘circuits’ before – I’ll try to paint a picture for you.
Imagine the large school hall where you repeatedly told the P.E teacher you had your period every week. In this hall are about thirty extremely fit and trendy regular circuit goers – and you.
One of the fittest women you have ever seen (fit in the literal sense) blows a whistle and shouts CHANGE every minute over the techno rave they blast into the hall. You then have to run to different areas of the room and follow the exercise instructions. Instructions you’ve never heard of – squat thrusts and planks and hill crawls and burpies?! It’s a new language that you don’t have the phrase guide for so you copy what the fit people are doing in between mopping the sweat off your face and wishing you were dead.
And I’m back in the room – like nothing has happened. Like nothing has changed – apart from my waist line. I watch the other exercisers in their trendy spandex chatting about the weather whilst doing hip rotations inches away from each other like it’s normal and doesn’t look hilarious.
The instructor blows her whistle and shouts RUN. The thirty people run to the left in unison nearly taking me out – they are a herd of gazelles and I am now a fat Simba who is about to be trampled.
Just as I’m catching up with them the whistle is blown once more.
RUN … they now run right. What is happening?! Why am I here?
There is about five minutes of running around the room to “warm up” (overheat and collapse) and then a series of stretches including standing on one leg which forces you to slowly fall to your right like Del Boy falling through the bar.
I told the instructor “I’m not new… but I haven’t been for NINE MONTHS” with a wink. She didn’t get it so I thought I would have to spell it out. About twenty minutes in when she looked particularly worried about me during a press up I said “I….(huff) had … (pant) a… (choke) baby”. She nodded and looked unimpressed. Of course she was unimpressed. This woman with her rippling abs and herculean thighs probably had ten babies – through aggressive sets of squat thrusts and was back in the gym less than twenty four hours later.
I glance at the clock on the wall. Big mistake. Only half an hour into this hour and I feel like I truly can’t take it. Similar to the way I felt at hour 5 of my three day first labour. Where’s an epidural when you need one? The door is so close. No one would care. I could meander out of it, subtly, and stop for chocolate digestives on the way home. But no – I will complete my hour! I will. And I do.
And I limp home realising that this is going to be a long, long road and stop for biscuits in the co-op where I see on the front of one of the magazines that Abi Clancy has “lost the baby weight” just four weeks after giving birth.
I buy wine.