Friday, 12 September 2014


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One of the best things about writing this blog is that when embarrassing things happen (and they do, with alarming regularity), I can think to myself "This will be BRILLIANT to write about."

I've been thinking that a lot this week.  I have reached the milestone I thought would never come: both of my children are now at school.  I was going to tell you about the bittersweetness of seeing how grown up they look in their uniforms.  I thought I might ponder the strange obligation I feel to account for every moment of my day, just so that no-one can suggest I'm wasting it - at one point, I'd got to 11.50am on my blow by blow account of Thursday, and had just finished regaling Mr W with tales of how there was absolutely NO rhubarb in Sainsbury's, when he gently enquired whether this was going to be a thing that we did now.  Because he'd rather, y'know, not.

But then this morning happened, and it became immediately apparent to me that THIS was the real story.

This week, my big news is that I've joined a gym.  To be clear, I'm actually taking it very seriously and am really excited about the possibility that I might be muffin top free by Christmas.  However, it has yielded many giggles along the way.  Here are some lessons I've learned:

1) When a Gym Person asks when you last worked out, do not reply in a jaunty fashion "Oh, 7 years and 2 children ago".  It appears to alarm them.

2) When a Gym Person asks you to sit on the leg weights machine and open your legs as far apart as you possibly can, Just. Be. Cool.  Do not attempt to make a joke.  Do not quietly smirk to yourself.  It appears to alarm them.

And most importantly:

3)  In the gym, as with most things in life, a big smile and air of confidence will carry you a long way.

This morning, as I attempted my first full workout programme, a very sweet (and frighteningly fit) young lady was in charge of teaching me various floor exercises.  One of them involved lying backwards on a Swiss ball, and struggling to sit up.  Despite feeling like a tortoise on its back, I pushed on and was making some progress when unfortunately the Swiss ball did it's ball-like thing and rolled one way.  I, of course, rolled the other.  I jumped up, smiled, and pressed on with the torture.  Marvellous, I thought, at least it's plain sailing from here.

We moved on to the next exercise, which involved lying on the floor, raising both legs, and then gently lowering and holding them.  The lovely young lady sat down beside me, to offer some much needed words of encouragement.

And that, dear reader, was when I parped.  Farted.  Cut the cheese.  Sounded the ol' buttock bassoon.

To her immense credit, Gym Lady did not bat an eyelid.  Given the sizeable nature of the utterance, I felt it couldn't be ignored, so offered up a big smile and slightly giggly apology.  We exchanged a look which (hopefully) suggested we'll never speak of it again.  She seemed understandably reluctant to encourage me to finish the set, so I cheerily picked up my worksheet and moved along to the next piece of equipment.  There, I tried desperately to compose myself - and was doing a pretty good job - until I realised I was in fact on the wrong piece of equipment.  The giggles returned and I had to hide behind the water cooler* until I was ready to resume.

But resume I did.  And that, my friends, is an even more important milestone for me.

*Note to self: The water cooler at the gym is a TERRIBLE place to hide.  Everyone seems to go there.  Weird.

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