The Cork Board

They all say that, she said…

I had spent the best part of January gym-cycling as a more agreeable alternative to venturing out on potentially lethal icy roads. Then the bug kicked in and nothing happened for about 3 weeks. A real downer but I felt I had enough residual fitness not to have lost too much momentum.

However, venturing out into the chill winter sunshine, my first real ride this year was a slog. I puffed and panted like a hopeful for the Christian Grey stage role. I was not happy and pretty deflated, I admit, even allowing for the fact that I was probably shedding the bug.

Gym equipment can be terrifying to comprehend. They often resemble Heath Robinson contraptions designed as instruments of torture rather than cleverly evolved fitness apparatus. I considered all these wondrous things at my disposal – and it was clear after my first ride that I might need to strap myself in and see what happens.

Eighteen months ago I made the acquaintance of a fitness trainer who designed a winter programme for me that would keep my fitness up and ready for getting back on the bike again when the Spring flowers peaked above the sodden sod. Under the circumstances I needed her help again. The fact that she is blond, fit and pretty has no bearing upon my motivation. I thought I would just stress that.

...not my trainer, picture for illustrative purposes only ...
…not my trainer, picture for illustrative purposes only …
... and in the interests of balance, what I might have looked like if I'd started this 30 years ago ...
… and in the interests of balance, what I might have looked like if I’d started this 30 years ago …

The gym was barely empty when we caught up. “I don’t need work on my legs,” I said, ” when it comes to it, they are my secret weapon.  I cycle. I run. They’re fine.I need some new core work and upper body strength.”

“They all say that,” she said. “Cyclists all say that. My legs are fine. But I’ve trained a few and after I make them do strength work on their legs too they realise how much more there is to do and how much better they have become.”

Disarmed by her smile I handed over my body. If any of you have done this personal trainer work-out thing you’ll know that as a rule they don’t take prisoners. R worked me till I could lift no more for an hour and I hobbled home promising that I would wash and repeat as soon as possible.

Sure enough my next ride was a breeze – except for the head-on breeze I rode into going home. I could feel the difference. Damn it she was right, and it’s obvious. If you are stronger it’s going to be easier. Nothing motivates quite like success, so now I’m all fired up to wrestle with these contraptions and to leave the gym bike alone for now.

I just need the sun to shine a little more so that I can get out on the road.

... El Burgo in the mountains, end of Stage 1 with any luck ...
… El Burgo in the mountains, end of Stage 1 with any luck …


7 thoughts on “They all say that, she said…”

  1. I hate gyms. So much nicer to be out in the fresh air walking or cycling. I’m also not keen on over-developed muscles, but that’s just a personal preference. When I was in a rowing club, there was nice weekend rowing and compulsory gym slog twice a week. When I realised in was developing muscles in my nice flat stomach – I left.

    It’s not just physical though is it? Mental strength is equally as critical. We were backpacking on some long distance walk, and couldn’t find a decent place to wild camp. ‘We’ll keep going,’ I said. And took over in front to set the pace for another two or three hours. One of our longer days 😀

    1. I don’t think I’m in any danger if over-developing any muscles. 😀 or even getting anywhere near a 6 pack. I’ve played the “10 stone weakling” card masterly all my life.
      You are right about mental toughness, too. My daughters were the first to point that out and insisted that I read “The Chimp Paradox” by Steven Peters ( probably Dr. SP ) so that’s by my bed now. I keep wrestling my chimp into his cage 😉

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