Well this morning was my first day of being beasted by Darren. I decided to get an early start, I didn’t go to bed until 4am and was up at 7 unwinding and focusing with a bit of Tai Chi.. not the same in the house on my own (but fear not… news to come). I must say I was slightly apprehensive about how I was going to cope with an exercise situation where I was going to be pushed beyond what I consider my limits. I’m not good with being forced to do things, I think it comes from when I was tortured by my first psycho boyfriend and vowed to never let anyone do anything I was uncomfortable with to me ever again and I’ve taken it to a bit of an extreme. Largely because I’ve never properly dealt with that horrid episode and how it impacted on me.
But, important thing is, I’m doing it now and part of that was not running away but facing up to whatever Darren throws at me and proving that I can do it, not running away because I think he’s trying to manipulate me. As I walked around to the gym I kept telling myself “he wants you to succeed, anything he does is for your good, it’s for your benefit, Darren does not want to hurt you”. Make no mistake I am far from fully healed in terms of my emotional problems and I have to talk myself through things like this a lot, don’t let the flippancy fool you into thinking I’m care free and this is all easy for me, the exercise, the eating, the shopping, the fashion, the dating because it isn’t. Internally I’m a sack of wires trying to untangle itself, I think of my emotional state as the Christmas tree lights that were not put away properly last year… I’ve got lots free but there’s still a whole bundle lying there threatening to f*ck up Christmas.
So as I was on the way my friend Liz called to say she’s not going to make it to visit this week as now her daughter also has the virus and she needs to step in and spend her few days off work playing nurse. So we’ve postponed hoping that I will have time before I’m back at work to catch up or failing that we’re flying from London so we’ll catch some time together before or after we fly.
So Darren was waiting for me with a glint in his eye and said he was pleased I’d come back. I told him when I’ve paid a 50 quid joining fee and I’m on a 50 quid a month direct debit for membership tied in for a year and paying him for his undivided attention on top of that, I was never NOT going to come back.
90 minutes later and I was exhausted yet exhilarated, bouncing off walls to be frank. He had me pumping iron, skipping (I mean come on the floor must have been reinforced) and boxing, I got to do a press up… believe me that was harder than it sounds, I wasn’t allowed to stop trying until I got the technique perfect, I thought my arms and chest were going to combust and I face planted several times with sheer exhaustion but I did it in the end. Then I had to transform that into a burpee.. I’ve seen these things and I didn’t think I would ever do one but I did just that… one. Again, it took a while to get the technique right but in the end I executed a slow but accurate burpee and I’m proud of that achievement. Once I believed I could get from the squat to a push up position I did it. As Darren said, now we have the technique right and I’m using the right muscles in the right way and won’t cause myself any damage we can only improve on one, we can’t get any worse, because worse than one is nothing and nothing is for losers and I’m not a loser. I loved his vocal motivation, I just wish he wouldn’t say it in such a sexy seductive tone of voice. I think Tenalady (discreet things for ladies with bladder control issues) are going to be required for Darren sessions in future.
At the end he made me row and that was the worst thing, I really thought I couldn’t row any further after 50 meters but he pushed me on to a slow and painful 50 more and then I did another 100, the first 50 were pretty hard but the final 50 were easier, my head was around it by then and willing my body on.
It was such a good all round work out, everything aches, I did a huge variety of exercises which had rhyme and reason to them and at the end I challenged him to a batak wall battle which he slaughtered me on but it was fun and I wanted to do more movement even though he had exhausted me.
I then changed out of my sweaty gear and sat in the steam room for ten minutes, which was lovely. There I chatted to a young guy who was a pro body builder and preparing for a competition, he explained all about the processes they go through before a competition to remove all fat and water from their bodies to define the muscle. Gosh I never realised how complex all this stuff is.
He was very encouraging about my quest and he didn’t throw up at the sight of me sweating profusely in my pink tankini, he was very interested in my eating habits, my whole journey and gave me some tips on eating which were really useful. He said that he isn’t much different to me but at the opposite end of the scale as in I use food and slothfulness to control my inner feelings and he uses food and exercise to do exactly the same. He said he thinks that anyone who is obsessive about food/diet/exercise/body image either negatively or positively are all sharing more issues than they realise. I think he might have something there. Especially as Darren was saying the same thing.
Darren’s a power lifter so unlike a body builder he is bulky, sometimes mistaken for being fat, less defined muscles but very strong. He started doing that to make himself feel bigger when he was a teenager after he witnessed his father beating his mother and vowed to get big and strong so he could challenge his dad and protect his mum. I wonder if there are many amongst us who are not screwed up and using food and exercise to fight our emotional demons one way or another. I just learned not to look at a slim fit person and imagine they have life happy and easy.
Bodybuilder was called Chris and he joined me in the jacuzzi where we carried on our chat. (Note all of this large ladies… nobody treats you like a freak at the gym, so if you want to go to one just GO!).
As I didn’t need to rush home I decided to have a shower and then pop into the beauty salon, they have a Clarins salon at my gym so it would be a shame not to use it. I had a mini facial which was delicious and a mani and pedicure. They all turned out to be free as a new member’s introductory package and so I was even more glad I stopped by. So no make up for me today, I’m letting my face breathe.
I strolled home drinking water and eating a lovely nectarine and an apple wearing my flip flops, a pair of white leggings and a simple tunic top with handkerchief hem in bright pink… feeling like a fresh, beautiful butterfly finally emerged from a dark cocoon. I was aching everywhere but even that made me feel good. Nick has been calling and texting me since he left, I think he misses me. He rang me as I was walking along and I told him about my morning and he asked if he could come back as I was now going to be alone until my kids come on Saturday… I had to think about that one for a moment… OK so for like a nano second. He’s on his way 😀
So I took a detour to the fish monger and stocked up on some nice mackerel for a soup for tonight and some lovely sea bass and some fresh sardines. Just as I arrived at my house a van pulled up and out jumped a lovely lady (I knew her actually, she is the daughter of a former neighbour of mine all grown up now but instantly recognisable) and she handed me a beautiful bouquet of perfect fresh vibrant yellow roses. I assumed they were from Nick until I read the card and found they were from my kids. The sweet little things knew I was going to face many demons today by going to that gym, putting myself at the mercy of Darren and that I’d planned to take a step into the steam and healing waters of the spa. They must have been so pleased to have their mama coming back to them that they had to make sure there was no mistake in my mind that they were happy and behind me all the way.
Those poor kids must have had the weight of the world on their shoulders these past few years, they must have been so worried about me and knowing my fierce independence reluctant to talk to anyone about it. I’m going to have to have a good chat with them on Saturday and let them open up and spill out the angst I’ve caused them before it does them any damage. I love those two people with every fibre of my being and to think I’ve hurt them in any way breaks my heart and knowing they’ve just kept on loving me and being fabulous kids breaks my heart even more. I’ve been very selfish, very selfish. It makes me sad but I need to feel this sorrow and regret and hurt because I’m never going to do this to them again, never. They are awesome kids and they deserve an awesome mum and I’m going to be that for them from now on. No more wallowing, just looking to the brighter days and getting stronger and better every day for all of us.