One thing I know: nobody knows what is going to happen next.
This post was going to be a review of some of the YouTube exercise videos that I have been bouncing around to recently. I have been amazed by the wide variety that exist.
You have your ageing gracefully “older lady” in her elegant home and 1980s Olivia Newton-John-style workout gear, bobbing gently about waving her arms and barely breaking a sweat.
Then there is the hapless woman in what looks like an underground cell doing seemingly random aerobics moves for nearly an hour with odd people walking in and out of the room (and in front of the camera) at intervals. She gives no warning when she is about to change moves, and doesn’t talk much, just grimly pounds on with no clock or timer displayed so you have no idea how much longer the agony will last.
Of course, there are the super slick ones with bright studios and every sort of timing device imaginable. The presenters on these ones tend to be quite chatty and have fellow exercisers who show different intensity moves. They are all obviously encouraged by the producers to “interact” with one another in a jolly and encouraging and “aren’t we all just having a ball?” way. This is almost as painful to watch as the exercises are to complete.
Almost all of them take great pains to insist that you should “go at your own pace”. Clearly (and understandably) trying to avoid lawsuits from the families of over-enthusiastic chubby bouncers who drop in their tracks while participating in their routines.
Lots of them purport to “really care” about you, the exerciser, and try different ways to encourage and inspire you to keep going and get fit and healthy. Some of them I even believe. They really do seem to be on a mission to bring a healthy lifestyle to the sluggish masses. I was working out to one of these the other day, and in amongst all the psycho-babble, he said some things that really struck home. Not necessarily because they were so profound, but because of something else that has happened in our lives recently and which is the reason I wrote that very first sentence.
A good friend of ours – a 50-something father of two with a larger-than-life, bubbly, positive personality, full of intelligence and enthusiasm and good humour – had a terrible skateboarding accident four weeks ago. He is still alive, but only just. He bashed his head and his poor brain started bleeding. He is still in ICU but, as of a few days ago, is breathing on his own again. He is not yet fully conscious and there is no way of knowing what long-term effects this terrible injury will have.
Nobody knows what is going to happen next. Not to our lovely friend, and not to any of us.
It was with this tragedy in mind that I really listened to and took notice of what the exercise man was saying. He was talking about how wonderful our bodies are to do all the things they do – how strong and able. Even just being able to stand up and move around is a precious gift. He was urging us to be grateful and to look after what we have. Needless to say, this has done my motivation for continuing with the new exercise regime the world of good.
And I am loving it. I am feeling fitter and stronger and even a bit more bendy, which is brilliant. It’s not always easy to get started, but I am always pleased once I have. In fact, I am writing this fully kitted out in exercise gear, ready to head over to the sitting room and do some serious leaping about.
You should be a fly on the wall. It is quite a sight, I can tell you. Captain Shoelace sometimes wanders in to have a giggle before I boot him out. But even his smirking won’t put me off. I will try to remember how lucky I am to be able to do it, and hope with all my heart that my dear friend will be up and bouncing about some day soon.
PS After my last post whining about not being able to write, the lovely Fat Fella has set me up with a nice speedy laptop, connected to our home network, and all functioning beautifully.
No more excuses.