tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Guest blogger: My Mum on middle-aged exercise

My workplace is finally upgrading me from XP. Before all the computer-savvy among us inform me of just how archaic and dangerous it is that I'm still on XP, I already know. I enquired last month, the month it stopped being supported, about when I'd be upgraded. It's happening this week.

In preparation, I've been making a backup of the personal stuff that's on my machine (9 years worth) that doesn't need to be migrated to the new OS. And deleting stuff I'd saved that it turned out I didn't need. Among it, I found a piece of my Mum's creative writing, outlining her experience with getting 'trim and toned' in her 60s. It made me grin, and now I want to share. So here, have a slice of my Mum:


Here I am, middle aged, over weight and my body is very busy moving south. My visit to the doctors wasn’t exactly helpful for my moral either, what with him telling me I need to loose at least 10 kgs and to get that blood pressure down or I will be in serious trouble. Talk about telling it how it is! Of course, he’s a man so he doesn’t understand the complex workings of a woman’s mind. Not really.

O.K. So he’s probably been honest about my blood pressure. He was most likely honest about the weight, too. So perhaps I should be honest about my age. If I really am middle aged then I will be 124 when I shed this mortal coil. So I’m already over the hill if truth be told.

I sigh. I go to the mirror and bravely look at my reflection. I hold out my arms and look at the two hanging blobs of fat between underarm and elbow. Gosh, how low they hang! I wasn’t always like this. I was once slim and beautiful. I wonder where that went. I glance across at Stan. He’s totally content sitting; well, slouching really, on the settee with a beer in one hand and a bag of potato chips in the other. I wonder what his blood pressure is doing?

Doc mentioned walking. Well, I can do that. But, then he said walking fast. How fast is fast? As long as a piece of string, I reckon. He’s also given me a diet sheet. No potato chips on that sheet! Not even much cheese – one of my favourite foods. Cottage cheese just isn’t proper cheese.

Well, if I’m going to take him seriously I’d better have a go at this walking. And if I’m going to do that I may as well go the whole hog and do a bit of other stuff, too.

There was this notice in the paper about Community Education. There are these classes you can go to, and quite cheap, too. One is called Tone and Trim. I fancy being toned and trimmed, so I might give that a go. That should please the old doctor! And then there’s this other one called Stretch. I picture myself lying on a rack with arms and legs tied spread-eagled, but somehow I don’t think that’s quite what it is about. I take the plunge and enrol.

Stretch is the first class of the week. It’s an hour of moving to music. At one stage we are supposed to be able to touch our toes, tummy muscles tight and legs straight. Well, I may have had tummy muscles at one time, but they are nowhere to be found now. And touching the toes with legs straight? I couldn’t do the even as a child, so I sure can’t now. I reckon Darwin’s theory about evolution and us descending from monkeys could be correct, but I have evolved a little faster than most people and my arms are a lot shorter. Hence the gap between fingers and toes.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed that class. Cassandra, the class instructor, reckons I might feel a bit sore tomorrow, but I don’t see it. It all went smoothly, I think.

Next day I wake up and have to wonder whose body this is I’m in. It hurts! I gingerly roll onto my side. It’s mostly my thighs. That warrior pose, I’ll bet. I felt good last night as I turned sidewise, legs and arms spread, looking very much like a warrior, even if a little bit overweight. I’m sure there were overweight warriors in the Indian community – but did they ever stand like that?

I don’t do much that day. Even getting into the shower is an effort and going for a walk is totally out of the question. I pray that I will be better by tomorrow when my tone and trim class starts. That doctor has a lot to answer for.

Tone and Trim comes around. I do feel a little better, although I can still feel the odd twinge in my thighs. Cassandra (sounds more like a model than a small town trainer) tells me to start with a light bar (what’s a bar, I wonder) and one kg weights. Well, I often lift 5 kgs of potatoes, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

We start with a warm up and I’m not kidding. I was very warm by the time the first song stopped. It seems everything is done to music nowadays. This means your ears get exercise, too. Or go deaf.

Then we start on individual muscle groups. We are told to keep our tummy muscles tight at all times, but I still can’t find mine. They must be there somewhere. Maybe I’ll find them one day.

We go on for three quarters of an hour. Cassandra tells us to do 10 push-ups. I watch her and try to copy. I manage half of one. It’s a start. I try hard to follow her instructions to the letter. Somehow I have to let that doctor know I am trying to get trim – and toned which he didn’t ask for.

Of, course, you all know how I felt the next day, don’t you? I won’t go into details. Suffice it to say that I didn’t die, as I thought I might and it only took a couple of days for the pain to wear off.

All of that is 6 months ago. I went to see the doctor again today. I have lost most of the excess weight and my blood pressure is at a more acceptable level. I quite enjoy the new diet, too, so I reckon I’ll stick to that and the exercise programme.

I look across at Stan as he watches footie on the tele. He still holds a beer in one hand and tatie chips in the other. I’ve tried to get him to come walking with me (I can now do half an hour without puffing and panting) but he reckons it’s all a load of twaddle. Oh, well, to each his own, I suppose. I don’t regret going to my classes and I intend keeping them up and I have found my tummy muscles. I feel good, man.

The end.

My Mum was kind of awesome.
Tags: miss her heaps, my mum was awesome, nostalgia
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