Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pardon? You Did What Polly?

Yesterday, I finally embarked upon my keep get-fit regime. This entailed a visit to Tog 24, the purchase of some lovely breathable garments made from bamboo/charcoal fabric, unfortunately all dark grey or black, but hey, they were on promo. So I was happy, enthused (finally) and the sun was shining.

About three or maybe four years ago I purchased a new bicycle. Purple of course. Sadly, its first outing entailed a gruelling trip to a neighbouring village which lies about four miles away. As the children were much younger then I was compelled to follow them as they cycled off into the distance with little or no thought for their tired old Mum trailing behind them. These days I'd probably hurl abuse at them and turn for home...

Anyway the long and short of the above paragraph is that was the very last time I used my brand new sparkling purple bicycle. In the meanwhile both the children have commandeered its services from time to time and it's no longer as shiny or new. Still, it's in pretty good shape, it's mine and it works.

I decided a few days ago, in my infinite wisdom that I am going to walk the Dublin Marathon for charity. So, with just over six weeks to go it really was time to make a move on 'training'. As one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is a lack of body temperature regulation. I am not only inclined to feel the cold, but also the heat. This of course means that I always have a top layer with me, even in the heat of summer.

At one time, before my diagnosis and the onset of reliable medication which have helped with this annoying and somewhat problematic symtom my family had often laughed at my insistence on wearing thick Aran jumpers/cardigans on the hottest of days. Even now, I tend to layer up for hikes up the mountains, as temperatures can vary depending on the altitude and the terrain.

One of our Scouts once asked me why I insisted upon wearing so many layers if I get sooo hot. My reply? So that when it's cold I'm warm and when it's hot I can strip off, with the added advantage of being able to share my clothing with kids who've just got soaked during a water fight in a mountain river...

To return to the purple bicycle of yesterday evening; I had also purchased a computer which measures distance, kilometres/miles per hour, calories burned and other exciting things like that. Yesterday it was finally installed on the front fork of my bike and put to good use on its inaugural journey.

Apparently I cycled a full four kilometres around the block in just over twenty-two minutes. Admittedly I stopped to catch my breath once or twice, but otherwise I was pretty impressed with my performance. This was especially due to the fact that despite my exertions, I wasn't particulary hot or sweaty - this is a first. So, the breathable fabrics worked and so did my poor muscles! (This gear will come in handy for mountain hiking!)

What did come as a surprise was the fact that once stopped and allowed to recover from the shock of actually exercising I became wheezy. So much so that I unwrapped my standby Salamol inhaler and took a couple of puffs. And then another - thankfully the wheezing stopped.

Today, is my last day of smoking. My first day of continued exercise - not only did I do four and a half hours of strenuous ground clearance in my Mum's garden I also walked the mile to the village for her newspaper. Okay, so it's actually 6/10's of a mile, but I did walk back again and only stopped to talk to the neighbours twice. This time I was in my all cotton gardening gear and got quite hot and sticky.

Apparently, I've turned over a new leaf. I counted my points for breakfast, dinner and tea and earned a whole days points on top of that for use in a well deserved glass or two of red wine.

My only regrets are that I've become so unfit that any of this is necessary and that I couldn't get my flaming chainsaw going after it ran out of petrol - and yes, this was after the fuel tank had been refilled! Still, I probably earned another thousand calories in the process. So now I'm off to sample some more of the nice red wine...

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