I guess I’m going to find out.
Today, I did a whole fifteen minutes on the recumbent exercise bike. Okay, fifteen minutes with breaks.
EasyGym has fancy-schmancy machines with hook-ups for iPads and iPods, as well as a whole entertainment package (which costs extra). I’m not sure if the wifi is free or not. I forgot my earphones so I had to cycle with only the sound of other cardio machines in the background. I will never, ever forget my earphones again.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been so out of condition; not even after childbirth (they don’t call it ‘labour’ ironically). It was the toughest fifteen minutes I’ve put myself through lately, even with breaks. But I did it. Tomorrow, maybe sixteen minutes (with breaks).
Afterwards, in the locker room, I discovered EasyGym’s secret to keeping costs down: you have to keep pressing the shower button. There’s no just standing under the spray like a zombie who cares about personal hygiene. No temperature or spray adjustment, either––the water comes out how it comes out and you adjust yourself to it. In between, you soap up without the water running (this makes sense to me). Then you rinse off.
As I still don’t have enough hair for shampooing, the inconvenience is minor. But what the hell, the membership is super-cheap, especially if you don’t take classes.
Once clean, I had to sit down and recover from standing for a prolonged period. I must have looked pretty done in. A young woman who was putting on her make-up nearby asked me if I were all right.
“Yeah,” I said, “I’m just out of condition.” This was genuine British understatement. I’ll have to train every day for at least three months before my level of fitness is high enough to qualify as very poor. Right now, I’m off the scale, and not in a good way.
And speaking of scales: I got on one. The good news is, I am not even close to the upper limit of the mechanism. (According to the sign, the upper limit is 500 pounds but what the hell, good news is where you find it and what you make of it.) The better news is, I have already lost another kilos since I saw the oncologist. (Well, yes, it might have been sweat. But the scale doesn’t make any distinctions––weight is weight. If the scale doesn’t care, why should I?)
It was a pay scale––for a quid, it told me my height, weight, BMI, and percentage of body fat. None of that was good news but the bar for bad news is now so high that the worst thing I can say about these figures is, they’re data.
More good news: while it doesn’t take much to raise my heart-rate, it comes right down again just as it always has. Also, no chest pains, no problems breathing, and no dizziness. (The tiny hairs in my inner ear have grown back so I’m not suddenly lurching to one side or the other like a drunk failing to keep it together.) What this means is, as woefully out of shape as I am, I have no physical problems that would prevent me from getting fit again.
The oncologist recommended I make that a priority now that I’m done with chemo and taking hormones (not HRT––certain hormones can in some cases keep recurrent uterine cancer stable and prevent it from growing). As I’m so unfit, exercise is going to own the days for a while––I came home feeling good but done. Eventually, however, I’ll be able to do more than take myself to the gym and go home afterwards.
And I’ll be able to walk all I want without my lower back screaming, ONE MORE STEP, BITCH, AND I WILL CUT YOU!
It’s nice to have things to look forward to.