Yes, my life as an easyGym gym hero continues. My slow but steady weight loss continues. Over the last ten months, I’ve lost almost thirty pounds. The first fifteen comprised mostly cancer cells and the fluid they had produced. The rest has come off little by little since June, when I joined easyGym. Yesterday, I pulled out one of my favourite t-shirts, put it on, and discovered I could wear it to the gym. It felt so good, I hit the weight room after I was done with the recumbent bike, and remembered once again why I love weight machines.
Free weights are great, and I’ve talked about my pyramiding routine in a previous post. But weight machines can help you work more of your muscles more easily––you just fit yourself into the machine, read the instructions, and go to it. After thirty-five minutes on a recumbent bike, I don’t bother with my legs––they’ve had their workout. I use six or seven machines, things like chest press, lat pull-down, seated-row, bicep curl, triceps, but most important for me, abdominal and back extension. If I were pressed for time, I’d make sure I used at least the last two. Abdominal first, then back extension––using them in that order feels wonderful.
It took a few months before I was able to add the machines after the bike. I was so out of condition when I started, the bike finished me for the day; I had just enough energy to shower and I still had to sit and rest for a while afterwards. And I’m not lifting prodigiously––I usually follow in the wake of several well-muscled guys in the weight room and I always have to re-set the stack to something really wimpy. But the guys are nice. All the people who belong to the Wood Green easyGym are nice. Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious but that’s just me, not anything that anyone’s said or done to make me feel that way. Most of the time, however, I’m too blissed out on endorphins to worry about anything.
And apparently it’s not just endorphins. Someone pointed me at an article that said recent research shows that happy feeling produced by intense exercise comes from endocannabinoids: http://boingboing.net/2015/10/07/the-real-cause-of-runners.html.
That’s right, the human body produces its own cannabis––one more good reason to legalise it. Of course, having an exercise high doesn’t make it unsafe to drive a car, enter into legal contracts, or make important decisions, like whether you should cut your own hair or get a tattoo. Also, there is no extra charge for endocannabinoids, and it’s never cut with oregano even if you eat Italian food afterwards.
But I don’t spend all my time getting high at the gym. I’m not going today––it’s a rest day, I have to let those muscle fibres recover from lifting all of nine kilos. Today is all work under the supervision of Jynx, aka The Gent (the only cat I ever met who doesn’t scratch furniture).
The thing about being a writer is, you’re always really busy but most of the time, it’s all internal. To the casual observer, nothing seems to be happening except perhaps intermittent bursts of typing/writing. So when something does happen, writers make a big deal out of it. Last weekend, it was the Gollancz Festival 2015, held in London and Manchester, and online.
Today, I woke up to see this online:
Dead Letters will be out in Spring 2016 and it would be a big deal to me anyway, but especially because my story was written while I was having chemo. This wilI be old news to regular readers as I blogged about it at the time. But I’m as thrilled about it as I was when I finished the story, and when Conrad said he was taking it. Because it meant I wasn’t all talk––cancer really wasn’t beating me.
Isn’t beating me. Cancer can’t take my life, not even if it kills me.