Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cocoon: A True Story

To all my friends who love the gym, running or any form of intentional exercise that doesn't involve propping up a bar - You are a pack of lying, filthy whores "Ohhh if you exercise in the morning you are on a high for the rest of the day". NO, if you have a Tom Collins in the morning you are on a high for the rest of the day...or until you sober up at least. I'd slap each one of you if you weren't physically superior and capable of beating my flabby arse to a pulp.

I don't think it will come as a shock to any of you that I don't approve of intentional exercise. I find it a waste of perfectly good breath that could be better spent swearing.  I have pointed out to several of my friends who run marathons, the only reason to run is if a wolf is chasing you and even then it is preferable to lay down and pretend to be a log. The closest I come to exercise is trying to find the grossest inspirational quotes on Pintrest. So far this one is winning. No matter how many times I see it, it still makes me feel sick. It's important to have a hobby.

So what will come as a shock to my nearest and dearest is that after years of Drs and physios insisting I exercise I have finally caved in and it SUCKS. Before you write me off as a traitor to the cause there is a reason that I have started following medical advice as opposed to just pointing and laughing; I have a hilarious genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I have the hypermobilty sub-type which means I regularly dislocate limbs and digits (8 times in my right shoulder, 9 times in my left mainly while I was sleeping). Currently I am held together by chronically unstable joints,  poorly recruited muscles, and if My First Husband is to be believed, venom. As you might imagine this is more than a tad uncomfortable but also has the unfortunate side effect of my hips being so unstable that I walk like Jessica Rabbit. This tends to send rather the wrong message particularly on public transport.

So this is how at 8am this morning I found myself in the pool surrounded by hyperactive 80 years olds. I knew it was going to be bad but not even my unorthodox imagination prepared me for the true horror. As soon as I walked out of the change room all the geriatric heads swivelled towards me. Now I watch a lot of sci-fi so I knew what the glint in their eyes meant...they saw me as fresh meat, they were going to drain my (relative) youth and leave only a dried husk behind a skip somewhere. As if exercise didn't scare me enough doing it in the equivalent of my underwear in front of a glass wall of a cafe (full of 19 year old students sipping their smoothies and looking duly horrified at what gravity can do to the human body) was terrifying. Now I had to contend with the unexpected variable that the rest of the class obviously plotting to drain my soul. I was pretty consumed with this until I realised that not only had I picked up Rainman's swimming towel but it also reeked. I should have taken this as an omen and fled.

In addition to my lovely genetic condition which as you can imagine makes me less than graceful and coordinated I was also sadly born without a sense of rhythm. I mean absolutely none at all to the point I function as a rhythm vortex I actually suck the rhythm and talent out of people I stand too close to. I am not legally allowed to stand within 2 metres of a professional musician. It is hard to pinpoint the lowest point of the class but I think it was when  the woman who came in with a walking stick who was far more coordinated and agile than me also began giving me pitying smiles. In fact the entire class (including the token disinhibited old man and a woman in her 70s who must have just done a mountain of speed) was FAR FAR FAR more able than me. The psychotically chirpy instructor obviously identified me as the special needs child of the group as the cafe owner* and waiter behind the glass were performing a mocking imitation of us. The cocoon crew found this hilarious. I didn't. In fact it may be one of the 5 things in my entire life that I didn't find funny. I think my final thread of dignity evacuated as one of the exceptionally capable women I used to work with finished swimming her 200 perfect laps, got out of the pool and clearly recognised me.

At least on Saturday I have The Nazgul's mum & tots ballet class. I completely kick those 2.5 - 3.5 year olds arses when it comes to fairy runs.

*who I have asked several times to install a bar and written it on various surveys when I am taking the kids to swimming

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