There are those who do and those who don’t…

My physiotherapist said a rude word yesterday.  There I was at full stretch, helpless, with my face down a hole, and pow!  Out it came, just like that, with no warning.  And she a well-bred lady, too.  If she wasn’t stronger than me I’d have been tempted to wash her mouth out with carbolic soap.

If you’re of a delicate disposition, put your hands over your ears – and eyes – now as I am about to share.  Ready?  The word, if you can believe this, was SPORT.

‘What sport do you do?’ she enquired casually, giving my lower trapezium a vigorous pummelling.  Well, I don’t mind telling you I was shocked rigid which considering my current rigor mortis state was somewhat counter-productive.

‘None at all?’ she ventured after a moment’s heavy silence that told her all she needed to know.

‘Nope,’ I muttered to the square inch of pristine tiled floor within focus.

Then, once she’d hoisted me up and we were eyeball to disbelieving eyeball I told her, truthfully, that I’d taken up running three mornings a week round the park –  well, more of a slow jog really – until my GP told me to stop in case I did myself any further injury.

Physio-lady wasn’t impressed.  ‘Aquarobics?’ she said hopefully.

Quick as a flash I knocked that one into touch.  I’ve never liked swimming pools.  Too chilly, noisy, whatever.  And there’s always a plaster on the cubicle floor.  (Well, isn’t there?)  Not that I’m averse to swimming per se.  A leisurely flap across cerulean-blue water in thirty degrees of Mediterranean sun and we might have a deal.

I was entertaining a nice little dream about this when my physio, now well into her stride and shameless with it, threw out another of those words: GYM.  She goes three times a week, apparently.  Doesn’t feel right if she misses it.  ‘It’s horses for courses,’ I said, or something like that, once I’d made it clear that wild ones wouldn’t drag me… etc.  Luckily she saw the funny side.

So then I came round to thinking about me and sport.  Not that there’s much to think about, my experiences being confined mainly to cart-horsing my way around the various pitches at school, more concerned about the decency, or otherwise, of my navy blue knickers and the threat of rising frostbite than the game itself.  An hour’s detention in a cosy classroom for hiding under the gabardine macs in the cloakroom to avoid this torture was a doddle in comparison. 

Anyway, aside from the sheer physical discomfort of all sport known to man, I have another excuse: my hand-eye co-ordination is virtually non-existent.  Any unwilling attempts to catch someone out at rounders brought a long groan from my team-mates and my hockey-stick remained stalwartly undented by any untoward contact with that unspeakably hard ball.   I tried badminton once, lured by a friend on the promise of eligible young blokes in shorts – false as it turned out – but the dead budgie doesn’t even bounce so I had no chance.  And before you ask, I can’t balance on a bike either.

What has any of this got to do with writing, you might ask?  Not a lot.  Except to say that when it comes to sport, and writing, some of us do and some of us don’t.  You’ll never turn a non-sportsperson into Jessica Ennis or a non-writer into Marian Keyes.  And why would you even try?

OK, joking aside, I get the message, yes, really I do:  MOVE MORE and MIND THE POSTURE.  So it’s shoulders back, chin in, no slouching over the keyboard and as soon as I’ve finished this paragraph I’ll be out of the seat faster than Usain Bolt on Senokot to perform a nice round of gentle stretches and put the kettle on.  Just you try and stop me.



11 thoughts on “There are those who do and those who don’t…

  1. Phew!! Crikey Deidre!! I’ve had to go and lie down in a darkened room just reading your post! I fully agree with you, I am not keen either on that S word, I really don’t want anything to do with it. But, yes, joking aside I see the necessity. I can’t do swimming though, there’s too much water & I only do a wee bit of indolent back stroke if forced, but because I can’t see what I’m doing so bump into things I’m a danger!
    I do take the dogs for a walk though. We currently have 13 mini schnauzers in the house, 4 ordinary residents, two holiday makers and seven six week old puppies. Just cleaning up after the pups is sport all on its own, but when you add in walking them, I just about scrape by sport wise!
    Lynne x

  2. A great post Deirdre! The first sentence was irresistible! I couldn’t agree more about sport; my experiences are similar to yours. However, I’ve always loved walking: free and you don’t need to get undressed! I go regularly with a ladies’ group and the miles just zoom past as we talk and laugh our way to the pub!

  3. Deirdre that post made me smile, I hate sport with a passion except for swimming but I’m not brave enough to take the plunge, the last few times I went I could guarantee I would see someone from work and spend the next hour in the pool until they got out first and by this time my skin would be shrivelled so much I looked like a prune!
    I did go to a personal trainer last year who was very nice to look at and very mean to me and to be honest I’ve never been right since, I have a trapped nerve in my arm which is painful and I swear it’s because of those kettlebells.
    I agree with you Lynne and Jean I like walking I’m afraid sport doesn’t agree with me.

    • Thanks for all the comments. Yes walking seems to suit me fine, too. Only trouble is apparently it’s not enough on its own as it doesn’t move all the working parts! I’m wondering if I got my own trapped nerve from the park running with all the arm pumping up and down involved. We tried too hard, Helen, that’s what it is!

  4. Hi Deirdre

    As always your post made me smile. I can’t stand exercise for it’s own shake, but with a bottle of wine inside me I could dance all night long and love every minute of it! I started running a couple of years ago and run two or three miles a few times a week now. My husband does his stint on the running machine, plugged into an ipod or watching a war movie in the games room.

    I can’t stand running and going nowhere. I’ve tried it and all I do is to count down the songs, knowing that each one is roughly four minutes long, until I get can get off the blasted thing and sit down. I hate doing it so much that my shoulders slump and it takes me twenty minutes to put my trainers on, whilst I give myself a hundred reasons not to do it. Instead I go out running on the roads, from the farm shop at one end of the road to the farm at the other end is exactly one mile, so there and back just about does me most days. I nose into people’s garden’s, see who have put up for sale signs or are doing some home renovations and think about anything and everything, including the plot of the WIP.

    Doing all that means that I am not exercising for its own sake, the stimulation of being outside allows for some distraction from all of that and I actually find (shock, horror and surprise on my part) that I miss it now if I don’t do it. Although if I could get away with eating a packet of chocolate hobnobs and not gaining the weight that goes with it, I’m sure I’d happily learn to live without the running!

    Jo x

    • I have never liked sport. In school they made us do cross country running. Did the teacher’s run with us? No the two of them would be in the car alongside the hill we were running up. Now I can understand someone having to be in the car, incase something happened. Why did the two of them have to ride inside? It would have been great to have one of them running with us, just to encourage everyone.
      The thing that used to annoy me, was that at the end they would stand and shout at us to get a move on!
      I believe that walking at a quick pace is a good form of exercise. Also dancing, I love to dance. Soon I shall be getting my exercise DVD out. as I push toward a new me!
      In school I tried everything to get out of games, if we missed a session then the punishment was to copy a page from a book on a sport, I’d prefer to do this, any time to playing it.

      One day the teacher asked me to explain why I couldn’t do games. Well I couldn’t say the old I forgot my gym kit. So the excuse was that my dog had widdled on my kit. She looked at me and said it was original. Have to confess, it wasn’t true!
      This certainly made me smile, brought some memories back.
      Lorraine x

      • That’s funny Lorraine. I used to ‘forget’ my plimsolls but that didn’t work as then I had to borrow a pair of school ones that other girls had worn and had a big letter V (for Varndean) painted on the front in white paint so everyone knew they were school issue! Oh the cruelty…

  5. Hi Deirdre, What a great post! It really made me smile. I too am allergic to any kind of sporting activity. I quite like swimming (but like you I’m not keen on public pools) and yoga. Gyms are my idea of hell. I hope your physio got the message and won’t be trying to sign you up for anything sporty any time soon.

  6. Great post Deirdre. Very entertaining! It’s good to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like the idea of Gyms – or anything else like that!

  7. Very funny post Deirdre. I have hideous memories of sport at school and remain, to this day, absolutely pants at any sort of sport, particularly netball. I’m 5 foot 2″ so what position did I regularly get shoved in? Goal. Seriously, people? Short people can not be in goal!

    However, exercise is another matter. Three months ago I joined bootcamp and I’ve been working out 4 days a week at stupid o’clock ever since. I love it. Doesn’t make me good at it. But I love it!

    If that post is an example of your writing, I can’t wait to read your book!


  8. This made me laugh. I don’t do sport either. I have, in a fit of guilt, taken a yoga class. Even then, the best bit was having a little lie down at the end.
    Julie, I’m even shorter than you are (under 5 ft). I was bribed into being a cox at uni. I did it for a year or so and then even the attraction of shouting at 8 burly men wasn’t enough to make me cope with the early mornings and the freezing cold.
    Down with exercise, I say.

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