Thursday, 16 August 2018

My nemesis

I signed up for a gym contract a couple of years ago, it was an extraordinarily cheap deal, and the way it worked was my regular membership was less than I was paying for my twice weekly spin sessions.  For ages I thoroughly enjoyed guilt free spin, and the 'me-time' mucking around with the machines (do a set, stop and play with my phone for 10 min, do a set etc). I loved the rowing machine as I could pretend it was helping my swimming without actually doing the pesky swimming, and I could take advantage of the stationary bikes featuring exciting videos of exotic bike trails to stave off (yeah right) the boredom of a rainy day 5 hour indoor ride getting ready for Taupo.

I suddenly realised...well I've suddenly realised a number of times but each time the thought skittered away...that I hadn't been IN the gym for six months, since before Ironman in fact.  Now there have been reasons for non-attendance, but there's been no reason not to drop by and put my membership on hold except what I can only describe as some sort of weird 'hope'.  As close as I can get to it is some sort of vague idea that the minute I put the membership on hold I'd suddenly be desperate to go back.  Which probably isn't as crackpot as it sounds, I know at some point I'll get my excitement back, things will stop aching, the kids will stop coming up with creative ways to demand my urgent attention, and...yeah...the excuses will trickle to a halt and I'll throw my gym bag in the car and twice a week be itching to race into the gym with the old  'yaaay-no-one-can-get-me-here' feeling.

The other day I dropped by the gym.  I was going to deal with it.  Put. Membership. On. Hold. Stop. Dreaming. As it happens, I ran into the young owner who managed to convince me to let him spend some time to help me get back on the training-feeling-good road again.

He listened patiently to "thishurtsandthathurtsandmymusclesareweakandicantcycleandeverytimeidothatthishappenssadpatheticawwwwwww".  "Come back and let's try a few things" he says.  So reluctantly stuffed into loose fitting gym clothes I furtively slunk in through the door a few days later and he put me through my paces.  Evaluating.  Assessing.  Testing.

So after some detective work what seems to have happened is I spent a few years at a standing desk.  It improved my posture and I rarely had the old neck/back/arm problems that I'd had in previous years.   At the beginning of this year though I was tired after Ironman and I put my desk down low and sat down.  I pretty much didn't stand up again...there was always an excuse, and really, I had a very, very comfy chair.  Result...my shoulders are turning in, I slouch, my neck is in a poor position, my arms and wrists are lining up for carpal tunnel type issues, a bunch of muscles are lazy in the lower body...and because I'm not focused enough to sit properly, and at the moment too lazy to stand...I've created a whole bunch of new/old issues.

So there you have it.  I've got a lot of hard work to do, stretching, strengthening, posture, and a compromise suggestion of setting a goal of some standing and some sitting to try to sort things out.  But best of all, the current problems clearly aren't the effect of some inexorable decline into creaky athlete retirement... I've now got something to blame.  Meet my nemesis...