Pain shot through my legs every step I took. I could hardly move one leg in front of the other!
I hadn’t expected to feel quite like this after my first proper session with my personal trainer. My lower limbs ached. I wasn’t surprised that they ached, but I was surprised by just how much they ached. I could barely walk!
I had arrived at the gym late because I had forgotten the traffic is worse on a Saturday and was delayed. When I arrived, James got me to warm up on the treadmill by jogging for about five minutes. He then asked me do a series of lunges, followed by squats. A couple of these would have been fine, but I probably did 10 of each three times, interspersed by bouts of jogging.
Any regular fitness enthusiast knows that you have to break yourself into exercising gently, but I had not done any lunges or squats for at least 10 years, apart from those that occur naturally in my usual lifestyle. I suppose I had to get started somewhere and they say ‘there is no gain without pain’, don’t they?
After the jogging, squats and lunges, I did 10 minutes on a cycling machine and then of my own choosing, I swam for half an hour.
Swimming has always been a love of mine, despite nearly drowning in my younger days. When you are drowning, your life flashes before you and I had thought at the time, ‘I’m too young to die.’ I was 12 or 13 and could actually swim when it happened. My family had gone to Ennerdale Water in Cumbria, where it gently laps into the River Ehen. There is a small, deep pool at a bend in the river with a slab of stone that acts as a diving board. My family used to love going there.
On the day that I nearly drown, I was wearing a facemask and looked down through the crystal, clear water and saw an eel. I screamed underwater and tried to back away. In my panic, I took in water and flailed hopelessly. Gulping, I shouted for help. My Aunt was swimming close by and tried to aid me, but I just dragged her under, in my panic.
Realising things were getting serious; my Dad dived in without undressing and successfully dragged me to the bank. He had to drive home in wet trousers. It was a day I will never forget. He taught me to tread water soon after that.
Despite this traumatic experience, I still love swimming and find it relaxing and therapeutic. At the Virgin Active gym, there is a large image of a beach, which makes swimming particularly enjoyable as you can imagine you are swimming in an exotic location!
Can’t wait for next time!