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Sunday, January 09, 2011


We decided to put one of our new year's resolutions into action last Thursday when we made up our minds to start exercising. Between the tonne of magazines that we bought on holiday was the December Men's Health. A small and inconspicuous article on page 56 caught my eye: "3 Moves, 300 Muscles". The subtitle reads: "Your fast-acting, full-body, do-it-anywhere summer exercise routine". And you can "briefly rest when you need to". Sounds perfect.

So, last Thursday when we got home we changed into our exercise clothes and jumped right into the "Body Weight Squat", the "Judo Push Up" and the "Sprinter's Sit-Up", these being the three moves mentioned in the article's title. You're supposed to do ten repetitions of each, and complete as many circuits as you can finish in 15 minutes.

1. Body Weight Squat

Not too hard on my legs; they seem to be in a good condition. Nevertheless, We both start panting and perspiring. Health: about 90%. Time: 3 minutes.

2. Judo Push Up

Very hard exercise to get right! And damn hard to do too. My arms are shaking and unwilling to carry my enormous weight. Health: down to 50%. Time: 9 minutes.

3. Sprinter's Sit-Up

Impossible to do properly at this stage. We are rocking like toy horses because we can't really sit up with these flabby bellies. We also find it difficult to get the arm movements right because we are concentrating on sitting up without squashing an organ. Abs and obliques are on fire. Health: 20%. Time: 13 minutes.

4. Body Weight Squat, second circuit

A bit harder this time, but we finish the 10 reps. Health: 5%. Time: 15 minutes.

5. Judo Push Up, second circuit

Impossible to do more than 3 reps at this stage. Arms just won't co-operate. Health: 5%. Time: 18 minutes.

6. Sprinter's Sit-Up, second circuit

A dull throb has settled in my gut. We are both extremely nauseous. Heart rates are off the charts. We are drenched in perspiration. Strangely, mine smells like cheese. Gross.

Anyway, we manage to do 5 sit-ups before just laying there on the filthy but cool floor of our living room. The music we put on for the exercises blares on. I am simply too exhausted to care.
Final health: -25%. Final Time: 21 minutes.


The Aftermath

We got up a while later, switched off the music, showered, cooked. My muscled felt tender, but not sore at all.

Getting up on the day after the exercises, Friday, proved to be a challenge. An old injury or malformation in my left shoulder had returned and it ached a lot, especially when moving my arm. I always think of the pain of Frodo's wound, the one that the Wraith gave him in The Lord Of The Rings. It is a very sinister kind of pain. Ominous and dark. This is the pain in my shoulder.

When had I last encountered it? It must have been in 1989, when I was in Standard 7 (now Grade 9). At that time I was still covered by my parents' Medical Aid Scheme and I went to an orthopedic surgeon, who injected cortisone right into my shoulder joint. The injection was very painful, so painful in fact that I passed out and hit my head on a table on the way down. But I could soon move my arm again and my head was still sore from hitting it long after the pain in my shoulder had vanished.

I also went for Physiotherapy, where they massaged the shoulder (extremely painful procedure!!). They also used a laser device to do something in the joint. That was also very painful. Nevertheless, my shoulder was better.

Ah, I see we've had a little hypochondriac detour.

The One didn't have much soreness on the day after we exercised, but on the second day after, his abdominal muscles were quite sore. My triceps had started aching even though my shoulder was a bit better. I cant put my finger on what had taken away the pain, but overdosing on Norflex and Echinacea, as well as two of mother's painkillers and a  rheumatism capsule prescribed for Mother's Rottweiler, Joe, seemed to have helped.

My triceps were so sore yesterday that I looked exactly like a person with nerve damage when I tried to bring anything to my lips. It was so painful that I trembled and shaked. On top of being sore, my muscles were also very stiff and inflexible. Stretching and a blue concoction from my sister helped for that. She even massaged me with a little massage vibrator! Thanks, Ils.

This morning my shoulder is all better. My triceps are still sore and stiff, but better as well. The One is still sleeping, so I don't know if he has any tender muscles today.


Now do you see why people don't keep their new year's resolutions? Still, as soon as we are better, we'll start again. But we will do a proper warm-up and stretch before we exercise this time. This is one resolution I'd really like to keep.

Written by I