Exercise? Just Say No-robicsTweet
Joined: Oct 2009Occupation: studying History at the University of ManchesterEmily's Full Profile
Year-on-year, the statuses of the different houses would rise and fall to a degree but mine remained stationary in the lower half of the coolness rankings. We had the worst common room, the most repugnant toilets and a crusty Head of House who was unmercifully branded a pervert at every opportunity.
However, what cemented our duff position was the fact that my house was home to the school’s worst athletes, finishing last in every inter-house sporting competition: including the daddy of them all, cross-country.
As with many things, especially those which were sport-related, I took issue with several elements of the Inter-House Cross Country competition. Firstly, the fact that this brutal event took place on perhaps the only flat surface in the town; the school fields. Why, you ask, would you be complaining about a constant flat surface? Undoubtedly it made everything easier; however it also made everything really rather dull. A few hills and potholes would have given the whole sorry experience an element of risk.
Secondly, why hold it in November? Considering our P.E. uniform consisted of a bottle green polo top and a revolting grey pleated skirt, I’m sure by running around a frozen field many young girls unwillingly had their eggs cryogenically frozen by the Atlantic breeze that blustered about my town.
Finally, and most pertinently, cross-country was not a test of my sporting skill; it was a vehicle for my embarrassment. In 2005, my sister came first in the year 7 race; I came last in the year 9 one. It has left a bitter taste in my mouth about exercise ever since.
This ongoing ill-feeling towards exercise of all kinds then really doesn’t explain why this year on Valentine’s Day, a day where I should supposedly be doing something I enjoy, I found myself stood at the back of an overcrowded aerobics class.
Maybe I was punishing myself for being single? Or was I subconsciously just wanting to spend an hour watching bottoms gyrate around a room? Whatever it was that drew me there, I now know for certain it will not be hooking me back next Tuesday. Aerobics is for maniacs.
There were many, many things I disliked about the whole experience, but here are a choice few:
If your vision is poor, you may as well go home: Like any normal person, I migrated to the back of the room in the hope that no poor soul would have to look to me as a source of secondary instruction. However, one of the problems with being on the back row if you are as short-sighted as I am is that you end up making up your own routines, rather like being the girl at the school disco who can’t master the Macerena.
The ‘Trickle-Down’ Effect: Again, the further you stand towards the back, the more likely you are to copy the girl in front who has no concept of left and right, cue smashing into your neighbour and throwing the rest of the line out of kilter for the rest of the rep.
The Effect on Down-Below: Lunges in quick succession. Squats in even quicker succession. Leaping from a bottom-grazing-the-floor stance to sudden pogo-stick straightness left me feeling like my gut was about to make a swift exit via my lower body.
The possible side effect on your relationship with your housemates: I wasn’t lonely this Valentine’s, for I was nestled between my two housemates. When it came to doing the sideways-lying leg-lift I got a full-blown view of what it would probably be like to share a bed with each of them in an intimate sense. It wasn’t an experience I was particularly lusting after, and it’s not a memory I’m particularly keen on retaining either.
The After-Effects: Technically the after-effects of this peppy workout are a good thing, a sign that I’ve at least pushed my body to some undetermined limit. However, three days on, I was still struggling greatly to get up the stairs if I was carrying any other weight except that of my own body. When I turned my neck, it sounded as if I was grinding corn between my vertebrae. For some reason my chest was so tight I had to crack it once every hour, which in turn looked as if I was trying to proffer my cleavage towards unsuspecting and unwelcoming strangers.
Despite the fact that my body is physically (and painfully) telling me that what I did was of some benefit to it, I don’t think that almost wanting to throw myself down on the floor and sob in a oww/woe is me-induced state ten minutes in is ever going to aid my mental wellbeing. For now, I’ll stick to the treadmill. Or the biscuits.
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