I have a sneaking suspicion that G-d interfered with my trainers last Monday. They felt ever so slightly loose; I felt oh so mightily tired. Still, Monday night BodyAttack™ usually has a revitalising effect thanks to Linda and crew, and all was going well. Until track 3.
The first time I did BodyAttack, the instructor screamed, ‘aaaaand … Superman!’. Um, what? Everyone obediently jumped to the left on one foot, repeatedly, with left hand extended in the air. Ok, I can do that. There’s also a variant known as Spiderman, which involves faux-squirting web from your left hand at the same time. If you don’t understand, type ‘Les Mills’ into a search engine. It’s hilarious.
So last Monday, instead of energetically supermanning [sic], I managed to land on the side of my left foot and proceeded to crash to the floor. I would say this was done elegantly and in a manner that would make Dame Joan proud, but all I recall is Alex’s girly scream and various obscenities passing through my brain – not from pain, but from the sure and certain knowledge that I would not be going to the gym for at least a week. (At this point, may I say that Linda was a model instructor, left the class going, and came to my aid to check if anything was broken, and to advise me to get an ice pack on it as soon as possible. Linda, you are going places.)
I staggered home, where Craig got out the ice pack, and together we have been happily inspecting the damage as swelling turned to bruising. Tuesday was forced to be a day in bed, with the novelty that Margaret not only sent over some papers by courier, but threw in the UFT office walking stick. On Wednesday she gave me lessons. (Did I mention Margaret? I can’t praise her highly enough.)
The upshot of all this is that I can’t go to the gym, I have acquired an affectation as the Dean with a cane, and I have had to observe the world at a much slower pace than the one I normally prefer. I had forgotten that pedestrian traffic signals never last long enough. I had forgotten that in winter the bare trees on Royal Parade are exceptionally beautiful. And I had forgotten the twinning of curiosity and kindness that characterises human nature.
This week I also completed three years in my current employment, and signed on for a further three years. Being slightly crippled was a timely reminder of how fortunate I am in life and love, and of how dispensable I am in the greater scheme of things. I am struggling to discern how I can meet all my commitments, and at the same time I realise that almost all of them give me great joy – and, I hope, some joy to others.
I look forward to returning to BodyAttack, though not for a while, and in the meantime it’s good to set aside the endless self-criticism of ‘I really must lose a few kilos’ and ‘do I look fit enough’ in favour of experiencing life in its fullness, one step at a time.
And I promise, I won’t keep the cane.