Yes you can

I went to the gym today. Not easy when you are doped up on painkillers for back pain; have arthritis in your hands; and asthma causing non stop coughing. I also fail to mention the multitude of other injuries and medical conditions. For the last 3 years I have been feeling sorry for myself, end result is that I got fat.

Every day has been a reason why I could not move, walk, or take any exercise whatsoever. Actually I was, and still am, right. I would have found it very difficult, and extremely painful, to move. Every day still is difficult and painful, but something happened to change my priorities.

A few years ago I was super fit. I had spent my life in the gym, dojo, pool and pretty much every other place you could get a sweat on. I have bags full of gym kit, scuba diving equipment and a Karate black belt hanging on the wall in my shed. I was also a cop, first through the door to subdue the bad guys.

Of course I have had my fair share of injuries, you do when you exercise every day. You just rest a bit then work round them. After my latest injury some time in 2013 I found it difficult to get back in training. Not because I didn’t want to, it was just a number of circumstances collided at just the wrong time.

I was now working a desk job as my back prevented me going on patrol. Then my hands got painful, an operation didn’t help and I could no longer do a desk job. Not easy to type or write when your hands are non stop throbbing. So I took early retirement. Yay more time to train yes? No! When you leave a job like the Police at short notice it is very easy to slip into depression, which is exactly what happened. So I sat at home and got bored instead.

Then I started coughing, actually I have not stopped since. 4 years of constant coughing with multiple hospital visits with breathing difficulties in between.

Just to rub salt into the wounds we moved house. My lovely expensive gym was now 45 minutes drive away. And I couldn’t afford the membership, I was retired remember. So multiple injuries, coughing, depression, no cash and a long drive. Thats why I got fat.

So what happened? Well I asked my wife if she thought I was getting fat. One thing you can rely on family for is to tell the truth. Ok so I wasn’t getting fat, I was fat. With skinny arms, and skinny legs. And 2 chins.

2018 and I have been to the gym. I drove there. Its only a 10 minutes walk, but I can’t walk 10 minutes, but I can drive. No I didn’t go to spin class, nor did I do star jumps and burpees. In fact all I did was sit on a couple of machines and push the weights away from me, much less weighs than I did before.

The point is though that I did do something. I can’t walk 10 minutes but I can drive, so I can get to the gym. Coughing fit at the top of the stairs, but there are chairs there, and I had a bottle of water. I can’t lift free weights, yet, but I can push the machine away from me. I can’t push 100kg, but I can push 25kg.

So this year is a year of what I can do, not what I can’t. Im not action man anymore and Im in my 50’s. That won’t stop me reversing the decline. 10 years ago going to the gym was an ambition to be stronger, faster and more flexible than the person next to me. Today, just making it there is an achievement in itself. But today I have been to the gym.


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