So imagine the shock that both my mind and body encountered this weekend:
Friday night: work party
Saturday morning: Bluewater shopping centre
Saturday evening: ice skating
Sunday morning: brisk walk around Dulwich Park
Sunday afternoon: balancing on beams
Let me explain further.
On Friday night we congregated in the hospital social club (and adjoining lecture theatre when the junior doctors found it unlocked and set up a mini gambling den in there). I left the house at 7pm, sleek and shiny of hair, svelte of body (Spanxed up to the eyebrows), assured on my heels and radiating coolness.
Cut to three and a half hours later after spending said three and a half hours on the dance floor. My hair looked as if birds had started nesting in it, my Spanx were seriously rucking up under my (mock) wrap round dress, my shoes were abandoned under the table and I radiated enough body heat to warm the Isles of Scilly. I’d also developed a highly attractive wheeze due to the sudden onset of three and a half hours of frenetic dancing. My mind, body and lungs were all waving the white flag. When I arrived home, David took one look at me and made me a strong coffee.
So, on Saturday morning, muttering “whose stupid bloody idea was this?” I joined the queue into Bluewater that began on the A2. Charlie was already there and waiting for me and getting increasingly annoyed that I was still on the road. “I can’t help it, what do you want me to do? Helicopter in?” I screeched. 45 minutes later I joined on her on the roof and parked, amazingly, next to her. “You can imagine the funny looks I’ve been getting” she said as she packed the fold away chair back into her boot – she’d been camping out in the adjacent parking bay and reading Martina Cole.
My legs, already suffering aches and pains brought on my shaking my booty, took one look at the length of shops spread out before them and went into cramp. I spent the first ten minutes standing bare foot on the marble floor, flexing. I managed to get David’s present, one of Mac’s and a little something for Auntie Ivy before we went off to get a coffee. Charlie, who was joining the gang for the ice skating trip, came back with a jaunty little hat, scarf and glove set in blue for her, purple for me. “It’ll match my bruises” I said gloomily as I packed it away in my many bags. “Think positive” she beamed “you can skate, you can skate” she said in what she obviously thought was a soothing voice. “That’s what you think, that’s what you think” I responded.
Naturally, I was right and she was wrong. I can’t skate. I can’t even stand upright without wobbling. She and Bea were naturals, as was Eliza. Janey was an enthusiastic amateur, Lydia could at least manage a few tremulous moves and Jane Opposite preferred to ogle the attractive men on the sidelines. Dawn, Fellow School Mum (who arranged the outing, curse her) had completed failed to mention that she was ice skating champion in her youth and spent the evening getting applauded for her every move.
I tried. I did, really. I put on the skates and clomped over to the ice thinking “ooh, this is a doddle”. Until blade hit frozen water. Have you seen how THIN they are? And they’re supposed to support my body weight AND control it?
I didn’t get a chance to plummet to the floor because I didn’t leave the hoardings for the whole time. I managed to look pretty damn good while I was doing that though and actually said, to a passing whippersnapper who invited me to “have a twirl” with him, that I was “having a breather because I’d been on the ice all afternoon”. “Liar” Janey said as she whizzed past me in a flurry of ice particles.
By the time I was back in my (flat) shoes my legs felt as if they’d been pummelled by a particularly vicious masseuse and then sat on by a large elephant. I have no idea how I got to the bus stop and even less of an idea of how I managed to heave myself onto the bus. Of course, Bea was overly enthusiastic and suggested that we make a regular thing of it. I managed to shut her up by suggesting we find the nearest Pizza Hut and get a stuffed crust each. She was so horrified she spent the rest of the journey in silence.
“I need to get fit” were the first words I said to David on my return. I heaved myself onto the sofa and settled down to watch the Strictly Come Dancing results show. “Really?” said my devoted husband as he offered me the tin of Quality Street. I took five, put three back and stared glumly at the television. A plan was formulating in my head (a classic example of the will being strong but the flesh being weak) and I decided to start my fitness campaign after Christmas. “Why not take the dogs round Dulwich Park tomorrow?” David suggested.
So I did. An hour and a half of brisk walking and I fell into the car. My left leg went into spasm and I couldn’t control the clutch so we kangarooed past Bea’s house just in time to see her dressed in designer leisure wear and supervising the gardener put the fairly lights on the fir tree in her drive.
Which prompted me to go up into my own loft (no mean feat, I hate heights almost as much as David does and so it took ten minutes and a Baileys to get up the courage) and balance on beams whilst stretching across the void to collect the dusty boxes. A full work-out in the loft, not everyone can claim they've done that.
I'll get fit. Definitely. After Christmas. I promise.
I'll get fit. Definitely. After Christmas. I promise.