I am trying to get fit.
How can you even define a goal by yourself? There are hordes of specialists keen to assist one. But what if I don't want to go through the whole rigmarole?
The best I can do is to visit my GP occasionally. He is the fellow who was with me through my medical drama in 2015 and 2016. He is impressed with my health stats and that is good enough for me.
Just like I was obsessed with getting a car mapping system many years ago, I was obsessed with getting a watch that measures my vital statistics, particularly my pulse and number of steps that I take. Eventually at the end of last year (2017), I got a Garmin. It had to be water proof because of the water aerobics that I do. What a blast for an accountant type like myself. Lots of statistics available. Obviously I have not read the instruction manual. I am a man (apologies to all men who do read them). I did download the APP for my "smart phone". I just do a "sync" every now and then.
I do know a few things. It is good to get your pulse high when exercising. How quickly the pulse comes down afterwards is an indication of your fitness. I am 59 years old and my resting pulse is just under 60. The water aerobics instructor is a very experienced teacher. She actually does the class with us and leads by example. Her skill takes our pulses up and down. Even though I play squash with serious intent, I do not get my pulse up to the same heights as in her water aerobics class. The class is 45 minutes in length. I have learned by experience it is best not to watch the clock, because time drags then. At first when I attended her class, I looked at the clock too often.
There are several enjoyable aspects to the class. The main one is the music. It is usually based on old hits from former decades where the songs have been "jazzed up" with a steady beat. We try match ourselves to that rhythm, it takes serious effort. The music is very loud, I used to wonder why and I think I have worked that out. To drown out our huffing and puffing as we try really hard to keep up. Water aerobics is still individual in your own application, by that I mean that your effort that you put in depends solely upon yourself. How hard you use the water depends upon yourself; I push myself as hard as I can to maximize the water resistance. I am quite a sight I am sure. Many of the ladies in the class have a good giggle at my expense. I don't mind as I have very few inhibitions and am not too concerned about my dignity.
The class I attend starts at 5.30 pm. The water aerobics class has the most beautiful setting. It is on the second floor of the building and it overlooks a lake (giant pond). I wear goggles as my eyes are sensitive to the chlorinated water. My goggles steam up and the setting sun in the window changes everything in the pool to a mystical fantasy. The straining faces and frantic limbs are blurred. The choppy frothing water has strong contrasts in colour; the dark water with foamy white peaks that catch the setting sunrays. The blaring music seems to fade away and all I seem to hear is the churning water from my arms and my straining breathing through my nose. I have learned to keep my mouth shut; when I used to gasp for air through my mouth, the odd unexpected "wave" would gush into my mouth leaving me spluttering and spitting out the water. I can only imagine what particles are in the water from my fellow "splashers". I won't elaborate but rather leave it up to your imagination.
Instruments of torment include "noodles", "weights" and even rubber sheet bands that are knotted into circles. All these things are to increase your exercise efforts. When I started I was pleased to see my pulse get above 110. Now about a year later I am satisfied when my pulse gets above 140 and on extreme occasions, even above 160, but that is not desirable as the pulse is too high to "burn fat".
In the last few weeks I have started to play some squash with fellow enthusiasts. I must say I am pleased to say that the movement on the court has improved by "leaps and bounds" (literally and figuratively). However last night I made a miscalculation and ran flat out with my head bashing into my opponent's back. I just heard a loud crack from my neck. I was a bit stunned. I immediately thought of my expensive surgery and that my extreme efforts were a bit stupid and quite risky. When I mentioned it to my wife and youngest, they were furious with me. Various dire threats were made if I die. Humbly I accepted the chastisement.
But the amazing feeling it is to run hard on a squash court again, especially when I remember the neurosurgeon saying I would never play squash again. I am now pushing 60 but my mind is still that of a young man. I want to do better, I want to be better, and I shall be better.
Even my weight is slowly dropping, too slow for my liking but still the scale is moving in the right direction.
I have even bought a treadmill. I know the risks on the body so I will have to be careful, only run on it with proper takkies. This will be a great benefit to the whole family (or so I hope).
Will this quest ever end? Will the ideal weight be reached? I doubt it! But it is a goal like perfection, unattainable in many areas, but a goal always there before you, just like a carrot dangled before the old donkey.
Hmmm, I think I must start doing some sit ups, I am sure my lower back will be fine....
So on and on I go, what about you? Do you try, or have you just not been too bothered?