Clenching in all the wrong places

With my usual excellent timing, in the last week not only have I gone back to work but I’ve rejoined a gym. I’ve really missed the gym – I used to go two or three times a week before I got pregnant and haven’t been since. Pregnancy floored me for exercise so although I used to walk a lot, I’ve done nothing else. It’s a little daunting to think I have to start all over again; it would be so easy to say I can’t be bothered. But I’m already getting backache from picking E up a lot and I don’t want to get out of breath walking up stairs or running about with her plus it’s a great stress reliever so off to the gym it is!

Luckily we had a new inexpensive one open up near our house just before Christmas. I booked an induction and decided that since they have such a range of equipment I really ought to know how to use it so I also booked two sessions with a personal trainer.

Halfway through the first session I realised that despite doing my pelvic floor exercises so that I don’t wet myself when I sneeze any more, my undercarriage still isn’t up to pre-birth levels.  I feel leakage below during the cardio exercises. Oh the shame. I carried on and desperately hoped no one noticed.

Near the end of the session I felt myself going a bit funny like I do before I faint. So I took a rest and explained I’m liable to pass out once in a while. The personal trainer was charming. “Your body’s been through a lot,” he said. “It’s not going to be the same again, you’ve nothing to apologise for.” Despite me knowing that part of his job is to make me feel better about myself, these words were enormously comforting. It’s funny how you forget what you’ve done – just because women have babies every day, it’s really not the easiest thing in the world. I grew a person! And a larger one than anyone expected.

Yesterday I did some strength training on the TRX suspension system. It’s clearly very good but today my legs don’t work. However, I think I will be trying it again. The main problem though is that the system is near the weights area. While the whole gym is available for both sexes to use, the weights area is (unsurprisingly) male-dominated. And all these men are two or three times my size. In days of yore I could grab a treadmill in a corner and ignore everyone but if I’m going to be more rounded in my approach to exercise I shall have to assert myself near the grunters. This is more unnerving than it should be. Why do they need to congregate to watch each other? Suddenly there are five where there should only be one. And why do so many of them wear woolly beanies?

We’re still adjusting to the new routine so I haven’t quite got regular gym days yet. Being realistic I should be able to go at least twice a week. The nicest thing is coming home and sharing a bath with E as it’s practically bedtime by the time I’m done. She’s clearly missed me as she keeps leaning forward with her arms out for a cuddle.

Now all I have to do is more zipping to avoid future embarrassment…

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This entry was posted in Observations and general nonsense, Parenting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Clenching in all the wrong places

  1. Polly Butterworth says:

    Think yourself lucky you know about pelvic floor muscles, I never heard of them when I was pregnant therefore I’m now suffering the consequences of no exercises in that region, as are many women of my great years!

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