Tuesday 27 August 2019

Arrested Senescence

I'm home early from the gym, so we can have a chat before I go back to work. I do need a rest; I've been up since 5:45 AM.

So I don't want to have a go at the National Health Service, but as I was holding "plank" for a goodly while I thought back to the young podiatrist who counselled me about my bunions. I had been rather keen on Pilates and annoyed that it suddenly hurt to hold plank, to say nothing of being able to stand on my toes.*

"I wish I had an excuse not to do plank," said the bright-eyed young podiatrist and comforted me that I could still wear "naughty shoes" once in awhile.

She went on such great length about "naughty shoes" that I wondered it if my working-class postal code had something to do with it. (A friend and I once compared our differing experiences with the NHS, and she suggested that my problem getting decent fertility care might have been my postal code. She has a middle-class postal code.)

It didn't occur to the podiatrist to tell me that bunions did not mean a permanent end to plank, but perhaps she didn't know. At any rate, I can hold plank and do anything else requested of me in barre class. My feet and ankles are now stronger than ever and, perhaps as a result, my bunions are troubling me a lot less. Maybe I will even try on a pair of naughty shoes.

I was up at 5:45 AM because I had a spin (cycle) class before barre, and although it is only Tuesday, I am just 15 minutes short of the NHS-advised 150 minutes of cardio a week.

Another benefit of all this exercise is, of course, that I am less stressed out, and this is indeed still my primary preoccupation. My job is stressful, let's be honest, and yesterday I woke up having dreamt that the USA was waging a literal (i.e. shooting) civil war over marriage and the family, and someone had attempted to assassinate me. This morning I woke up having dreamt about accompanying Cardinal Burke around a Canadian city for some reason. I checked my Facebook and found a plaintive message from a 60+ victim of childhood clerical beatings asking "So what if Pell really did it?"

Stress is a mindkiller, and I avoid overdosing as much as possible. B.A. and I are going to be in Italy in October--not sure how long yet--so I have put aside "Daily Polish Stories" for daily Italian drill. When our Polish household help arrived yesterday, I explained (in Polish) that unfortunately I couldn't think in Polish because I have been studying Italian very hard for this trip. Then I made us a pot of coffee, sat down, asked about her new puppy, and then told her all about B.A.'s brush with death, right up to his three days of repeating "Her Immaculate Heart will triumph."

Perhaps because I have discussed B.A.'s brush with death several times in Polish,  I was rather more intelligible about that than about the new puppy. I am not sure what "Jej niepokalane serce zatriumfuje"is in Italian because my Italian tutor does not seem to be Catholic, whereas my Polish household help very much enjoyed hearing about B.A.'s delirious piety and said it gave her goosebumps.

And that is all my news except that the Council (local government) will pick up an awful old cabinet that was in the flat when we bought it and our spare room bed next week, at which point the dining-room/office/guest-room will be even more minimalist and certainly nicer.

*This said "eyes" for hours. I meant "toes"! Toes!


  1. I'll give you a good reason not to do the plank. At an incontinence study day we learned that it's such a dodgy exercise for women. If you do it a titch wrong you can really weaken your pelvic muscles. The expert continence nurse said that you may not even know you're doing it incorrectly!


    1. But I've never had a baby! Am I really at risk? (I love plank!) I will have a look at the advice.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I can't remember the details but there are times when you engage the wrong muscles or stress them while holding the plank correctly. Over time it can weaken that lovely hammock that keeps all in place. Nowt to do with a babby as it is being noted more frequently in younger gym bunnies without child. When you think about it, it really is a very non-functional exercise, you wouldn't be doing it in real life. Unlike lifting weights, swinging a kettlebell which mimic real life scenarios. If you do look into it, I'd love to know what you find out!