The mommy option

Ever since that basketball hit my face squarely during PE in secondary one, I swore to myself that I will NOT be doing any more team sports because my eyes and hands don’t coordinate (unless it is to grab that last piece of clothing on sale ). I used to run but then I did the idiotic thing of running 10km races WITHOUT TRAINING and oops, the ol’ body didn’t like it very much. With my biomechanical problems (my right leg is an inch longer than my left), all these injuries were bound to happen anyway. Physiotherapy helped to a certain extent but I wasn’t consistent with my exercises and the muscle pulls and aches only went away when I stopped all my BodyPump and BodyCombat classes.

I’m not really an active or sporty person, as you can see.

Before the nugget was cooked up, I used to head for pilates and yoga sessions three times a week, as well as the occasional swim. It helped that the club was near my office and I could pop in during lunch. I loved my strengthening and stretching hours, I always left the room feeling refreshed and nicely pretzel-ed. And when I found out that I was incubating the Tiny Human, I swore to myself that I WOULD KEEP UP MY ROUTINE.

Hee hee ho ho. SO DID NOT HAPPEN.

For starters, I was quite attached to my sofa and bed during my first trimester. Warrior one? Triangle? Backbend? I’d rather do the shavasana pose IN MY BED, thank you very much. Any free time that I had was spent snoozing, I was EXHAUSTED.

The few times that I DID hit the gym, I ended up feeling nauseous from all those twists and crunches. Instead of feeling zen after the class, I looked green and sickly.

But now that I have sufficiently regained my energy – or most of it, anyway – and I no longer walk around with perpetual seasickness, I finally gave my heart a nice workout. This week was a brisk but comfortable walk on 4% incline for 30 miuntes, some light stretching and core work, and a BodyBalance session complete with mommy options.

Initially, I had plans to sign up for prenatal yoga classes but I felt so comfortable during the balance class that I decided to stick with my gym membership. Husband and I are thinking of hitting the trails for a hike here and there too.

Admittedly, part of this exercise regime is to ensure that the fitness (and dare I say it, BODEH) that I had built up pre-pregnancy does not vanish into thin air. I mean, it took me time, effort and sweat (oh yeah, GALLONS of it) to get to where I am today. But more importantly, I am doing it because it makes me feel happy. I love the sng feeling in my legs and arms the day after a good workout, and I feel healthier and chirpier.

Happy mommy = happy baby so I’m going to try to keep at it as much as I can.

Afternoon by the pool

After weeks of stress and late nights, I decided to treat myself to a quiet afternoon by the pool at the One George Street outlet last Saturday.

I’ve always loved One George Street; it was what made me sign up with Fitness First on the spot. The pool is gorgeous and overlooks the City Hall area, it’s really like a little slice of heaven in the city. The gym itself has a nice, high ceiling, and there is an abundance of natural light streaming in during the day. At night, you get to exercise to the bright lights of the town. It’s just beautiful.

Anyway, took some pictures with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone. Loving the effects, loving the app!

Frankie, goggles, sunscreen, Coke, iPod and locker keys

Wrinkly toes

Lovely view

That ride to nowhere

So. Yesterday, Mr Thick and I spent THREE HOURS in the gym and on the saddle of a stationary bike.

Yes, you are right, WHO THE HECK SPENDS THREE HOURS IN THE GYM ON A SATURDAY? Apparently, err, we did. And we spent only three hours there. There were people who happily peddled for EIGHT HOURS. Nobody forced us to do this at gun-point, strangely enough, we put our names down most willingly.

Let’s go back a little. The gym (and a most excellent one, I might add, they don’t always try to kill their members) had organised a “hell ride” at one of the outlets – eight hours of spinning on those dratted bikes. It was broken down into different sectors so I volunteered husband and I for the three-hour long mountain stage, intending to stay for all of one hour.

In the end, we stayed for all three hours, although I did take little breaks. At 5pm, we buckled in and started spinning. It went well, my lungs died a few times and came back to life and then at 6pm I took a one-track break. I headed out 45-minutes later to adjust my shorts.

(Let me sidetrack now by saying that if ever you are cycling and feel something poking into your lady parts, go to the loo IMMEDIATELY to adjust your shorts. You do not want to be sitting on the string of your shorts, which has hard plastic covering the ends, because IT HURTS and is ABRASIVE and you DON’T WANT THAT FOR YOUR LADY PARTS. That’s all I shall say for that matter.)

By 730pm, my right ITB was starting to tighten and I decided to go out of the room for some stretching. Stretching turned to downing Coke, which evolved into sitting at the coffee table flipping through 8-Days. Erm, yeah. I decided that it was a tad embarrassing to end the session with a Coke in one hand and 8-Days on the other so I headed back in for one last track and cool down.

Did I die? Surprisingly, no. The amount of perspiration I had excreted was rather cathartic. And it helped that there was a bunch of crazy ladies – A’s favourite members – who cheered and sang and waved their towels in the air throughout the three-hour ride. They helped to lighten the mood and turned it into something celebratory and festive.

There were bits where I pushed myself (up the slopes) and those were I didn’t (these gams ain’t got no speed in them) so in the end, it worked out nicely.

More importantly, I felt stronger knowing that I could do a three-hour ride. I went in thinking I would crash early on but I came out a winner, at least in my own eyes.

I did it and I could do it and I would do it all over again.

Sweating it out

It may come across as propaganda-ish but honestly, nothing gets me going like a good workout.

Some days, I may be spent and worn out after getting off from work but I almost immediately feel better after dragging my unwilling body to the gym.
Yoga gets me all calm and stretchy, like someone’s pulled out all the kinks from my body.
Pump makes me feel strong and empowered.
Swimming clears the cobwebs from my head, and I feel refreshed and new after a plunge into the cold water.
RPM gets me pushing boundaries of my physical endurance like I have never done before.

So what better way than to start the long weekend with a grueling session of pump?
75 minutes long – with a dash of cardio madness.
Followed by a comfortable swim of 10 laps. I even got husband to swim two more laps so yay to him.
Chilling by the pool with my favourite boy (not husband!) and whispering to each other conspiratorially about how unseemly it is that our partners are on the weightier side.

Pool at Fusionopolis

Pool at Fusionopolis

Trevor says hello

Trevor says hello


Working the legs

I was showering at the gym last evening when Mr Brightside by The Killers started playing over the radio.

It made me feel like running.
But I can’t. Not till the right leg is fixed, anyway.

This feeling of “I want to but I can’t” is really hard to bear. I never knew how much I liked running or appreciated how my legs functioned until I wasn’t able to run. Typical human behaviour, really, not appreciating what you have got until you’ve lost it.

Oh it’s not like I really love sports. On the contrary, I’ve been terrible at sports, as my hand-eye coordination is dreadful. I could swing my racquet and see the ball fly past me overhead. Or I could suffer from ball-hit-my-headinitis. Strangely enough, when it came to activities that I can do on my own like swimming and running, I turned out to be surprisingly adept. Without much training, I could clock a decent 65-70 minutes for my 10km runs.

Slowly but surely, I’m inching my way towards that goal. It’s been two weeks since I started going for physio and already I can feel the difference. The back no longer hurts when I walk for long and my knee is not collapsing inwards as much as it used to. My poor butt is whimpering in pain, though, because of the exercises that I do almost everyday in the hope of strengthening the muscles.

As I practised running in the pool last night (getting my legs accustomed to the motions of running without too much impact), I decided to set myself a goal: by the end of the year, I’m going to run in a 10km race and try my darnest to clock 60 minutes. I’ll hit the tarmac at least once a week and revel in the sweaty, stinky mess of it all.

“Well do ya/do ya do ya wanna,” sings Franz Ferdinand in my ears on my running playlist.

You bet!