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The Lighter Side of Gravity
By Celia Anderson
14, Oct 2006 - 15:20

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Beauty without pain is equivalent to wealth without money. They come in pairs. Although I understand at the age of 47 gravity will haunt me, I would be pleased if the result would come as early as the pain. I think longingly back to the good old days when I use to slip into my skimpy red bikini (no polka dots) and pranced around the pool. At 5’7" and weighing in at 58 kg, I had a fantastic body (at least that’s most of the men thought) but slowly it started creeping on. Gravity! A horror for many women over the age of 40.

All the poles changed. Everything started pointing south and the only option was to stand on my head. Who can go through life walking on their hands? Getting dressed meant adding another 5 minutes to the normal time which I use adjusting items and pointing them the right direction. My lovely firm inner thighs developed a mind of their own and soon I had the "orange" look. This would not be so bad were it not the fact that mine came in tiers. It begins high up and reduces till it ends just above my knees. I no longer could see through my legs without arching my back to near breaking point. Something had to be done.

To cut a long story short, I joined the gym. Full of enthusiasm and hope, I filled out the forms. I already felt better walking out of the gym (that is until I saw my reflection in a shop window.) Being a woman and disliking the idea of throwing good money away, I was determined to go regulary and turn back the clock.

The very next day I arrived all kitted out in my new Adidas gym outfit, hand towel and bottle of water. I requested a Fitness Analysis and was given an appointment for the next day 2pm. Not wanting to waste a day I skipped (well, just about anyhow) up the stairs and observed some of the fitter people. This was going to be easy. I could not believe that it had taken me so long to see the light. I spent one hour trying out just about all the machines. Easy enough although I had to adjust all weights to the first bar. But then I was just beginning.

Then came the Treading Machine. It would be nice to take a brisk walk without being chased or annoyed by neighbourhood dogs. Did I mention I have a fear of dogs? It has the most embarrassing effect on me. Ever seen a grown woman standing on the pavement, crying and looking with terror at the tiny floor sweeper yapping at her heels. Well, that must have been me. Well, here was the answer to my problem.

Eagerly I climbed onto the lovely black machine and proceeded in entering height, weight (ouch), age (double ouch) and speed. I was not sure how fast these machines were so I asked the lady next to me who was doing a brisk walk herself. She replied that it would be wise to start on 3, which was a slow walk. In my excitement I pressed 9 and enter. Lovely red letters appeared informing me that the workout was to begin. Grand, here I go. Believe me there I went. My hands positioned nicely on the heart monitor. I was ready. (Or so I thought). A few second later I was desperately trying to stop myself from tripping over my own feet and having my nose ground to a pulp on the black spinning belt. The lovely machine did not seem to care and promptly proceeded to evict me off its belt into a tangled bundle or arms and legs. Here I have one question…why do they have them on raised platforms? The lady helped me up and advised me to hit the big luminous stop button if I could not keep up. How can one press the button on the front of the machine if you keep on losing ground when you stop to think? The instructor later told me I could just have taken hold of the bars and lifted my feet onto the footrests on the side. Well thanks for that advice. Those machines should have a safety sign attached to the panel that reads…"Ignorance might be rewarded by eviction!"

All bones and muscles were intact, but ego was missing. Gathering my little belongings, holding my head up high and averting my eyes, I went for a refreshing swim. (Not just to get away from the smirks and giggles.) I will not be beaten. Tomorrow I was coming back. I am not too old to learn, although it could get painful.

Next day. 2pm. A young, fit, friendly instructor by the name of Ivan took me through the fitness test. I will take the 5th amendment on the results. Throughout this procedure I managed to loose my dignity (again), felt my age (not the instructor, pity) and came out with more pain than beauty. Ladies, there is no such thing as instant result if you don’t include pain on the list.

Getting at my chocolates on the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard was too painful to endure. My reach was level with my sagging breasts and that means mid torso, around waist level. I will have to repack those cupboards once my arms, legs and rest of the body work again. But then tomorrow is another day and one day I will get them. (the chocolates).

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