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Gym Tales: Back to satan’s dungeon

Readers Lounge - By Sarah Mwangi

UTIs are the worst things. Cruel, mean and utterly unkind. The excruciating pain you feel when you pee, the constant urge to go, the lingering, burning sensation after you do and the inner battle between peeing or just holding it in.

UTIs are just like the gym. After the festive season and the kilos that come with it, the pull to go the gym is compelling. And so you pick up your bag, tie shoelaces and get on your way.

But after weeks of doing not as much as a single jumping jack, the body protests - painfully. Warming up takes all the energy you can master. As you do the stretches, you ask yourself what made you think this was a good idea. You haven’t added that much weight, 6kgs is not that much. Granted, your work pants don’t fit as comfortably but they still fit, don’t they?

Shaban’s voice draws your mind back to class. He is Satan’s minion on earth. As if to punish you, he increases the tempo of the music. Have the dumbbells always been this heavy?

As you repeat lifting the weights your arms feel like falling off their sockets. You eye the door. Shaban must have read your thoughts because he moves to stand by the door as he shouts ’20 more to go!”

Lunges and squats are a nightmare to the muscles. How could these possibly be any good for your bum? Hamstrings plead for you to stop. You feign thirst and walk to the side of the class to sip from your water bottle. The ploy works for all of 65 seconds. Shaban takes the bottle from you and gently pushes you back to the foray. He’s a slave driver.

Your belly was the biggest winner (or loser!) from the festivities. The huge bulge in your midsection is inspiration enough to pick the mat and lie down for crunches. One, two, three, four…. And that’s how far you go.

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Your efforts to continue are hindered by the pain in your abdomen. You thank the heavens when Shaban says ‘pick your steps’. You’ve always enjoyed aerobics because it’s more of dancing and you love dancing. But somehow you don’t have the moves today. You stumble repeatedly and feel like a klutz as you watch the rest of the class move from one step to the next – flawlessly.

You hurt all over as you hobble your way to the showers and swear not to go back. But just like the UTI, the pain lingers and you ache by doing the simplest movements like yawning. Despite this, you find yourself making your way back to Satan’s dungeon after five days. The war that has been waging in your mind to go back or to quit ends in the hands of the persistent need to shed the extra weight.

It's Day Two of Gym 2016. And am doing this! Day One might not have gone down well but I’ll be damned if I let a few hic-cups stand between me and a firm posterior. The secret is in not giving up.

gym fitness weight loss

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