Spine loose in your bar room seat,
feet kicked up between the empties
crowing new year, new me
to the few that still linger.
Pretending there’s still time
to make change.
Since the launch of my poetry collection I’ve been struggling to write much in the way of poetry, so I’ve picked up my sketch pad and pencils instead. The image above was actually from a poem idea that I’ve been swirling around for a few days. The hand is my own, and I used a photo of my hand holding an empty wine glass as well as the very usefully close by real thing (my hand that is) to reference where the fingers bent and how the palm creased in this position. I spent about two and half hours playing around before I decided that this was probably as good as it would get for now.
Unlike in the past, I decided not to worry about erasing mistakes as soon as I made them. I misjudged the scale of the glass to start with and had to make it larger a couple of times, and adjust how the fingers were positioned. I left all the original lines in until I was confident that I’d got the scale correct and then went back to neaten things up. I think this helped me avoid getting bogged down in going over and over a line to make sure it was ‘perfect’ and also probably kept me from shredding the paper by using the eraser too much.
As I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself about the image above I decided that I might have a go at this month’s Doodlewash prompts. I’m a bit late to the game but the tenth and the eleventh were both quite nice prompts to ease me into things. Candy (sweeties) for the tenth and snowflakes for the eleventh. I’m happier with the tenth than the eleventh, but they both made me sit down and draw things I wouldn’t normally have drawn so it was a good challenge to undertake. I doubt I’ll be taking part every day but one of my 2020 goals will be to dip in at least once a month and hopefully end up with at least twelve doodles I wouldn’t otherwise have by the end of next year. I might even improve a bit.
There was still tinsel around the picture frames,
all smiles and glitter staring back at you
in that echoing space
when the meals are finished
and the bottles drunk
yet the end is not quite upon us.
So we wait
that this will be the year that we do something different.
Every new year, and most days in-between, I make myself a promise that I’m going to head back to the gym, make the most of that membership that I’m paying for every month, and get myself in shape! However, I’m a relatively lazy person when it comes to fitness and while my good intentions may see me through a week or two of regular work outs, before long I’m be back on my settee, making excuses for not leaving the house.
I’m simply not very good at sticking to a fitness routine. I much prefer writing and reading, to squats and running, so chances are I’ll pick my office over the gym most days of the week.
But that isn’t doing me any favours.
Health-wise, 2016 was a year of discover.
I already knew that lack of physical activity was causing problems with my knees. After giving up ballet in year six I had failed to replace it with a similar hobby and I went for being as fit as a fiddle, to in my grandmother’s words ‘sedentary.’ This resulted in me losing muscle tone, and my kneecaps found they had more room to move.
Trust me. You don’t want to give your kneecaps room to move. It hurts.
The cure for my painful knees? Squats, stretches and other glute related physio to strengthen the muscles and keep those pesky kneecaps where they should be. Did I follow through with a religious regime of nightly exercises? No. Did I do them once a month? No. Do I know where the instruction sheet for those exercises are? Hell no. I’ve moved three times since then.
So, my knees still ache from time to time and I live with it. It wasn’t enough to get me to take care of myself.
Then 2016 rolls around and I get diagnosed with exercise induced asthma, prescribed an inhaler and a personal trainer looks at me in shock as he tells me how low the reading for muscle in my body is.
It feels like I’m falling apart. Almost quite literally if you think about my knees.
So I decide to do something about it.
In October I joined a Judo club that meets on Wednesdays and started attending. I’m not there every week but it’s a great workout and I enjoy the company. Some weeks are harder than others, and getting thrown to the mat by a child half your age can be something of an ego blow, but you have to remind yourself that they’ve been doing this a lot longer than you.
[Throwing a child half your age to the mat is also terrifying. Luckily they seem to spring straight back up.]
Judo wasn’t enough though, and it still holds my old pitfall of ‘I have to go outside so if it’s particularly cold or I don’t feel 100% I can cry off’. I know, I know, I’m a wimp.
So, in addition to Judo, I decided I’m working my way through two fitness apps on my phone. The first being ’30 Day Ab Challenges’ which I’ve started on Beginner Level 1 and the second being ‘Asana Rebel‘, a yoga based app that supplies numerous work out plans for all manner of goals. [*Ahem* Even the more saucy ones.]
I’m currently on day 3 of the 30 Day Ab Challenges, and day 1 of Asana Rebel’s ‘Life and Body Transformation 2017’.
At the moment I look like this:
I want to make it clear that I’m not doing this to loose weight. At 55kg I don’t feel like I need to loose anything, and when I look in the mirror I don’t feel fat, I just feel out of shape.
I want to feel strong and empowered. Having my inhaler means that when I run I can keep up my pace without being forced to slow because I’m wheezing so loud the whole gym can hear. 2016 taught me that I am capable of more than I thought, and the first time I ran after getting my inhaler I couldn’t believe it.
I’d been told to take it half an hour before exercising but I didn’t think it would have that much of an impact. Turns out that what I believed to be lack of fitness was actually my asthma playing up and that first run was a thing of beauty. I felt unstoppable.
So that is what 2017 is going to be about for me: getting stronger.
To keep on track I’m introducing a new side to Writing and Works. Every Tuesday I’m going to post a ‘Giggle Fit’ update about how I’m getting along with the apps and my Judo, and how I’m working out what work outs work for me. [Try saying that six times fast.]
If you’re using the apps as well, or doing something else to stay in shape I would love to hear your input too. Let me know how your fitness resolutions are coming along. Any tips for keeping up the motivation? The comments section is down below.
I have turned over leaves
again and again
until all I had left
were twisted, splitting stems,
and the resolves I was spouting
were the same
and the hopes I was clutching
Now I am taking the time,
to untangle myself.
To find the answers
in stories already spent.
There is no starting over,
no beginning again.
I am me and I am I,
I do not wish to be anyone else.