The Grit Doc­tor now has her own Grit Doc­tor

I’ve been pushed be­yond my lim­its by the youth­ful en­thu­si­asm of oth­ers – and it feels great

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Fitness - Ruth Field is au­thor of Run Fat B!tch Run, Cut the Crap and Get your Sh!t To­gether. Ruth Field

My Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary are look­ing prac­ti­cally grit-free on the fit­ness front for one rea­son alone: our Ital­ian au-pair, An­nal­isa. Since she joined the gym across the road days af­ter com­ing to live with us last Septem­ber, she has been punch­ing out daily work­outs like a woman pos­sessed – and en­cour­ag­ing me to do the same. Dare I say it, she has be­come my grit doc­tor.

Be­fore she left for the Christ­mas hol­i­days, I en­dured the most pun­ish­ing workout of my life: a 45-minute bru­tal cir­cuits class. To say I was out of my depth would be an un­der­state­ment of epic pro­por­tions. I was the least fit per­son present by a coun­try mile.

The pace and num­ber of reps were ridicu­lous, ev­ery mus­cle I used went into its own ver­sion of car­diac ar­rest and I felt the burn in mus­cle groups I never even knew I had for a good three days af­ter­wards.

An­nal­isa gets me in­volved in spin­ning classes too (“ooh Ruth you’d like it, the in­struc­tor is re­ally re­ally nice. He shouts very loud and makes you go re­ally, re­ally fast”) and she’s even got me to sign up to box­ing classes with her when she gets back. How can I tell her “No, I can’t face it, I’m not fit enough, I’m too old and I’m too tired,” when she has an en­tire book­shelf of her room ded­i­cated to copies of Run Fat B!tch Run?

‘No’ is the hard­est word

Here’s the thing: her youth, her en­thu­si­asm, her de­ter­mi­na­tion to get fit, her as­ton­ish­ingly fast re­cov­ery times, her whole way of be­ing is mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble for me to say no. She texts me when I’m up in the loft writ­ing, “Ruth, do you fancy spin­ning, abs or cir­cuits at mid­day? It will be re­ally re­ally good.”

I never ac­tu­ally fancy it of course, but I do fancy the idea of get­ting a 30-45 minute workout out of the way just be­fore lunch, and try­ing out a dif­fer­ent class that I’d be far too shy to go to alone. Plus, the knock-on ef­fect on my runs is that they are now the eas­i­est thing I do ex­er­cise-wise. They have be­come a re­lax­ing treat – where noth­ing hurts and ev­ery­thing feels ef­fort­less – that I get to en­joy on my days off from the gym.

Hav­ing An­nal­isa around is like hav­ing a lovely teenage daugh­ter with an in­cred­i­bly mo­ti­vat­ing edge, which has im­proved the qual­ity of my life no end. It is a re­la­tion­ship I could never have an­tic­i­pated hav­ing this time last year. So that’s my get healthy riff for 2017 – to cul­ti­vate an at­ti­tude of open­ness: to make un­ex­pected con­nec­tions; to try new things fit­ness wise; to al­low oth­ers to help mo­ti­vate me; to ex­per­i­ment and to be sur­prised. Be­cause when it comes to my fit­ness, this fat bitch has been do­ing the same old same old for far too long.

The Grit Doc­tor says: Mix it up and max it out in 2017.

To say I was out of my depth would be an un­der­state­ment of epic pro­por­tions. I was the least fit per­son present by a coun­try mile

PHO­TO­GRAPH: IS­TOCK­PHOTO

When it comes to my fit­ness, this fat bitch has been do­ing the same old same old for far too long.

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