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