The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 409 to 417 – Bruised But Buoyant 2 April 2009

I now know definitively that I could never have been a spy.  Why?  Well, apart from the fact that I do actually talk about the weather a lot (which is how numerous British spies have been rumbled, apparently), any given enemy could extract information from me simply by giving me a sports massage.

I’m serious.  I had my first (sadly not my only) session with a masseur last night.  For those of you whose knowledge of anatomy is better than mine, I have very tight IT Bands which are causing patella problems.  For the rest of us plebs, my knees are sore because the muscles in my upper legs are knackered.  I’ve been advised to get this sorted out to prevent crippling injury in the future.  That’s fine, but the handful of people who actually know what I’m talking about when I mention this have all had an identical reaction … rolling their eyes, scrunching up their foreheads and saying (slightly gleefully, I might add) ‘oh, that’s really going to hurt because they dig their elbows in and everything‘.

They weren’t lying.  I lay there (with nothing but two hastily consumed Nurofen Plus on my side) and a perfectly nice lady called Kellie began what I can only describe as a sustained physical assault on my person.  I had a proper ‘fight or flight’ reaction … when I’d stopped trying to escape from under her hands I then had to resist the temptation to smack her squarely in the face.  It was excruciating, and I’m no lightweight when it comes to pain.  She gaily told me that she’s reduced burly rugby players to tears and that one female client of hers compared this massage to childbirth.  I’ve had gallstones in the past, which is also often compared to childbirth, and I have to say that this massage left the gallstones standing.  As for childbirth … well I doubt I’ll ever have sex again, just in case.

As I lay there trying to control my involuntary swearing (sorry, Kellie) I felt almost nostalgic for the days when I was a squidgy, idle couch potato whose idea of exercise was a leisurely stroll to the tube station.  But, between the blinding flashes of agony, I also thought about how incredible it feels to be ‘new me’ and how joyous it is to go out running on sunny evenings without feeling like I might die at any moment.

My diet has been nothing short of a shambles.  I’ve concluded that there is a limited amount of information that my brain can contain at any given moment … because I’m so stupidly busy at work I barely know if I’m coming or going and can just about manage to process the chain of thought that says ‘you’re hungry so eat something’ without wondering whether it should be brazil nuts, dry Ryvita or natural yoghurt and whether or not I’m sticking to three-hourly intervals.  The best I can do is make sure I have breakfast (I’ve given up on muesli as it makes me nauseous and now have a very pleasant protein shake instead), avoid carbs in the evening, steer clear of silly foods where possible and lay off the booze during the week.  I’m sure my trainer will have something to say about that, but I have to be reasonable otherwise I simply end up beating myself up.

I’m not quite back up to my previous running levels as I only got the all clear about a week ago.  I’ve done a 2.5 mile and a 3.5 mile run so far and fully intend to get back up to 5 before the end of the weekend.  Otherwise I needn’t have bothered with that delightful massage, need I?