Sunday, January 02, 2011

Uphill and Breathless

It's all very grey and has gone cold again but nevertheless we bravely set off to the newsagents to get a paper and some more milk (Olli and Gareth are both milkaholics, but they could have worse addictions so I'm not complaining.)

I had the bright idea of going in a circle - straight across the road towards the woods and through the 1960s estate, and thus to the newsagent and back down our street. Exercise! I thought. The swimming pool is closed! I put on three pounds in Tenby! I need exercise!

We often do that walk in the other direction, coming back from the newsagents, which involves a short walk slightly uphill along our street, a tiny bit of downhill to the estate, and a short bit of fairly steep uphill coming back.

I'd hardly ever done it the other way. It was a big shock. Going down towards the estate from our house, there's a bit of downhill that I barely noticed - - and then something akin to the ascent of Everest - only colder - round the estate.

Stephen of course was striding along happily. He has been cycling twelve miles in total each day going to work for the past few years, so this was just a little stroll to him.

Me? I slowed right down, and had to stop whilst I got my breath back.

I've never been very good at hills. Even as a child I found them difficult. It could be something to do with being somewhat overweight - though I wasn't, as a child. I've always blamed my bad leg, which does tend to get cramp - - though it didn't today. It could be something to do with my fairly recent discovery that I've got one leg longer than the other, and I don't suppose that helps.

But this morning I had to admit I was just plain out of breath! Hardly able to speak (yes, a horrifying thought, I know).

So why is this? Unfit! I thought. Must do more exercise!

And yet, of course, I swim a mile several times a week. I know that Stephen couldn't do that, and yet I do it easily, and have got much faster, and always feel I could keep right on going when I finish.

I know that many people who could run up the slope that I just struggled with, couldn't swim the distances that I do. I'm not sure quite why this should be. I know I've got a decent swimming stroke, and that helps. If you have any explanation, please tell me!

I'm carrying on with the swimming, of course. But I think my next step has to be to get on the cross-trainer and try to improve my stamina on land! If Everest is waiting for me to climb it, it's going to have a long wait.


Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I have heard for years that swimming is the best all-around overall exercise for the muscles of the human body. Perhaps you are the poster child for another point of view.

12:55 pm  
Anonymous Jane said...

I've always been able to walk very long distances without any trouble but never been able to run for a single minute without being completely out of breath, even as a child. I think there are different kinds of stamina. I'm definitely of the 'sturdy and persistent' variety!

5:21 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Bob - I do hope not!
Jane - Yes, "sturdy and persistent" - that's me too! And I've never been able to run either.

5:43 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

I have always been able to walk for miles too butuphill is always a struggle. I blame it on having got used to 30 years on the flat outside Liverpool. ;)

5:47 pm  
Blogger les said...

A good cross-trainer a flight of stairs x 10. Maybe two stairs at a time. Comes with a lifetime guarantee.

8:46 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

I love the idea of a 'lifetime guarantee' on any piece of exercise equipment. Probably 15 minutes in my case !

With one leg shorter than the other, you just need to stand sideways and scoot up those hills.....short leg first of course ;-)

9:34 pm  

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