Saturday, September 24, 2005

Here Comes The Hotstepper

Hello there, how have you been, my moonfaced lickle cherubs?

Life here has been pretty tolerable lately, nothing much to complain about, you know? The local football team have hauled up their socks, extracted their fingers and generally started to act as though they are being paid for what they do rather than it being court imposed community work. True, they have only piled up one win thus far and while one swallow doesn't make a summer it can certainly make an evening. Just ask your mother.

Tish and pish, let us not be bogged down with lowbrow raillery and downbeat smutmongering, let us instead turn our attentions to the noble craft of the physiotherapist.

This fine body of men and women have, for the past couple of months, been giving of their all in order to complete the rehabilitation of the Knowledge right leg, of which you have heard so much this year.

Indeed, so successful have their efforts been that I have recently been promoted from my "Ankles 101" class at the local infirmary, where I would confound and astound all-comers with my proficiency in walking backwards, between cones and over wooden wedges and where I would regularly balance on my injured leg for upwards of a minute without falling over. These prodigous feat don't go unnoticed by the nibs and so it came to pass that I joined up with the "Intermediate Legs" class.

Yeah, look impressed. It doesn't get much better than that, eh? The only people above that class is normal people who haven't been in hospital with a bad leg. Impressive stuff, I think you'll agree.

It was with not a little apprehension I turned up at class on monday morning. Would I be able to do the exercises? Would the bigger boys take my locker money off me? Would I do a wee in my shorts? I know, it's tense isn't it?

Well, rest your sphincters, folks. The answers are "sort of", "no" and "definitely not and anyone who says I did is a big fat liar!".

The class starts off with an aerobic warm up for fifty minutes. Now, there may be more awkward things in this world than doing all manner of sidesteps, leg raises, curls and assorted frou-frou dance moves to the sounds of Kylie Minogue, Billy Joel and Cher with a bunch of strange men, but if there are I wouldn't like to encounter them. Not that my classmates were strange per se, just that I hadn't met any of them before.

At least, I half chuckled to myself, there weren't any ladies present to witness my shameful, sweat-drenched antics. That would be rather embarassing, eh? Alas, I had half chuckled too soon, as in wandered a late-comer, a beautiful little foreign girl who I later found out was called Anna (or Ana) and who is from Poland.

That just about put the tin hat on it.

The aerobics over, we proceeded to the circuit training, which involved balancing on various wobbleboards (not the Rolf Harris type, think a round disc with half a football stuck to the bottom, that type of deal), doing shuttle runs, standing one-legged on a miniature trampoline kicking at imaginary football and numerous other undignified callisthenics. You're probably ahead of me here, but yes, I was paired with the lovely Anna (or Ana). Despite my best efforts on the beams, the wobbleboards, the bench and the mat, I did sometimes catch her looking at me with the bemused wonderment of a small child gazing on it's first baboon in the zoo.

All things must come to an end. From the gym we proceed to the fitness room for some mat-based floor exercises the physio refers to as "specifics". I prefer to refer to them as "torture".

I will not bore you with tales of "sets of ten", "finding thirty, sixty, ninety" or "pulsating it on ten", you'd only find them distressing. "Keep it light" has always been my mantra, there are enough tales of suffering in this world without harping on about the sadistic cruelties imposed by certain physiotherapists I could name. Suffice to say, I was eventually invited to "stretch it out", gather up what was left of my dishevelled corpse and head for the showers, a broken man.

Remarkably enough, I came back for more on wednesday and friday. I even managed the infamous friday morning step class that has ruined many a better man than me.

So, in summary, cheg on Billy Blanks. You can stick your Tae-Bo oompus-bumpus where the sun doesn't shine, I'm rolling with the Intermediate Leg crew.

One! Two! Three! Four! Let's step!

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