Guess what I got for Christmas?
No, not tail lights. That was last year.
Not a blender, or a kettle, or an oven. We’ve covered those.
I got a rowing machine!
When my son’s Rowfit trainer asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I blithely replied that I had bought myself some killer shoes so I could be sure of getting something I really wanted. I didn’t take his little laugh and side-eye too seriously.
I should have.
On Christmas morning, Firstborn and I were led through the garden and into the cottage. I use the term ‘cottage’ loosely. It seems to have been intended as a cottage, but the previous owners got bored halfway through.
We were a little concerned.
What on earth was up there?
We were gobsmacked. I was overjoyed. And then terrified. Very very terrified.
Before I could start, I needed a name.
So, much to my son’s dismay, I conducted a little internet poll on naming options.
Yes, I name things. My car is Bella, because like my Great Granny, she keeps on going. The red car is Funny, because she’s like a little clown car.
What to call the ergometer.
Yes, rowing machines are for gyms, ergometers are for rowers. Apparently, it’s as uncool to call an ergo a rowing machine as it’s to call scuba fins, flippers or (my favourite) frogfeet.
The results are in:
- The garden cottage is now officially called, Death Row. (I’m getting a sign made!).
- The erg is a little harder. Top contenders were: Pennywise, WTF and The Destroyer of Dreams (DOD).
My husband wanted a name that sounded really sweet like a My Little Pony character with a hidden dark psychopathic side.
The first week of exercise went really well, until the doctor said that I had managed to spread the infection from my ill conceived ear piercing around my entire body resulting in a finger the size of a pork sausage from a tiny little cut. Since then. It’s been hard to get back in the saddle.
Also, my husband gets a Google Update from Concept 2 everyday with a new exercise routine. He WhatsApps it to me, SMSes it to me and Facebook Messengers it to me. This irks me. And when I’m irked, I put down roots and am incapable of movement.
(I love that word – irks. It sums up that space between mildly annoyed but not yet really annoyed. I am irked. It is irksome.)
Actually, despite what I thought, I rather enjoy it. I get home, change into my “active wear’ and hit Death Row. Then I crank up my Harry Potter audio book and row for 30 minutes.
Then I lie on the floor and cry . It’s very cathartic. Eventually, a spawn will come and check on me, unplaster me from the floor and half guide, half carry me to the house. And then I feel very very virtuous.
Then, my son sees the computer output on the DOD and shudders with suppressed laughter at my agony.
Then I feel less virtuous and more pathetic, until I remind myself that I am a mother of three in her forties, not a super fit 16 year old with Olympic dreams. Then I feel okay.
Sometimes, I beat the DOD.
Sometimes, it kicks my ass.
Mainly, it kicks my ass.
And I’m irked that I don’t look anything like Demi Moore in GI Jane yet.
In the meantime, Firstborn propels the DOD across the floor with every stroke. O think we may have to concrete it in there.