Wednesday, 1 October 2014
This, of course, isn't me. I borrowed this lovely picture from Husband's favorite Facebook page- Fit Girls.
I wanted freedom
Bound and restricted
I tried to give you up
But I'm addicted
(from Time is Running Out by Muse, who, by the way, are still and always will be, the best.)
OK. I have a confession to make. I am an addict.
I never really have been a type who is easily addicted. I used to smoke…well, quite a lot actually, but then decided to quit and I did, pretty easily. Nowadays, I can have an occasional cigarette with a glass of wine and move on without another one for months. You see what I mean? Easy!
So I did not really even see it coming.
And, as addictions often happen, it started pretty innocently. After almost a year of trying to convince me to join Aspire, the local ladies' sports club, my friend finally managed to drag me there.
At first, I could not see the point. Why would I wait for ages to register and then pay and drive somewhere early in the mornings, when I had a free gym in the compound? It seemed too much of an effort. Isn't it too busy? I did not like the idea of too many sweaty women jumping around too close to me. Just give it a try, the friend responded. You will love it.
At first, I went to one class a week. I enjoyed it. I went to two or three, and thought I was doing pretty well. I look back at that previous life of mine as the life of a free person. Someone who was allowed to do nothing if she wanted to. Sleep... Or read a book perhaps? Or blog, for that matter. Or even get a job!!
In those days, I had no idea what would become of me. There were women of all sorts of shapes, ages and level of fitness. I would look at some hardcore ones who would emerge out of one particularly exhausting class, staggering, dripping with sweat and barely breathing and go straight into another, and would think to myself secretly What lunatics, seriously!? What are they like? Have they no lives besides this place? Why are they killing themselves?
And I used to stand at the back, attempting to catch up on the routines, embarrassed of how silly and awkward I must look…and getting annoyed by the fanatics in the front row. They would stretch and jump at the start of the class, shouting out in ecstasy as the instructors took to the stage.
How little did I know.
Now, I am one of them. And I can't stop. I am not sure when or how it happened. It has been a journey. At some point I realized that my previous goal, which was to lose some weight was no longer adequate. I wanted to get fitter. I wanted to be able to follow and do what the trainers were showing us. From going three times a week, I moved on to four and then five.
And then you suddenly feel that you don't want to miss out on the weights class just because you did a cardio…and the addiction kicks in. Your worst nightmare is to fall sick and not be able to attend a class.
Your gym buddies become your best friends and you cancel coffee dates with everyone else, as those people don't understand why you absolutely, under no circumstances, could not meet them before 11 am. Everything else becomes secondary. No time for anyone else. Not much different to one old friend of mine's obsession with marihuana. Only mine is healthier. Unless, of course, it kills me. Which looks more and more possible as the addiction grows stronger. I cannot stop.
And then…there are the instructors. They are not just instructors. They are Goddesses.
Each with her own unique style but all beautiful; of different nationalities, but equally cool and funny, they are making us work harder than I ever remember working in any gym or class in my entire (admittedly, lazy) life. We are in love with them. We watch their every move, we follow every word. We pray that they never leave us. We love them and admire them.
Clearly, I must enjoy pain. Because, pushing my body this far feels great. And, as endorphins get released, I am not as stressed - even as I maneuver in the crazy Doha traffic. I used to want to kill other drivers really badly, by ripping their stupid throats out, but now? Now I just smile and wave.
It makes me happy. I know it is because I am drugged with the endless exercise, delirious and not able to think straight. Because, surely, I should be aspiring to achieve something in my life?
Yet, listening to a couple of mums at the school pick up discuss how desperate they were to find a job so they would not be so bored…I felt happy. I am not bored. I have no time or energy to feel bored or dissatisfied with my life.
So, okay, you are probably thinking, this is all great, but what's the catch? Well, I wish I could be more relaxed about it. On the morning of my baby girl's first day at big school, I was not going to take her. I figured it was okay for daddy to take her. So I could attend my classes, you see?
And it was only when a friend of mine said to me 'I love you, but you have shit for brains! You ARE going to your daughter's first day at school!!! ' that I realized just how crazy my obsession became. I had to tell myself that some (not many) things still matter more than my new drug.
Life, I thought to myself melancholically, always gets in the way of a good addiction, doesn't it.