I have never played Tennis in my life. Badminton, yes, when I was young. I got into the groove pretty quick when Mr. M and I started playing weekly Badminton here in the UK. I felt that I was OK, not professional in any way, but I got my workout done and when we had a couple of matches, I won 😉
Mr. M had played Tennis in his younger years. He was very keen on trying it out again. So we decided to invest in some good beginners Tennis racquets even though I don’t know ABC of the game. Last week, just before Easter, we played our first Tennis match. There were 4 courts in the ground. We chose the one with the fence on our right. Unfortunately, the court next to us was occupied by Tennis players who were trying to perfect their skill. This being my first match, I had to learn how to serve and all through the hour my serves and my shots were going into their court (there wasn’t any net or barriers between the courts as we had during in our badminton court). One time the fellow next court had two balls coming towards him and since the balls all looked very similar he wasn’t sure which one to hit 😆 I am sure they were frustrated after a while, but they carried on like champs and made sure to throw us our balls back every time it went to their court and it was ‘all the time’.
By the end of the hour, I somehow managed to find that grip that will not let my ball go over the fence (which happened twice) or to the next court. It was exhausting and it cost me double the effort I put in Badminton. But it was good. So we decided to torture another set of tennis pros today with my amateurish skills and test their resilience and patience 😉 Off we go to our second Tennis match. Weather is a bit cloudy and slightly windy so we can blame it on the weather if my serve sends the balls off to our neighbor’s courts.
When I went into the gym today, little did I expect to take part in a Challenge that was going on. I knew about it, but decided to give it a miss because of the set of exercises that they had advertised. I am not good with full push ups. Knee push up – OK. And my arm strength isn’t good enough for pull ups. I am working on it. There was a total of 6 exercises and we were supposed to do them in serial fashion and see how long we took for all 6 of them. Now, why would I go and sign up for this when I have joined gym after a long break and still working on my arm strength?
My gym instructor thought otherwise. When I went in today, all mentally prepped for my dumbbells workout (today is the arms day, y’all), she comes in with a clipboard and a paper and says ‘Lets do this challenge’. I was like ‘why ?’. She was like ‘why not?’ And then she says ‘I have belief in you. You can do it’. I did a eye roll and one more for good measure and told her that not to expect me to excel in it. I know all about their BS of positive and motivational talks. Been there, heard that a lot with my other instructor, and have done that to others too. There is no kidding me with that line, girl. Since the push ups were an issue for me, she replaced it with burpees. Now, I had no choice as to give it a try.
25 knee pushups
25 box jumps
50 full sit ups
50 skipping or jump rope
500 m running in the treadmill at 9 kmph speed and no gradient
I completed them all in 8.55 mins. She was very happy about that, even though there were better results than that. I told her that I am going home now that my workout for the day was over 😉 Once I got that done, I felt good. That wasn’t bad compared to the standard I held myself. I could have done better, if I had done some more practice at home or the previous day. But that’s all right. I made sure I maintained my form too. Box jumps literally tired me down and I had to slow down a bit when I was doing those. I used to hate burpees. May be still do, but at least when it came to this challenge I got that done. All in all I felt good after being challenged so suddenly and especially when I wasn’t mentally prepared. After that she told me that this was just my warm up and I had to do the day’s workout. 🙄 I had to cut two of my exercises from my day’s workout to be able to complete it on time and be back for work. Anyone want to give it a try? If you do, let me know how it went for you.
When I reached home, may be it was the feeling that I did good, I was craving for something very sweet. Like a Pavlova which was available on a fresh food site to order. But every single time I tried (and I tried for close to 5 times from different browsers), the page would error out the moment I select the sweet. Divine Intervention, you think ? I had to settle for some dates to satisfy my sweet craving for the day.
This photograph was taken during one of our Zumba workouts in a Music bar. Photo credits to a friend of a friend who was using my camera to try his photographic skills.Will be doing Zumba this weekend after a very long time. Getting excited already.
My maid, God bless her, has one standard dialogue every time I am back from my travel. Every.Single.Time. I love her. She has been with me through the tough times. She takes care of me in her own way and treats me like her own daughter. So, what is that one line? “you have become more darker”. Neither of us (she or myself) are fair skinned. I might be a tad fairer than her. But still, we both are wheat colored. It doesn’t matter if I travel to a cold country or a tropical country or just a visit to my hometown for a fortnight. Just getting out of my home makes me look more tanned, according to her. Something in the water, she believes.
She also had her views about how I am literally wasting away by going to gym. What is there to reduce? You are already thin! You will only look more sickly. That is what she used to say and still does. This was said today morning too. BMI, Visceral Fat, Muscle Mass, Body strength – all those doesn’t matter to her. She is quite lean and strong (doing household work definitely is the best exercise ever). I do like some meat in my bones, but I like being healthier more. If that makes me a little thinner than I was, then so be it. I am happy as long as I am healthy and am able to maintain it.
I usually hear it only from her. But this time after my latest trip and back, my brother who was on his regular business visit to Bangalore also commented on how much thinner I have become and I shouldn’t reduce more. 🙄 I had to explain him about the BMI, Fat etc… to make him not say anything more. I don’t think he was convinced but at least that 10 min explanation stopped him from saying anything further. Yesterday when I had been to office (after quite a while actually) I saw this colleague of mine and she looked me up and down and said, you look different. The look on her face was that of disappointment more than surprise. I told her that I had been working out and could be the result of that. She replied not just that… you look more tanned…why are you getting more tanned when you are already darker??? As if I am going to tanning salons for that purpose. I told her, it’s just the water. Obviously she didn’t get that inside joke.
When I was slightly obese, no one knew because of my extremely shapeless clothes. Now that my clothes size has reduced too, I get the odd comment from people that I have become thinner. I am yet to hear from someone that I have become fitter. I know I won’t be hearing that any time soon. But I am surprised at the tanning comment. I hardly wear any sunscreen when I go out, irrespective of the place or heat. I am used to the heat and sweat over here. So I usually don’t use any sunscreen (that is an additional accessory to carry too… urgh!) How can they tell the difference between dark skin and delta-dark skin (delta here means a very minute difference). I wonder what else is in store for me after my next travel or may be another month of gym.
I generally don’t watch YouTube videos and do my exercises unless I don’t have an option and want some motivation. Zumba / dance numbers are different. I wouldn’t mind watching them and learning the moves. But since I had recently joined a gym in Bangalore, I didn’t want to spend more out here in London for a week and a half in the gym and the sports center I went to last time have increased their weekly pass rates 😦 I wasn’t inclined to go there.
So I went with the 5 day challenge with a husband-wife duo. It looked quite simple actually. Of course I didn’t have my dumbbells, so had to use my body weight for those or simply use my mat (when applicable). It had lot of HIIT moves which I haven’t done too much. But I decided to try it and finished my 5th day today (I cheated by taking a weekend break between day 3 and 4, not my mistake if the weekend came in between 😉 ) It felt good and was happy when I was sweating hard. Keeps the momentum going and since I could record the exercises and see how much I have fared up in my week using mywellness account which was part of my gym membership, it gave me a boost too. We need to take all this with a spoon full of salt as to the amount of calories burnt and also while trying to do these exercises watching the videos, we might end up doing it in a wrong form. One should be very careful. Since I knew the exercises it was OK and I concentrated on keeping my form correct even if I had to do less repetitions. I liked how those two show the hard and easy variations and keep talking to you through out. It was fun. Now I have to do something using my Theraband for the rest of the week.