Please allow me to tell you a little story. A couple of months ago my lovely step grandad sadly passed away. He was an amazing man, one of the last surviving Far East Prisoners of War and lived to be 102! I loved him and will really miss him.
Just before he died, he gave me a little monetary gift which sat for quite a while in my bank account doing absolutely nothing. My partner had been nagging me for some time to "do" something with it less it be frittered away with nothing to show for it. He was right, of course. But I was scared to spend it on me. I felt guilty about treating myself to something.
I had been going on about getting a new bike at "some point" but had never made the commitment .. there were always other things to spend money on: the house, the car, the business etc. My existing bike at the time had done nearly ten thousand miles in the four years I had owned her (she is female ... Juliet is her name) so I really was ready for a new one.
To cut a long story very short, my partner gave me the push I needed. He went to the bike shop and ordered the one I'd been hankering over! With a few bespoke alterations, there it was ... all mine! But it is male ... it is still a female spec bike but it has a male personality ... I know, I'm weird ..but then again I am someone who sees the days of the week as colours ..... his name is Lennie (you can guess who I've named him after) and every time I go out for a ride I think of him whilst I am thoroughly enjoying myself...and isn't that what he would have wanted? Me, to be happy ... and what better way could I be happy than out riding a bike which brings a smile to my face every time I race down or climb up a glorious hill ... an investment in my health and a legacy to remind me of a very brave and dear man.
I don't know what comes over me sometimes ... it was 20 years ago that I used to do circus trapeze. Not the flying type, but the static sort ... you know the lady who does all the twizzles and upside down hanging from the bar suspended way up in the air. Now, don't misunderstand me here, I was never at a performance standard. Indeed the only VHS recording I have of one of my routines, shows me falling flat on my face after I had neglected to point my toes hard enough! I was only about 10 feet up and fell on a mattress so I came to no harm ... only hurt pride. Anyway, yesterday I decided to give it another whirl ...after 20 years!! Why? Because it used to make me so very happy. I loved doing it and I loved the muscles I developed from doing it. #exercise4happiness is where it is at. So, fast forward 20 years ... yes a whole 20 remember that .... and there I am so very excited waiting for my class to begin.
I was the oldest person there ... and that never bothers me but after I had done the warm up it did. Now was I old or just not fit? Yes I am bike fit, swim fit, walk fit, gym weights fit but it appears I am not sprint fit, bunny hop fit, monkey hop fit, cat crawl fit, wheelbarrow fit, in fact not anything fit when it comes to using my arms to support my body weight. You see one of the principles of fitness is that it is specific ... a ballet dancer does not a good rugby player make and vice versa.... and since most of my training involves my legs ... that warm up finished me off. And to make matters worse, these damn menopausal hot flushes just kick in at random and I look a million times worse than I feel. Although I did feel dizzy and nauseous after rolling around on the carpet ... but anyway, it was fun .... if you were 12 ... but for me the dizziness made me appreciate that when I'm teaching older adults, getting up and down from the floor can feel like that all the time ... it is just something that happens to your baroreceptors (the cells that keep your blood pressure constant as you move about) over time.
When I did eventually make it to the trapeze, I was rather knackered ... but excited and keen to get on with it. I had a lovely one on one session with a very patient teacher called Helen. However, the mind was willing but the body was weak. It came as quite a shock when I couldn't do some of the basic moves because I had lost strength in my core and my arms. In my excitement, I did too much and had to call time on myself with about 15 mins of the lesson remaining. I had almost hit the wall, the bonk, burn-out whatever you call it. I arrived home and immediately had a sugary snack and drink and just about stopped myself from tipping over the edge when going straight to bed is the only cure. I cooked the family dinner in a sort of zombie state, ate it, then had an early night.
And this morning, yes this morning ... I hurt in places I had forgotten about but guess what? Just like women who go on to have more children so that the human race can continue in spite of the painful experience each childbirth is, I want to go back and do more. But this time I will find myself a nice beginners' course and take it one step at a time....because? Because it makes me so very very happy ;)
Nothing like starting a blog with a good philosophical question is there?
Well, hello! I'm Steph Taylor and I have a passion for helping people feel, move and look better. That's it! That's my mission.
I'm no spring chicken. I am approaching my mid fifties ... yes I know I don't look it do I? ...of course I do! What is a mid fifties person supposed to look like anyway? I look like me and I'm fifty something so I look like me at fifty something .... and you look like you...at whatever age you are ... and that's my point ...who am I and what am I supposed to look like?
Should I still be wearing a bikini at my age? Should I be in elasticated waistbands and cardigans? Should I still be careering down a hill on my road bike at nearly 40 mph wearing lycra? Should I like going out on my mountain bike and getting lost? Should I still be doing trapeze? Should I still be learning to dance the tango? Should I still be bleaching my hair? Should I still be studying to re-qualify for something I was passionate about in my twenties? Should I still be "living in sin" after being with my man for over 23 years? Should I really be an old mum to a young teenager, having given birth in my forties? Should I be going through the menopause without resorting to HRT? Should I like driving my big van more than my BMW? Should I like helping people to exercise in their senior years? Should I like helping people to overcome their fears and speak in public? Should I like entering speaking competitions? Should I like good coffee? Should I like cake with the good coffee? Should I like to follow the butterflies in my stomach? Should I like to follow my own path?
Well, yes actually I should ...and I do ..phew! That's who I am ... but I don't wear that many cardigans yet..
I am an exercise4happiness specialist. Forget the bikini body or the 6 pack, exercising to feel good is where it's at! Join me in my adventures in happiness, on the bike, in the studio, or in the classroom and I will infect you with my enthusiasm to get out there and be active too! You will feel good, I promise you.