I don’t like sport. For as long as I can remember I’ve been faking injuries or stayed at home to avoid gym classes. And on the rare times I had to go, I’d end up injuring myself.
The only times my body is cooperating is to take a long walk, go shopping or to dance all night. Any other activities and it seems to fail me until I give up completely.
So when the physio told me my back problem won’t get better until I start exercising, I sort of came to terms with the fact I’d be in pain forever.
See for someone who’s only just turned 24, I’m not that sharp. Sure I look pretty healthy from the outside. But It only takes two hours of me sitting on a backless chair before I begin wiggling like a worm trying to find a less painful position. When me and my husband walk up the stairs of our building and talk I end up having to stop and sit down before I can finish my sentence. He’s just happily chatting away, cigarette in his mouth, running up the stairs.
Since my job involves standing up without a break for six hours a day I thought that was the problem. Surely my back would hurt a lot less if I could sit down. When I took a ten day holiday I thought it would be the end of my problems. But five days in and I still couldn’t move without feeling a stabbing pain.
So I surrendered, and finally went to yoga. Now I used to go to yoga classes back in Paris because my godmother was a yoga teacher. It was really good and if it wasn’t for the fact I’m the laziest person ever I would have probably carried on. But instead I moved to Sheffield and thought dancing in West Street Live for four hours a night was physical enough.
I was sort of excited about the yoga though. It was said to be very easy, comfortable and relaxing. The five other ladies were all nice, all over 60. The first pose simply involved sitting with crossed legs. Two minutes in I started feeling a sharp pain in my thigh. I couldn’t say anything, the class had literally just started. I suffered in silence until we finally moved on. We had to hug a pillow in a position that made our backs stretch. Seemed easy enough. Except for the horrible pain in my neck. And I didn’t know what to do with my head. If I put it on the side it hurt. Putting it down was more comfortable but I couldn’t breathe. Clearly, I was doing something wrong. And again, I was too ashamed to say anything.
Thankfully the hour went pretty quickly, but by the time I got up, feeling more pain than when I got there, looking at women old enough to be my nan feeling satisfied I decided to go back to my very strict routine of contracting my abs by laughing at Friends and shopping when I need to work on my cardio.