Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Like A Pony

At the risk of sounding like a total pisher: I finally decided to get some exercise yesterday.
I like playing happy, laughing games like badminton or Captain's Ball as much as the next girl but concerted, planned, actual fitness? No, thank you.

In light of an alarmingly expanding waistline though, I finally decided to chuck my principles down the chute and go for a RUN. Yes, a run. I mean, who runs?! For one, it is the most banal sport since the beginning of time, surpassed in stupidity only by soccer. You're not actually going anywhere, or playing anything, you're just moving your legs like pistons and subjecting yourself to bone-crunching impact for no reason other than to be abjectly bored and sweaty. Not my idea of a weekend, really.

But BS had me well and truly convinced that we needed to lose the flab, so I put on my hot pink shorts and we went off to the beach. Considering that I loathe jogging and haven't actually moved at a quicker pace than a smart trot since the Triassic period, I knew it wasn't going to bode well for me. We strolled to the walking track by the sea, then I put in my earphones, turned up The Who, and confidently went poncing off into the ether.

For the first twenty seconds or so, I couldn't stop giggling at the absurdity of me going running. Then I tried to be one with the road, concentrate on the sound of my footsteps, my music, the wash of the waves, the in and out swoosh of my breath. I dug deep and reached for the liberation and exhilaration that all marathon runners find when they push their bodies to physical perfection.

In 200 metres, I wanted to smack marathon runners, hard. I was in a shitload of physical pain - cramping and protesting muscles, stabbing pains in my ribcage and chest. For one, people with breast sizes bigger than a B cup really shouldn't be bouncing around in public. It just doesn't feel polite.

For another, it fucking hurts. I kept going, swinging my numb arms like some lolloping orang utan, puffing desperately for air. Eventually (another 200 metres later, perhaps) I was forced to slow down while BS loped rangily into the distance. I half-ran, half-walked to stop myself from dying and everytime BS turned his head to look for me, I, refusing to appear like an airless fish in front of him, would duck speedily behind a tree or shrub, which rendered me more breathless in turn.

Nothing but my pride kept me going for another kilometre or so and when I finally caught up with BS who had slown to a walk, I managed to gather my composure and regain my breath. The rest of the sojourn wasn't half bad, actually. We walked to the end of the paved road in the dimming light, then turned and brisked walked back to where we started, listening to our music and communicating only via hand signals all the way. It was fun, racing each other like frisking lambs, then dropping to a walk when we got tired. I was almost over the agony of the actual jog.


To say I woke up in pain this morning would be a gross understatement. The last time I was in so much pain was when a 1000-pound horse nearly rode off with me into the sunset and I hung grimly on to its mane with every muscle in my body. That was over a year ago, coincidentally also the last time I exercised. I feel good mentally, knowing that I got out and did something, but um, I still hate running and all the sports bra clad jocks that do it. Runners high, my overgrown arse.

To that end, I was intending to suggest a more game-y activity the next time, that is, until I came in to work. As I was proudly declaring my sporty weekend to my colleagues, Estelle joined in the conversation enthusiastically with: "You should try belly-dancing. It's very flattering for people of your size."

Before my jaw could hit the floor, she went blithely on with: "Besides, the fatter you are, the better it looks!"


Guess I'm going to have to take another run tonight after all.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Knocking on Heaven's Door

Waking up in the middle of the night to feel my throat glands swollen and sore, the word fuck crossed my mind, followed by the inevitable thought: "H1N1". So this is what swine flu feels like.

I'm all feverish and the space behind my eyeballs feels like it's boiling, plus I'm wandering around work like a vampire in a long black coat with the collar turned up. (But really, what vampire would wear polyester? And armpit netting? Are you kidding me?)

Still, I rolled out of bed to fulfill my place as second family breadwinner this morning because that is just how hardworking I am. (And because if my parents catch whiff of the fact that I am sick at all, they may not allow me across the causeway near this weekend)

Anyway, after lolling around in my wheelie chair and muttering heatedly to myself all morning, I finally did the unthinkable and headed out with the girls for some ice-cream. With extra nuts on top, if you please.

It's bad enough that I feel the attack of a killer cold coming on, now I have to moderate my diet? Bitch, no.

And so, I scarfed down two scoops of chocolate and coffee full-fat balls of goodness along with whipped cream and assorted toppings, and I did it with glee. Sure, I'm going to feel like shit tomorrow morning, but right now, this is a big, fat finger in the face of Spanish Influenza because I may be a lover but I ain't no dancer. I may also be slightly delirious.

Take that, you chancho mejicano!

PS I'm only kidding. I am sick, but I don't have swine flu. I think. If I had swine flu I would not be swanning round work, licking spoons in a public ice-cream parlour and passing my nasty germs to everyone. I would go straight to Tom Cruise's house, hug it out, and let him demonstrate the wonders of Scientology.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

So Over It

I'm motivated not by success, but by fear of failure. I'm SO scared that I will fuck life up and be stuck at the bottom of the heap, and that will just be the way my life goes. So even when I don't like doing something or feel reluctance, fear drives me. And so I work FUCKING hard.

When you try your best, and it's still not good enough, that hurts more than I can tell. The immediate reaction is always, "What's wrong with me?" And though I take pains not to show it, the scars stay with me for a long time.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Calm Before

Where I work, times are volatile right now.

Actually, they're volatile everywhere, but here, you really feel it. Being on what is practically the frontline of everything that's happened gives one both a thrill and a lonely sense of vulnerability.

These last few days, the office has been in a mad frenzy. Meetings are called at the drop of a hat and the respective desks have become completely jumbled in an effort to get as many people in on the action as possible.

The local women's group has staged the kind of upheaval only seen last in World War Two and thanks to a bizarre series of events, they are blundering along on a streak that looks to pit the homosexual camp against the religious, moral one. Any way you look at it, this can't go well, or look good on either party, particularly in this country. A big showdown slated for Saturday guarantees that almost none of us are going to get any rest despite the fact that tomorrow is Labour Day.

And then there's swine flu. In a move that shows both how prepared and just how terrified we are, a seperate office has actually been set up away from our permanent quarters and half the staff are going to be quarantined there while the rest are holed up here. For a month, two months, who knows how long, we'll be working separately, together, to try and document what seems sure to be a horrific outbreak.

When the inevitable happens, we will be there, with the kind of predatory glee that journalists get on breaking news, but also with fear and weariness.

Everyone was combing the lists with trepidation this afternoon. "I had to do this the last time with SARS," a colleague who had been drafted to the temporary office told me wistfully. "It was just awful." It will be strange to see the office half-empty, in limbo, unsure of whether we're going to be safe or succumb to illness. Almost like sending troops out to battle while staying home and polishing shells.

In a typical moment of black office humour, Mav and I speculated on what might happen if the giant women's group catfight on Saturday resulted in the kind of melee that would transmit swine flu between them faster than Twitter could announce it.

"That will be hilarious," she typed to me from two seats away. "It will be the biggest news of the year."

"Haha," I agreed. "To think, we will have to deal with bitches and swine together."

And then, we giggled like schoolgirls because right now, when this trudge becomes cautious and tortuous, we will still be laughing with each other over what aches may come.

It's all we really have.