On a journey to nowhere
Another week, another round of The Torture Room.
I nearly didn’t go in today. The thing is voluntary so in theory I can opt out any time. Unfortunately I suffer from a severe conscience, so if I say I’ll finish the course then I am duty bound to do so. Of course I ended up going in.
The regime starts of with what they call “warming up exercises”. This consists of marching on the spot interspersed with such delights as leg stretches [in all directions], sideways dancing where we invariably collide with the bloke beside us and breathing/stretching things. By the end of that, I’m sweating like a stuck pig and ready to go home.
But that’s only the start.
Next comes the cycling machine where I have to do a kilometre or two [I close my eyes and pretend I’m cycling down for a pint]. They up the resistance on that each session so I have to cycle harder to get anywhere.
Then I have another cycling machine where I have to use my arms on the pedals. Again, I’m off to the pub, but that is becoming harder to imagine as I never actually get a pint at the end.
Then there is the sideways march where I have to march sideways across the room while swinging weights. At this point everyone else is on their cycling machines, facing in my direction and they can all have a laugh at me.
After another session on the bike again, I head for the naughty step [as they call it] where I repeatedly step up onto a box and back down again. That’s a real sweat maker.
Next is the boxing where I have to march on the spot while doing boxing thrusts. The snag there is that I have to hold on to elastic ropes which is hell on the shoulders.
Last is the Chair of Death [as I call it]. All I have to do is sit down, stand up, repeat. That sounds easy enough, but try doing it while clasping a weight to your chest! It is fucking torture.
At this stage [and I think I may have missed out on a couple of stages] all my muscles are screaming and I must have lost about five pints of sweat. Time to go home? No fucking way. We have to do our “cooling down” exercises which is basically a repeat of all the marching, stretching and twisting that we started with.
Finally they measure blood pressure again [they did that before the start too]. Mine had dropped from 140 down to 100 whatever that means. We unhook ourselves from little portable monitors which we have to wear with wires going to horrible sticky electrodes that rip off all my chest hair.
And finally we go home. Naturally all the windows in the car steam up as soon as I get in as I am glowing at this stage.
I presume any heart attack victim has to go through this torture, presumably as some sort of punishment or deterrent for inconveniencing the health crowd and the use of their ambulances?
My advice – don’t have a heart attack!
I assume you've found the windscreen demister then as you obviously have gotten home safely? 😉
I found it all right and nearly froze. I had accidentally activated the conditioning at some point!
Meanwhile, on a sofa, by the fire, I'm giving my finger tips a vigorous workout on a laptop keyboard… Glad I gave that game you're playing a pass.
I will be honest…. The only reason I go is that I enjoy giving the new car a spin on the motorway. If it weren't for that, I'd be just doing the finger exercises too.
I sincerely hope that the bank doesn't get wind of your unfortunate heart attack. They just may call in the loan?
Pretty sure Bernie won't do the correct physio, so he'll have another one. Then he'll start acting his age.
He obviously believes in immortality too?
Would it not be simpler to get on your bike and cycle to Glencree and back? The scenery would be more interesting!
See my reply to Mac! The only incentive I have to go is a chance to drive the new banger.
Also I don't have a bicycle. Too fucking hilly around here for one of them.
Too right. One thing I’ve learnt in life is avoid mounting anything that can’t stand up by itself.
I've followed (and enjoyed) your blog for quite a few years although rarely leave a comment.
Currently I figure that I owe you one, which you might find helpful after having your heart attack.
The 140 and 100 blood pressure measurement you mentioned is more likely to be your pulse beats per minute than blood pressure. Your pulse rate increases when you perform vigorous exercise and drops again as you recover. They usually want to make sure your pulse rate descends sufficiently in a given amount of time (which they choose). These measurements allow your progress to be judged.
More importantly I would like to draw your attention to a Vitamin supplement which currently sits below the radar of most people (including medical practitioners). This supplement is known as Vitamin K2 (MK-7). You can google it and judge for yourself its usefulness for reducing cardiovascular disease.
A good starting point would be a Youtube video entitled "Dr. Kate Rheaume Bleue The Calcium Paradox". Take a look at this video as it is relevant to your situation and I would greatly appreciate being able to enjoy your hilarious blog for many years to come.
Hi John and thanks for all that.
The 140/100 thing was blood pressure all right [it was 140 over something and 100 over something]. Blood pressure is supposed to drop after exercise so I must have been doing something right. Add to that the fact that I had been in a bit of a rush to get in, which would explain the high first figure [normally 120 over something].
We all wear those little portable monitors during the sessions which transmit to a computer on a desk in the corner. It shows a nice little trace of heartbeats for all of us, presumably to tell them if one of us drops dead.
Thanks for the vitamin suggestion. I read up a bit about it and it looks interesting all right. I am on a fistfull of tablets at the moment [my breakfast and nighttime gravel as I call 'em]. I'm reluctant to add to them and will have a chat with Doc when I see him in a couple of weeks.
Do I get a sneaking suspicion that people only want me to live so they can read my scribbles? Is that to be my ultimate contribution to society?
I attempted to post this comment once already but the site timed out. I'm trying again so if there's two comments posted then you'll know why.
Since I suffer from chronic hypertension (fancy name for high blood pressure) I'll just add my own two cents worth here.
A blood pressure reading shows one number over another number. The top number is supposed to be higher than the bottom number. If it isn't–boy, you're messed up…or an alien. Anyway…
The top number is called systolic and measures the blood pressure when the heart is pumping, hence the higher number. The bottom number is called diastolic which measures same while the heart is at rest, hence the lower number. For example, my blood pressure used to be a rock solid 110/68 (perfect) up to the age of 40 or so. These days, not so much. The highest measured (at least the one they actually admitted to) was 198/162 where upon the attending doc asked me why I wasn't dead. So I answered, "Who says I'm not?"
The numbers I was quoting were the systolic ones, as I don't remember the diastolic figures. They measure the pressure before and after each session and they always seem very happy with them.
If I have died in the meantime, nobody seems to have noticed….
"Don't have a heart attack" or "Don't survive a heart attack?"
Either will work!