On my fridge I have a printout of a nubile, semi-clad, skinny female (not jealous) doing all manner of strange exercises with one of the blasted things and the write up was suitably encouraging – ‘kettlebell training is fun and varied, never boring, safe for any age, shape or size.’ Not only that, it also promised me ‘explosive power.’
Last night, with nothing left to lose except my dignity and a good few pounds, I put down my Walnut Whips and tentatively picked it up. Then swiftly put it back down again and attempted to unscrew two of the weights to make it a tiny bit more manageable. Exhausted from the effort, I rested long enough to watch the last episode of Mad Men and finish the last Whip before trying again.
I hid myself in the kitchen as The Teenager is fond of rushing downstairs yelling out sports results at regular intervals throughout the evening and the humiliation would be too much. Ok, squat and lift. Creakily I lowered myself downwards holding the much-lighter kettlebell. And stopped. Just had to stand up straight again. My calf muscles, one of which was fully-cramped with MS pain, protested loudly. I down-scaled the reps from 10 to 5, then 3.
Next exercise, I just had to swing the thing round my body, switching hands halfway through. Easy. I happily did this for a while, feeling smugly in the rhythm until disaster struck. My dodgy MS hand decided to simply let go. The kettlebell flew towards the cat food bowl, scattering crunchy biscuits across the floor and landed with an almighty thud. Luckily the cat wasn’t eating at the time or we’d be holding a memorial service today.
The Teenager rushed downstairs. I stumbled out to stop him in his tracks.
‘Muuuuuuum! What’s wrong with your face? Why are you all sweaty and red?’
‘Oh, you know. Just washing up. So what’s the latest score?’
I tried one last exercise. This ball of fear was not going to get the better of me. I raised it above my head, slightly to the left just in case my hand decided to play another joke and I knocked myself unconscious. Not bad. I could feel my muscles stretching. Three reps and I was done.
Amount of exercise? Two and a half minutes. Time spent clearing up the mess and cooling down? Half an hour. Not bad for a first attempt. We will meet again tomorrow, same time, same place.