I am well into my second full gym-rat mode week, which comprises some yoga/pilates, the recumbent bike and the machine routine upstairs, and – as long as my back holds out – I am totally loving this. I’m even a bit bummed about having to spend a week in Málaga this month (more on that later) because I’ll lose a week of gym time. Amazing how easy it is to get hooked. But it is also a time-eater as it takes about two hours of my morning including 20 minutes “there and back” time, though that isn’t really an issue this month…

Another reason I’m glad to be starting this in August is that there are fewer people around, and those that are there are the hard-core serious gym rats, which for me makes the atmosphere feel relaxed and comfortable.  I can just carry on with my business and feel totally invisible. EXCEPT (there’s always one) the creep with the big hairy sweaty thighs who wears short shorts and doesn’t bother putting down a towel … ewwww. When he’s there I don’t want to touch any of the equipment.

Other than that, I am so into this that I can scarcely believe it. But I am concerned about my back. Last Thursday it started giving me grief, so on Friday I skipped the machine routine. It’s weird because I can feel that the lower back is dodgy and I’ve had a few very sharp “warnings”, but at the same time the work I’m doing at the gym seems to agree with it. I get the feeling that, as long as I am Very Careful, I will end up with a much stronger “support system” for my back (does that makes sense, Sled?). In fact, when my lower back is feeling fragile like it is now, it’s not usually when I’m doing something challenging that it goes out … more often it’s from something totally duh like putting clothes into the washing machine, picking up a cat, or even sneezing.

I also like that I can work my gym time into my morning schedule – anytime between 8.00am – 2.00pm that suits me. Because sometimes I wake up and get into work stuff straight away, or will have errands to run, so it’s nice not to have to interrupt naturally productive time by having to get to a cless. Then other times (like today) I have to be at the hospital at 1 o’clock so it’s nice to have the option of going right after my morning coffee.

And so… I hope my new Internal Medicine doctor doesn’t tell me today that I have to stop exercising until they find out what is wrong with my heart! Ricardo thinks it may have been affected by the chemo, but aside from that one four-hour tachycardia session, I’ve had this problemita for over 25 years. I actually wanted to cancel the appointment after last week’s blood test came back with everything – including the potassium – normal, but Agustín convinced me to go and see what this new doctor had to say. It’ll be another solo hospital visit, but I don’t feel afraid about this one. And although I’ll still taxi there (I always feel safe in taxis), I’ll probably cycle or walk home.

Oh, and that’s my gym up there, or at least a bit of it. The yoga/pilates room and a section of the weight room. Not bad for the price, and it’s about a seven-minute walk from my house, which is not just a bonus, it’s also a prerequisite.

I am sooo enjoying this summer – can you tell?

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