What to expect when reading bi-polar wife

Thoughts and feelings of living with bi-polar as a wife, mother, and person in the world.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Exercise - the evil of the cross trainer

When you are so depressed that even breathing is an effort, the thought of actually going to the gym is abhorrent and ridiculous all at the same time. Why would a fat and verging on suicidal woman, want to go and run on a machine like a hamster? In front of people? In a silly outfit of Lycra from the 1980's? I know - it sounds like a bad idea, BUT, endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't want to kill themselves. That's the theory.

Part of my return to mental health is the whole "Healthy living" thing, so after a chat with my cpn I finally go to the gym to sign up for "GP referral" - exercise on the cheap, with anonymity thrown in if you want. No one needs to know why you are there. It doesn't involve going up to the front desk and saying, "Is there a special scheme for the fat mad people", but does involve being weighed (OMG), having my blood pressure taken and being shown around by a very muscular, thin, super fit women in her 50's. I bet I could bounce ping pong balls off her abbs.

Sadly she actually introduces me to some other gp referrals who are absolutely ancient, heart patients and stroke survivors. I immediately do not fit in and promise that I will not be going for coffee with them affter my session of torture. They are lovely but I'm afraid if I break the news to them that I am mentally ill in quite a serious way, they might keel over with the shock or something.

So I am led around the machines - its a masochists version of Alton Towers, and masquerades as "fun" and "good for you." I try my first effort on the cross trainer. Its the weirdest sensation and completely throws off my sense of balance - and yes I do look ridiculous. After 3 minutes I'm heaving for breath and my legs are burning and wobbly. I am the epitome of the unfit. Lord only knows how I'm going to try anything else. We do bike, treadmill, rower, arm presses and some weird leg weights thing. At the end I'm so exhausted I might not make it to the car. My legs are so unstable I might not be able to depress the pedals or focus. My face is as red as a radish and I hurt in places I never knew existed.

But hold the phone. I also have a mild feeling of exhilaration. And its not of the psychotic tendency either. ooh. Maybe this is what people get addicted to, the mild euphoria and lightness of step. I like it. Sadly it doesn't last long and the following day I think I have rigor mortise. I have to roll out of bed as i can't lift my legs up properly and shuffling is the best I can do. It takes about 3 days to pass, but, with leggings and water bottle in hand, I trudge back to the air conditioned yet sweaty room, and commit to a program of wellness. I decide that I should try it at least 3 times, not because I want to, but because CBT tells you too. And I want to be well, and I do as I'm told.

Bring on the butt cheeks of Iron. Mad woman's in the house.