Ok, so far my blogs have established that I am less fit than the average person. Safe to say that I am in the bottom quartile of fitness, ie 75% of the population are fitter than me. That is pretty rubbish.
So for me to be in awe of someone else’s fitness levels should be common place but it is not. This is due to the ‘athlete that once was’ lurking inside me from a bygone era. That exact same ghost actually won a Victor Ladorum at school – I was fit…damn it, fitter than a Nepalese shirpa. Well, not quite, but you get the point.
And as any ‘once was fit’ person will tell you, the ‘athletic ghost’ inside you never leaves. This affects the way you critically appraise other’s fitness because it is through the lens of my ‘athletic ghost’…regardless of how lardy I actually am now (finishes a mouthful of Snickers). For example, I watch Total Wipeout most weekends and secretly think, “I could do that!”…yeah right – about 20 years ago!
My athletic ghost has been challenged an jolted into submission of late. In general, most classes are pretty tough exercise routines but I have a newly discovered exercise pet hate: Burpees – named after a madman hell-bent on causing maximum pain to all who dare attempt them (not a substantiated theory by the way). This is the mother of all exercises. It starts with you stood up, dropping down into a squat thrust and then back up again and jumping in the air. Sounds easy? Give it a whirl – I guarantee after 30 seconds you will be wheezing like an asthmatic badger.
As part of a class Sensei had us do 15 Burpees followed by a short rest. Then 14 Burpees followed by a rest. Then 13 and so on down to 1. As Sensei shouted “Ichi” (1 in Japanese) my palpable relief was quickly quashed when I realised with horror that Sensei was going back up to 15. Vom time again!
Seriously though this guy’s duracel-like ability is awesome and inspiring. One day, perhaps my athletic ghost will transcend the spiritual world and become ‘real’ again but I can now say that my ‘athletic ghost’ has been thoroughly exorcised…and no, I haven’t spelt that wrong. I mean that it has been shocked into never returning to taint my view on the fitness of others.