Thursday finds me tramping the dark mean streets of Bodicote a small village on the outskirts of Banbury. Council cuts means that there is hardly any street lights which is odd since the Council offices are located here.
It’s about 5 years possibly more since I was last here. It was for a planning appeal and we were starting to get a bit worried as the appeal was due to open and our barrister hadn’t arrived yet. Suddenly my phone rings, it’s the barrister, she has broken down with a flat tyre and is waiting for the AA man. I head off in my car and finally find her down a little country lane that her SatNav had sent her. We agreed that I would wait for the AA man and she would take my car back to the Council Offices. Eventually the AA man turns up and swaps the tyre over (when you get your tyres changed at a garage they seem to super tighten the nuts which makes it very difficult to change especially if you are wearing high heels, tights and a business suit).
I now have the choice of sitting here until 4pm with the car or driving it back to Bodicote… the car is a Jaguar… this car is worth more than my annual salary… I have never been as scared in my life as I was sitting behind the wheel of that car.
I am feeling very similar now as I am about to walk into a room full of strangers… strangers who I soon discover are pretty much to a woman slim, fit and pretty. Next to them I feel like a beached whale…
But Sarah the instructor is very nice and puts me at my ease telling me not to push myself if I don’t think I can…And then we are off… and boy is it intense.
I do my best to keep up but I am not sure my knees are up to it, all this holding of position… and then pulsing! I thank whatever gods there are that I have been cycling regularly for the last 3-4 months otherwise I would be left far far behind. The other problem is I don’t understand the jargon. I have vague memories from ballet lessons age 4… but I gave it up when it got serious and started talking about pile and 5th position…which is a shame as these are exactly the words Sarah has just used !
My best is not enough- these girls are fit and awesomely resilient. Towards the end I am clearly flagging but the end is a cool down and moves into some basic gym based fitness positions linked to yoga. I accidently learn what a “downward dog” being told when I am meant to be doing a plank “we are not on to downward dog yet”
At the end Sarah is reassuring that I am not as bad as I thought and that must of her ladies have been with her for several years…
And then it’s over and I am out into the dark mean streets of Bodicote once again. At home I collapse on the sofa… but the pain that night is nothing compared to the pain the next day when I can hardly move, yet somehow I have to make my way to London for a meeting despite not being able to bend my legs without my muscles complaining.