Just in time to start week two of my eight week fitness journey. Everyone is on a journey now (cue roll eyes) and this is MINE.
Here I am in Letterkenny Town Park at 9am on a Saturday morning to do it all again.
There had been an horrendous downpour the night before and huge pools of water on the grass.
Michael Black, the man behind Urban Gym, is ready and eager to start. Clearly, he’s of the opinion that it’s not bad weather just the wrong clothing and ignores the weather conditions.
As 9am arrived, the dark clouds disappeared, the rain stopped and the sun came out. It was incredible. This Michael guy should change his name to Moses.
The urban gym moved to the concrete and another hour of pain lay ahead. Good pain, if there is such a thing.
Warm up exercices – so-called because they are supposed to warm you up – left me sweating so much I thought the rain had started again.
But these stretches and lunges were just to get the blood flowing. My blood was boiling!
Why had I come back for more?
Well, firstly I started losing my breath just going upstairs. I’m the wrong side of 40 and I wouldn’t mind thinking that I’m not half-way through life yet.
In my salad days, I was a decent soccer player, not bad at GAA and always enjoyed sport. Like every other kid, I wanted to play football on TV.
Then you wake up, smell the coffee, realise your salad days have included quite a few burgers and the only way you’re going to play football on any sort of screen now will be on the CCTV in the Tesco car park.
Circuits followed the warm up. All the exercises are designed to flex every muscle in your body. There was lots of skipping (again), strange Monty Python-style walking and dreaded press-ups (everyone cheats at press-ups by the way).
Then we were off to play on the slide in the children’s area at the far end of the park.
We didn’t actually get to slide down – just to run up and down the steps around it. I finished last.
More exercises for the upper body followed involving pushing your entire weight back and forward off bars.
To finish off, we had the dreaded 500 metre run around the park. I’m delighted to say I managed to knock 15 seconds off my world-beating record from the previous week.
That’s progress. It was over for another week – and ten o’clock had come around a great deal faster than it had on week one!
Then Michael suggests a ‘warm down’. I had actually heard of this. Premiership footballers do it. At last I could be a Premiership star for a few minutes.
It was the most relaxing and best part of the day. Lying on gym mats, we were talked through a series of stretches designed to minimise the damage done to our muscles earlier.
Just as that ended, it began to rain. This guy Michael is good.
To read The Secret Diary of an Urban Gym Novice: Part One click here:Tags: