One of the last things my personal trainer said to me before I left the gym at our first session was “you will probably feel quite sore tomorrow”. She wasn’t lying.
I woke up the following day, somewhat brimming from the undeserved pride of having done my first bit of proper exercise in year. That feeling didn’t last. As I reached over to turn off my alarm, my arms felt heavy, weak and pained. That feeling did last.
Throughout the day, even the most basic tasks were a struggle. Crouching down to get a pan out of the cupboard felt like a mammoth challenge. Rolling a cigarette was a battle. Walking up the stairs? Forget it. I was getting staggering pain in muscles I didn’t even know existed.
Painkillers and video games at the ready, I bedded down for the day. A day of rest and it’ll all go away.
Sadly, this hope was ill-placed. Tuesday through Friday were a write off. It feels pretty physically pathetic that after a short batch of moderately intense exercise your entire body decides to shut down. No amount of frantic googling of DOMS and trying to cheer yourself up with the knowledge that apparently “most elite-level athletes experience DOMS” will shift the gloom.
Naturally all of this was exacerbated by the fact that the usual comforts were also now apparently gone. What do I do when I feel down, tired and lethargic usually? Binge eat starchy, oily, sugary, fatty, salty, delicious foods of course. Not any more. Even before my new food regime had kicked in (stay tuned for that!), I realised I couldn’t put into my first week’s food diary a long list of crisps, white rice, potatoes, cheese, pizza, ice cream and biscuits.
So despite my good ambitions and high hopes, the first week after my first ever trip to the gym left me feeling miserable and dejected. By Friday I start to think this new fitness thing really isn’t for me.