Laughing in the face of pain – really?

This is typical – I open up Vesper ready to blog, as something worth blogging about has just sprung to mind / happened. Only I get side-tracked by the tsunami of email flooding my inbox and, by the time I open WordPress, I can’t actually remember what I was going to blog about. Am I really getting like my Mother already?!

So I’m now staring inquisitively around my house, trying desperately to look for something to jog my memory and remind me what felt so important, funny or interesting a few moments ago. Does anyone else ever have such ‘senior moments’ at such a premature age, or is this just me?

OK, so I think it was this (it might not have been?) but if it wasn’t, then by the time I’ve written this, posted it, closed down Vesper, made a cup of tea to take to bed, jumped into my PJs and hopped into bed… I’ll remember what it actually was, and what was planned as an early night will end up another 2am finish – welcome to planet Boxy!


Every week I have a session with my personal trainer. He’s called Ade and reminds me a lot of my brother; I’m not sure if that’s because there are few people I let boss me around (Simon was one, Ade is another) or because he’s one of few people who I randomly trust (ie he hasn’t earned it, I just find myself trusting him).

Anyway, Ade’s been training me for around three years now. At first, he wanted me to go for an hour a week, saying that’s what it’d take to get me fit again – laugh my backside off, yes I did! Anyway, as someone with a short attention span, I said I’d rather do short bursts more frequently, so I did two half-hour sessions a week. This means he knows me pretty well and is now as much a person to rant at and let off steam, as a trainer! As money got tight, it reduced to just one session, but I’ve kept going and still see Ade every week.

It’s worth pointing out here, that Ade would beg to differ – only last Friday night, whilst I was out being led astray drinking with Paulie Paul, I texted Ade with all best intentions of giving him plenty of notice that, incase I was slightly hungover at 9.45 on Saturday morning, it could be prudent to postpone our session until Monday. It didn’t occur to me that Ade would be at the same wedding as Paulie Paul the following day, so whilst Paulie Paul articulated Friday night’s drinking antics, Ade’s compassion for my apparent considerate deferral soon dried-up, and Monday’s session became more like torture than training – ouch.

At the time, I figured fair play, and put up with the pain, albeit with the appropriate amount of whining and winging throughout and requests for compromise on the number of reps on each exercise. (Is it just me, or does anyone else do this? He says “right give me 30“, I reply “we only did 20 last time?” He responds “and?” so I ask “can we compromise and I’ll do 25?” His final answer “ok let’s compromise, give me 30“. I can’t win. Yet I pay for this?)

Anyway, god knows what he did to me last Monday, but since Tuesday I’ve had the stiffest pain in my neck and shoulders. It’s now a week later and I’ve still not managed to get more than a few hours’ sleep without waking up in pain as I turn over and put a teeny weeny bit of strain on my neck.

Right, hangover or no hangover, this is Ade’s fault so he can put it right, right? Well. Ade is, by profession, something more than a personal trainer. Don’t ask me what, but it’s something to do with sports physio or rehab for disabled people, kids with learning difficulties and keeping old people mobile. I kind of think he knows what he’s on about, so when he offers to do a sports massage on my back instead of training me this week (training was never going to happen in my state), I said fine. It wasn’t until an hour before that I got worried.

I’m leaving the office and a colleague asks what I’m up to this evening. I tell her. Her face goes white. “Oh my god” she says, “take paracetamol, lots of it, it flipping kills.” OK, so I have a very low pain threshold. Help. This is going to hurt? I thought it was meant to make it better? Oh man, what have I let myself in for, further retribution for postponing last weekend’s session? Long overdue proof that I did indeed need 60 minutes each week rather than 30? Or just an opportunity for Ade to inflict further pain on a client and get paid for the privilege? I was dreading it.


Well, I didn’t need to. It was fine. Whether it’ll have done any good or not remains to be seen, but psychologically I feel better (which is often half the battle).

As someone who likes to understand things (why does this do that, and what’s the name of this muscle, and how does it attach to that one… much like cars really!) I asked Ade to explain what he was doing as he did it. No idea what he was on about, and it could’ve been a load of waffle, but it sounded good and seemed to make sense! I can also see why I was warned it’d hurt – at times it did, but as he was telling me what he was doing / what to expect, it kind of over-rode the pain, if that makes sense?

The craziest thing was, whilst he was inflicting said pressure / pain on my shoulders, all I could do was giggle! For some reason, I couldn’t stop laughing! This could’ve been my body’s way of counteracting the pain, or I could’ve just been laughing at his trainers (that was the extent of my view during the process, as I stared through the hole in the massage table), who knows, but whenever it hurt I just starting laughing and saying “ouch” at the same time. Not sure what Ade made of this, but he just laughed back?!

So I’ve now swapped one kind of pain for another. The stiffness I’ve had all week is still there-ish, but is now joined by some delightful bruising (apparently this is normal, as he’s applied pressure to tissue – not sure the Andrex puppy experienced this side-effect though?) but within a few days, it should be much better. We’ll see.

I still can’t remember if that was what I wanted to blog about?…

ttfn /R xx

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