I had another killer session with Rama on Sunday morning. It started with a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer. And then the circuit began. It consisted of:
- Push-ups for 30 seconds
- Walking lunges for 30 seconds
- Bench press for 30 seconds
- Squats for 30 seconds
- Abs using the Swiss ball for 30 seconds
- Tricep dips for 30 seconds
It doesn’t sound that hard, does it? The first round wasn’t too bad – I could do it. The second round was tougher – I struggled. By the third round, I was ready to give up and go home.
When I’d recovered from that, I did three minutes on the bike and then we went to the stairwell. The gym is on the sixth floor. Rama told me to walk down to the fourth floor and then back up again. When I got back up to the sixth floor he told me to walk up to the seventh floor and then come back down again. As I got back to the sixth floor he told me to go back down to the fourth floor and come back up (again). I was supposed to do this three times but could only manage it twice.
We went back into the gym and did some lower body floor work followed by crunches and some other stomach exercises. I was supposed to finish off with a 90-second plank, but it finished me off in about 30 seconds. I was done.
On Monday I woke up sore all over – my triceps, shoulders and abs in particular. I went to the gym and did the cardio circuit Rama suggested in week 2. A 5-minute warm-up, 15 minutes on the cross-trainer, and then alternating 2 minutes on the treadmill and stepping machine five times. I was at the end of the third circuit and was ready to pack it in when ‘Don’t Give Up’ started playing on the iPod. I laughed out loud. My mum wondered what I could possibly find so funny while on the stepping machine (she decided to come to the gym with me for the first time), but she wouldn’t have understood.
I didn’t work out on Tuesday as I had to go to Sharjah with my parents.
On Wednesday morning I had my first yoga class at home. A friend of mine had arranged for a teacher to teach the two of us and three other friends (who I didn’t know) at my home. We were supposed to start at 10am. The yoga teacher was the first to arrive – he came in and I noticed he was wearing trousers and a shirt. Not your typical yoga gear – he was dressed to go to the office. He also didn’t have a yoga mat which I thought was very odd. I asked him whether he had a mat? ‘I’ll just use a bedsheet,’ he replied. ‘Oh, so you’ll be wanting to use one of my bedsheets then?’ ‘Yes, please.’ Tut. Every time he’d say something in Hindi, I’d reply in English. Eventually I told him that my Hindi wasn’t very good and could he please speak in English? We waited and waited for the others to arrive – by 10.20 we decided to start and the others could join us when they arrived.
It was weird doing yoga with a different teacher. I suppose every teacher has their own style and you get used to a certain person. He did do one thing that REALLY pissed me off though – in one pose, he told me I could stretch further. I told him that actually, no, I couldn’t. He then hooked his ankle over mine and pulled my leg further. I shouted at him because it hurt. And I was annoyed for the rest of the class. And when I thought about it later, I got annoyed again.
Anyway – only two of the girls showed up, the other two couldn’t make it. There was a bit of confusion over whether we were going to continue with the teacher as the timing/location didn’t suit everyone – and in the end they decided against it. Yes, I do want to continue practising yoga, but I’m not sure this is the right teacher for me! I’ve been given the number for another teacher and will give him a call.
On Thursday I had a session with Rama – I was finished by the end of it. I started with a warm-up on the cross-trainer. Then there was some lower body and abs floor work – crunches, sideways planks, and other horrible things. After that we did the circuit from a few days ago but rather than focus on x amount of push-ups, x amount of squats, and so on, he told me I would spend 30 seconds doing each exercise. And so it began:
- Star jumps
- Wall squat
- Leg-switching things (still no idea what they’re called)
- Bear crawl
- Tricep dips
- Punching – holding 3-kg weights
I’m sure I’ve missed one but I can’t remember what it was. It was tougher than the same circuit the week before – I was a wreck by the end of it.
After that there were two sets of walking lunges and two sets of a tricep exercise which involved me putting my hands on the edge of the treadmill (while it was stationary, of course) and then putting one hand on the floor and then the other, and then putting the first hand back on the treadmill and then the other. Yes, exhausting. But the torture still wasn’t over.
Then there were more squats and two sets of another upper body exercise. And finally a cool-down on the treadmill and some stretching. I was so ready to get back into bed after all that!
I didn’t go to the gym on Friday – I was hungover after my night out with the British expat group – and I struggled to go to photography too.
On Saturday morning, the doorbell rang at 10am. I was still in bed when my mum came into my room and told me that the yoga teacher had shown up. WTF? I texted my friend and told her he was at my house. ‘Oh crap, I forgot to tell him!’ I went out to meet him – I don’t know who was more shocked: me to see him at my house (still in his office clothes) or him to see me still in my pajamas. She spoke to him and told him we were still debating what to do and she’d get back to him. He left (muttering ‘Sorry for the botherings’) and I went to the gym. I wasn’t really in the mood – I did a 5-minute warm-up on the bike, 10 minutes on the cross-trainer and then another 25 minutes on the bike. I couldn’t deal with 2 minutes on each machine and just wanted to get it over with!
The eating part of it is going OK, I think. It’s so much easier telling someone what you want to eat than having to prepare it yourself! I’m definitely eating more fresh salad every day than I did in London – usually at lunch and dinner here. The one thing I do need to eat more of is breakfast – I don’t think I had breakfast all week! Something to focus on next week…
Read more updates here.