In the past, I have expressed frustration at tennis players who grunt their way through their matches, but I’ve found a whole new way to empathise with, and appreciate, their behaviour.
Last week I went on a 28-kilometre push bike ride with no preparation, so now every move I make is accompanied by an involuntary vocal exclamation of some kind.
For the last ten kilometres of our homeward bound beach to city and back ride, I chose the words “ouch”, “argh” and “owww” to push through my pain, but mostly I just moaned like a wounded animal, which I kind of was, because I also found the time to put on a fabulous display of how a middle-aged lady can awkwardly crash her bicycle in public and really hurt herself.
Following Yasinta and Tiani, with Kym and Katianna behind me, we rode across a narrow footbridge high above the River Torrens in Adelaide. Making sure there was room for passers-by, I clipped the timber barrier on the left hand side with my handlebar.
The black rubber of the handgrip caught and spun the whole front of the bike around, punching into my body. I clunked forward into the fence and then ricocheted backwards against the opposite railings – taking most of the hit with my right shoulder and elbow.
My bike and I blocked the whole path for a couple of minutes while Kym and Tiani peeled me off the pavement. I was a pretty quiet companion for a while there, until coffee and cake on the riverside in the city revived me.
The ride home was definitely much longer, further and harder than the trip in. The source of my pain moved from my bleeding and bruised bits and pieces to the bone-on-metal-like ache in my nether regions.
I am incredibly blessed in the derriere department, with plenty of padding to provide comfortable seating in all environs, but that darn bike seat just got harder and harder as the kilometres added up.
I did enjoy fits of giggles in between the agonised whining and whimpering, so if the tennis players go a bit silly between sets this year, I’ll totally understand why.
Exercise for 2019, check.