Category Archives: Gym

Virgin Active – the unlucky gym

As previously noted it was at the gym that my beloved iPhone hit the floor and smashed itself out of my life – an event that took some weeks to get over and even some NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) visualisation techniques from one of my new friends (Yay! I have some) which went something like this

–       can you see yourself dropping the phone? Yes – so imagine that exact moment (Owww don’t like thinking about this so much – not helping!)

–       Now get the picture in your mind, and halve the size of the photo you have made (Okaaaayyy – not sure where this is going)

–       Now the photo is at half size, blur the picture so its not in full focus (soft lighting is now going to lessen my pain apparently!)

–       Now the picture is blurry and half the size – reduce the size some more

–       Now put the picture into black and white

–       Now move it to the very back of your brain – far far back in your memory where you can’t see it so much anymore (not sure where the back of my brain was – seems tough to find most parts of my brain these days)

Do you know what – it actually helped! She of course thought I was crazy to be obsessing over something as silly as smashing my phone (might I add she was able to go home and log into her laptop from any part of her home or garden through her broadband wireless so could not possibly feel my pain) and I thought it was crazy to make my pain into a picture, make it fuzzy, take the colour out and pack it away in the back of my brain (as if I even knew where that was) – but somehow it worked a little.  I still missed my phone desperately but somehow not quite so badly. Who knew – perhaps I should look into NLP some more there might be lot of ways it can help me if I am particularly open to visual imagery, but then again maybe not. A little later we worked on picturing chocolate tasting like kidneys and liver, that worked momentarily but unfortunately I am still on the chocolate train to bigger size jeans on a regular basis. Which is one of the many reasons why I needed to go to the gym in the first place.

Anyway – hot of the heels of the iphone debacle (when I was using the backup ‘pink phone’) the gym caused me more grief – or I caused me more grief – I prefer to try to blame others when I can – as you can probably tell by now, see what you think. I was having a perfectly pleasant morning in the gym and realized I had to hustle a little bit so that I would make my 9am golf lesson on time.  I gathered all my items, ensuring they were correctly stowed – couldn’t afford to lose another phone at this point and hurried down the steps through the exit turnstile and out the automatic sliding doors of the gym – that have a slight, tiny, probably 2 inch step – which on this occasion I misjudged completely and went over on my ankle and twirling about with the large likelihood of sprawling myself all over the entrance to the gym.  Oh no I thought (hindsight is a wonderful thing – should have gone with the sprawl) I am not falling over at the entrance to the gym – so I gave myself a mighty twist and put all that weight on my ankle which was at a somewhat disturbing angle and kept myself upright and all my possessions in hand.  Immediately I felt the most frightening pain – it really really hurt and tears came whether I was liking them or not. 

I limped to the side of the entrance with giant sobs escaping me when I could get a breath in.  Really – this was worse – if I had gone with sprawling option at least I could have jumped up quickly and moved away. This was going to take a long time to hobble to the car – and it was a manual. I wasn’t sure if my swelling ankle could take the gear changing required. Ouch ouch ouch – cry cry cry.  People rushed at me from everywhere – can we help you, are you OK? Yeah – I’m fine – that’s why I have the world’s greatest cankle growing before your eyes……

I did manage to hobble away at last and hop to the car – looking totally ridiculous  – get in and then wonder what I was doing??? Had to get back out to take my shoe off as it felt like my circulation was being cut off and I couldn’t negotiate the bending and twisting while actually in the drivers seat.  In the end I was 20 mins late for my golf lesson.  The golf pro – bless him – got me a bag of ice a chair and then I sat down with him and the girl whose lesson was before mine (and was well chuffed with her extra time J) and had a discussion about religion, atheism and agnostics which did help somewhat in taking my mind off the issue at hand.  When my time was up – another punter to teach – I moved outside to watch some other friends on the driving range (I think I have mentioned before that golf is a social skill where I live now right?)  before I had to do the inevitable and get back in the car and drive to pick my 3-year-old up from school.  Ouch ouch ouch – all hurt a lot.

Having never twisted, sprained or ‘twinged’ (apparently not a real word according to spell-check) my ankle before I had no idea what to expect in terms of recovery times or healing process. I thought – she’ll be right in a few days, Wednesday now – back at the gym probably next Monday.  I was only off by 3 and a half weeks!

Firstly the cankle was so large that I couldn’t really wear any shoes other than flip flops (I know that’s an English term but Aussies would say ‘thongs’ and then there are other nationalities that think a ‘thong’ is something else entirely) – so I was restricted to one type of shoe attire – but given my shoe collection is not too extensive that was hardly the worst thing. 

The first week I couldn’t sleep on my stomach as when you lie on your stomach your legs are out behind you and your ankle has to bend somewhat to accommodate being flat on the bed – NO NO NO – that did not work. I LIKE sleeping on my stomach, the only other times I haven’t been able to do it has been when I have been in the second and third trimesters of my pregnancies and I didn’t like it then and I didn’t like it now.

Every morning when I woke up I had to hop down the stairs as it took me about an hour of being up and about to be able to put any weight on it – and plant it firmly on the ground. This was usually just in time to leave the house to do the school run in my MANUAL car.  After which the cankle throbbed for a good few hours – until it was time to do the next run and pick up the little buggers – I mean my precious children at two different locations at two different times.

It was depressing so it required extra attention to myself like chocolate!  My love of the Cadbury Whisper found a new high and if you are eating chocolate you might as well drink soft drink to get the full sugar high effect! My drink of choice is Coke – the real thing – no Diet, Lite or Zero please – poor imitations. I was buzzing daily and it wasn’t with exercise endorphins.

After two weeks I was somewhat concerned about the fact that it didn’t seem to be getting much better, so after much prodding from my husband who had to put up with my daily moaning and morning hopping acts I decided to go to the doctor.  I was a bit embarrassed about going – you see it had swollen up – and still was swollen but it had never actually bruised so there was nothing except the swelling to show. I didn’t think that was enough to warrant a visit but I caved as I couldn’t stand it anymore either.  I could only get an appointment at a time when I had my 6-year-old son in tow as I had picked him up from school, so off we went together.  He was very concerned and I had to promise him this wasn’t a sneaky doctors visit for him – it was for me and was about my ankle as it was quite sore and didn’t seem to be getting better.  He seemed to be reassured by this information that we weren’t going to hand him over for some random booster shot (his greatest fear and he is quite right that I would never tell him in advance about it, I’ve been there done that)  – all the necessary information in hand he arrived at the doctor’s office and announced to the receptionist –

My mum needs an x-ray – she has a broken ankle

No no – I don’t really, I would just like to have the doctor have a look at it

Doctor arrives

My mum needs an x-ray – she has a broken ankle

No not really

Doctor examines the cankle – does this hurt? Does this hurt? Does this hurt? Where does it hurt the most?

Anyway – the outcome is that it isn’t broken – no x-ray required but it is quite severe ligament damage given the way that it looks and what has happened.  The only difference between when it is broken and ligament damage is the sympathy you get from others. Ligament damage can be very painful (Thank you! I know!) and it can take a long time to recover from.

What are you taking for it?

Taking – I should be taking something?

Here are some anti-inflammatory thingies (although being a doctor he didn’t say thingies) – make sure you take them every day for 10 days and it should give you some relief. Do you want some painkillers as well?

 Ooh – the thought of drugs – v enticing but no I said – I’ll be fine.

Well if you need them later you can come back.

I was really hoping I wouldn’t need to come back – he told me it was a 90 day ‘injury’ and I if I was going to go over on my ankle and completely destroy it – it would be between now and January – Nice!  Just walk carefully – no heels and no running for now. Oh dear – can feel more Cadbury Whispers coming on….

So after 4 and a half weeks I was able to put my foot in a takkie (South African term for runner, trainer, sandshoe etc) an exercise that was impossible a week before – and return to the gym and hand over the month old ice pack they had kindly given me the day of my injury. A venue which I am trying to rebuild my relationship with as it has caused me grief on more than one occasion since I have joined – not the least of which includes a monthly email (disguised as a newsletter) that includes my weight, blood pressure, BMI and body fat percentage – yes really!  If you want to change the figures in it apparently you have to actually change your body…..

Managed a shortish session on a few machines and got out the door in a dignified manner (no sprawling or tears) within about an hour. 

Result – ankle slightly swollen (no worse than at the end of preceeding days) iPhone – intact – VICTORY! I might go back tomorrow.


The day I lost my connection with the world

With no home phone or Internet and not the strongest of social networks yet in place – the smashing of the iphone (my favourite electronic device) was a catastrophic experience.  I viewed it as my link to the outside world – certainly to my email account, Facebook, twitter and all my family and friends in Australia, Hong Kong and elsewhere. If I couldn’t check these at least 20 times a day for possible updates as well as check what the weather was like in HK, Sydney, Adelaide and Vancouver, check the Sydney Morning Herald headlines and try for a new high score on Flight Control in between my four school drop offs and pick ups what else was there for me?

When Telkom tells you it will be 6 weeks plus until you have a home phone (it was 10 weeks and then we could only receive not make calls for three days) and then another two or so weeks until you have a broadband connection (such as they are in South Africa – still don’ t have) then the first thing you should do is go and get some kind of metal box to put any current connection you have to the outside world in to keep it super safe until such time as you have alternative methods of contact. I know this now – at the time as I marched into the gym juggling my car keys, sunglasses, water bottle and towel and my gym card with the phone tottering somewhere near the top of the pile it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.

SMASH went everything onto the slate floor. Embarrassed to have dropped everything I was carrying at the entrance of the gym and not wanting to draw attention I quickly picked everything up and ran on – once inside I stopped to check the state of my possessions, my heart skipped a beat and then raced – my iphone screen was blank and white, not black which may have meant it turned off somehow, still on and white.  Then it beeped the text message sound – phew I thought  – it still works.  However try as I might I could not work out how to see that text message. I spent at least five minutes trying on and off and all manner of things to get that phone to work.  It took all my effort not to turn around and walk straight out of the gym, jump in the car and speed to the Apple shop.

I got on a machine – can’t even remember which and tried to concentrate on doing 20 minutes of whatever silly exercise I had selected – but I had to keep going back to the phone and testing to see if there was any change.  The next machine I did three lots of five minutes – stopping each time to check the phone. Nothing! At some stage I received another text message and jumped straight to it – but alas still nothing.  I then moved upstairs to do something else that I can’t remember and one of the trainers came and asked me how my phone was as he saw me drop it on the way in – I told him it was probably broken and I was very upset – ‘Shame man’ was his reply. Shame! Shame!?#% – Too bloody right it was a shame – did he have no concept of how awful it was?

He then asked me (quite bizarrely I thought) if I was going to walk home? What? I said no – thought I would drive as it was a tad far but I appreciated his comment and knew I should be working out a bit harder at the gym. It was then that he waved my car keys in front of me, seems I had left them downstairs on another machine in my haze of upset about the phone. That was pretty much enough for me – I checked my watch, I had been there for an hour so I was out of there, speeding home for a shower and onto the Apple shop for some kind of fix.

By the time I got home, had a shower and made a tearful phone call to my husband on someone else’s phone – If you need us today you will have to call Gina’s phone because my iphone is broken (pause for sharp intake of breath) I’m very upset here, all my contact with the outside world is gone – sob sob – It was time to pick up my kids from school. Then I had to do homework and play dates and tea parties so it was THE NEXT MORNING before I could get to the Apple store for what we all know now was further devastating news.

Well – if you had bought the phone here in South Africa we could do some crazy thing on this computer and try to restore it but because you bought it in HK it has some strange lock thing on it and there is nothing you can do…..sorry (I think that I now know that wouldn’t have worked but it was devastating to hear just the same)

But I have been looking online (in the Apple shop since I got there – as had NO OTHER INTERNET ACCESS – just trying to show how devastating this was for me) it says this type of problem can be fixed – even if its not by Apple.  I am prepared to risk it –where can I go to get someone to look at it?

I’m sorry the only places that might be able to fix it are in Capetown or Johannesburg – nothing here in Durban.

Okkkaaayyyy – well then (my absolutely wonderful husband had said to me if it couldn’t be fixed I could look into getting another one – he knew how hard I was hurting) how about getting another one? What are the costs?

Oh – we don’t have any at the moment – there’s a shortage in South Africa currently.

At this point I felt that tears were appropriate – but apparently the Apple shop guy didn’t so I compromised with quivering chin and walking blindly out of the shop feeling quite nauseous.

I did pursue the options he mentioned in Capetown and Joburg but they actually never answered their phone – and I must have rung them 10 times – their web sites were also well dodgy, so I decided I wasn’t putting my iphone in a box and sending it somewhere that I wasn’t sure actually existed. There was probably some very high tech way to contact them via some messaging system I am not yet familiar with but – it was a no go.

I went back to the Apple store a bit later when I was a bit more together to put myself on the list for a new iPhone when they arrived (sorry we can’t tell you when – NO!?!?) and waited and waited and waited.

The following week my husband went to Hong Kong for work (lucky bastard) and tells me he even tried to find me one there but apparently the cupboard was also bare.

I pulled an old pink mobile phone out of the cupboard and began using it – after all I didn’t have a home phone and I couldn’t sulk forever and I needed to be able to text and try to check out facebook, twitter and so on. It was never the same and there was not a lot of love – every time I tried to check facebook it would cut out and the predictable texting drove me crazy. I still really missed my iPhone – as did the husband, mostly because he was pretty sick of me complaining about it.

6 weeks later (still no home phone) I had a call from a friend – she had an iPhone on order at Vodafone and they had called to say they had a batch of 10 in store – BLESS HER – she asked them to reserve two and one was for me…….!!!!! YAY

After I picked it up I went into the Apple store to let them know I didn’t need to be on the waiting list anymore.  They said OK just as well as they didn’t know when anyone was getting any in and the list was very long.  I told them Vodafone had some – they were shocked.  I don’t understand how these things work but you would think the Apple store could get some of their own stock before a Telecom provider.

Either way I am back in iPhone heaven and happy to be there – no metal box yet but trying to be much much more careful – no more juggling!  Now I just have to work out how to change from the HK itunes store – no doubt an effort that will take another few months. And the Apple TV bought from HK is still in the box – awaiting some kind of broadband connection at home – but I am back with my baby and I am loving it.