Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Deaf Girly and the spinning class

It's January.

I spent most of Christmas eating chocolate. For every meal of the day. Including midnight feasts and snack times. I also spent a very small amount of Christmas doing exercise. I worked my biceps by opening the fridge, my glutes by getting on and off the sofa and my abs by leaning back to pat my stomach after a big meal. *raises eyebrow*

So naturally, I am joining the nation in a Get Fit for 2015 crusade.

This for me means going to the gym. And more specifically going to classes where I am trapped in a room for 45 minutes and cannot leave or slack off without being yelled at by an amazingly perky skinny – clearly didn't eat chocolate for every meal over Christmas – instructor.

I've covered the subject of exercise on my blog regularly over the years. I covered my experience of training for my first running race, my experience of a gym that didn't want to let me workout unaccompanied because it thought my deafness was a health and safety risk, and I have covered some of my more amusing Zumba classes.

More recently, I talked about how hard it is for me to hear in exercise classes and how I always wonder what I am actually getting out of them.

But yesterday, I forced myself to go to an evening spinning class. I got there half an hour early and took my time getting changed, before wandering into the studio to find the equivalent of a German sun lounger battle occurring. Ever spin bike was taken by towels, water bottles and clothing, but not a person was there.

'Ah-ha,' I thought, I will know this for next time, before taking my place behind a pillar on a bike that looked like it had done several rounds of the Tour de France.

The lycra-clad instructor arrived shortly afterwards, turned off the lights, turned up the music, turned on a disco ball (yes really) and started yelling into a microphone attached to her face.

From behind the pillar, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Although in all honesty, I am not sure that from in front of the pillar I would have had a better idea.

Very briefly, I considered requesting the eviction of a person on one of the bikes situated in a more convenient place for lipreading, but given that it had been reserved more than 40 minutes earlier, and I seemed to be invading some sort of spinning clique, I thought better of it.

So instead, I decided to focus on the person next to me and copy what she did.

Except for the duration of the first song, she was reading BBC news on her phone while paying no attention to whatever the hell the instructor was yelling about.

In short, it was the most odd 45 minutes of my week so far. And I have absolutely no idea if it did anything for my fitness whatsoever. Although I was quite red in the face when I came out, but that could have been from the sheer humiliation of the whole situation.

It got me thinking though, is there a loop system I could give the instructor so I could have a direct pick up to what she was saying? If I had that, plus I managed to get my towel on a bike to reserve it two days before the class was scheduled I might have a hope of actually doing a spinning class, rather than just cycling like a lunatic in a room full of strangers.

But my fitness quest is not going to stop there. I am also going to ask FJM to force me to get better at running. So I can do this. On my own. Outside. For free. Without anyone reserving anything with their towel, or a mad instructor screaming incomprehensible instructions into a microphone.

So keep a look out for a mad looking deaf girl running while clutching an egg timer (read all about the time I actually did run with an egg timer here) and the very lovely (and good at running) FJM jogging along next to her.

Coming soon to a park near you!


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Deaf Girly on the mountain

Today's blog comes from the snow.


The Swiss snow to be precise and after yesterday's downfall, there's a lot more of it, too.

I love being in the moutnains. I love how it can be so cloudy you can't see the end of your own nose one minute, and then blue skies and sunshine the next.

Right now, it is the former, with rain, which is why I am cosy and warm in the ski flat looking out of the window and writing this blog.

One thing I have done that has surprised me this week, is completely ditch my hearing aids. So I am back to being very deaf at all times. Up the mountain, it doesn't reallly matter. I can use my eyes to check if there's someone behind me rather than listening for the grating of their skies carving into the snow, and for FJM and DangerMouse, there's hand signals.

I've mainly ditched my hearing aids because when I put a helmet on my head they go absolutely crazy and start whistling like demented Jiminy Crickets. Add some sunglasses and it's just plain painful. Hearing aids and ski helmets are not for me.

The first day I skied without my hearing aids, they were the first thing I reinstated once I was back for the day. But for the last two days, I haven't bothered. And it's been quite nice actually. OK, so I haven't been able to hear what DangerMouse is saying, but FJM is doing a good job of translating for me.

What it's reminded me though is what life pre-hearing aids was like. When I had to rely on someone to be my ears and when I used to get so tired from listening, I'd fall asleep in group situations - last night I basically fell asleep on the sofa at 8pm and only woke to eat something before falling asleep again.

My hearing aids stop all that. They stop me from getting exhuasted with the effort of day-to-day listening. They give me a more effortless insight into what is going on.

So as soon as this holiday's over, they going to be reinstated. But for now, I'm rather enjoying my deaf(er) week. A week of regular naps, complete snowy silence and tech-free ears.


Friday, 5 December 2014

Deaf Girly's Thankful Friday

Much to my annoyance, I've fallen off the blogging wagon recently.

I promised myself that this wouldn't happen – but it has.

But it's Thankful Friday and I cannot possibly neglect this.

If I'm honest I've had a bit of a tough week. Sometimes being a grown-up, and dealing with the responsibilities you've chosen to take on, is hard.

Things like home-owning for example (*leaves that thought there).

So this week, when I've felt like running to the top of a mountain and screaming at the top of my lungs about the insanity of it all, I have reminded myself that there are loads of amazing things and people in my life. And for that I am very very thankful.

There's also a distinct lack of mountains in London. And if I did go out and scream at the top of my lungs, I would either be arrested or avoided like some crazy person.

And I think it's fair to say I'm not the crazy one here.

When things are trying in life, it's really easy to think that everything is bad. And it's not. It's just one thing. OK, so it might feel like the end of the world, but if you lay everything out, and assess it, it's really not.

I remember doing this when I was about 17. When I'd lost a lot of my hearing and I felt that my deafness was the end of the world and I couldn't see the good stuff anymore. It wasn't the end of the world, it was just a gentle nudge in a different direction to the one I thought I was going to be taking.

So this week, as Friday draws to a close, I'm reminding myself that the current crap in my life will probably give me a gentle nudge in a direction I might not otherwise have gone. And actually when you think about it like that, it's a little bit exciting.

This week however, I have people to thank for keeping me sane in the crap – Ma, London Aunt, Friend Who Knows Big Words, Hannah Banana, and of course the fabulous (UTH-06:00) FJM.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

There is one more thing I am thankful for this week and that is that I will soon be at the top of that mountain and, if it's people free, I am going to yell my head off. Get it all off my chest. Find some peace with the whole situation.

Bring it on.

Have a lovely weekend peeps