Monday 21 October 2019

How my Olympic ambitions left me spinning like a lemming

Angela Scanlon
Angela Scanlon
Bianca Jagger

Angela Scanlon

I've been attempting to exercise. I went for a run but I pulled a muscle so the Olympic dream was short-lived. I'm considering kettlebells, they at least sound like fun for torture instruments. I could do a dance class but it would basically be me replicating what I do at home after a bottle of wine: throwing shapes to Rihanna, just with a dose of public shame added into the mix. Of course, there's a possibility that this void will no longer need filling next week when it's no longer January, but I'm going to roll with it for now.

I'm doing a yoga class on Monday but it's unlikely that I'll sweat that much. I mean yoga, at a relatively basic level, is stretching. Systematic and breath-filled and wonderful as it is, Madonna did not get biceps like those doing stretches. I know there are hardcore types - bikram, which I tried before, but almost hurled when my face hit the mat and it smelled like mouldy dog. Gross. It also lasts a full 90 minutes, which, for any human adult, is an immense commitment considering you need to be hosed from a height afterwards.

I find it difficult not to be drawn into the loving arms of the more 'gentle' poses. My favourite is Shavasana which is 'corpse pose' and requires you to lie playing dead and thinking of your tummy - easy. But I need to have a chat with myself because a sporadic yoga class will not get me the abs I desire.

And so, I signed up for spin class. Actually it's 'Flywheel', a hardcore version. You have to wear special shoes that clip onto the bike so you can cycle like the clappers with no fear of your runners slipping off the pedals. I timidly walked into this darkened room, choose a bike in the back row and entered into a frantic rhythm of sprinting furiously and climbing determinedly.

People sweat. I mean, they really pump it. And since the room is dark, you can do your disgusting, contorted exercise face without self-consciousness or shame. You can go a delicious shade of beetroot without ever having to see it.

I felt empowered. As this fabulously toned 'womachine' shouted, we obediently did everything we were told. "Up, down, you can do it, faster, slower, yes you can. Push, drive, make it count". She shouted a series of clichés, which I lapped up, willing myself not to let her down. Looking around, it seemed we were all doing the same.

We all left walking on air, pumped, invincible… Not at all like spinning lemmings… Like some sort of weird social experiment that we all paid to take part in.



A hat is the exclamation mark in an outfit. No one wore them better than Bianca Jagger. Damn, that woman could make any old hat look delicious - even a bowler hat and usually everyone looks like an idiot wearing a bowler. Apart from on the odd hipster, headgear has kind of become obsolete. Unless, of course, we're talking about donning a feather fascinator at a family wedding. We're missing a trick not wearing some form of headwear during the day - if nothing else to distract from the under-eye bags or day-old hair.



She’s had her good days and bad but Sarah Jessica Parker — better known as Carrie Bradshaw — is still a style icon. She was responsible for spawning a whole host of trends back when she was strutting around NYC wearing a bum-bag with a straight face and spending more on shoes than any columnist, anywhere, could possibly afford! Sometimes it’s nice to give her a little nod, vintage Bradshaw’s hard to beat.

Irish Independent

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