The Yo-Yo and the Ninjas


When my blood sugar is too high i feel sluggish, tired and irritable.  When it’s too low I become light-headed, useless and prone to keeling over.

And then, there is yo-yo-ing

I woke up with blood like syrup this morning so I took extra insulin.  I was a little too enthusiastic about the insulin: two hours later I was light-headed and had to steal biscuits at play-group.  Of course I ate too many and ricochetted to syrupy highs again by lunch-time.

Up, down, up.  It’s hard to describe how this feels, so let me tell you: it’s worse than being a hormonal teenager ever was.  Today is the last of my precious Thursday afternoons with hubby and I look set to be spoiling it.  We have an argument in the street: he thinks I am low and should test, but I disagree and stamp and shout.  He turns out to be right.

‘For f***’s Sake,’ I complain as we arrive at the climbing wall, ‘That was bad.  I still need cake before we start.’

It happens they’ve got my favourite – coffee and walnut – but I have temporarily forgotten to be positive again.  I have felt sick all day.

I have forgotten to be positive, that is, until hubby sits us down at the window overlooking the climbing wall.

Suddenly I perk up.  ‘Excellent view,’ I say.

There are some boulderers bouldering down there.  Actually, bouldering is too strong a word.

Boulderers are to climbers what racing greyhounds are to canines:  extremely fit buggers who perform short bursts of athletic prowess but spend the rest of their time content to lie in the sun.

So boulderers do short, strong powerful bursts of climbing and then lol about, looking at the wall and considering.  At least, that is the sort of ‘bouldering’ that is going on below me right now.

And did you know that greyhounds have perfect anatomy with not an ounce of fat, so you can see the outline of every muscle?


Cliffhanger 2009, Women's Final.  Photo by Milnes, posted on UKC

Yes, you guessed it.  These boulderers are lazing around, the male ones sans t-shirts, looking like a band of Greek Gods.

As I said: excellent view.

One of the Gods starts talking about a route.  I know this the same way as you can identify a group of climbers across a crowded pub:  he lifts his hands and starts miming a sequence of holds.  There seems to be a sit start, a side-pull matched to a very horrid-looking crimp, and an unfeasable leap from there to the top.  Not that I am paying attention.

I am just finishing my cake when one of them finally moves.  It is a woman and she practially flows up the wall, with all the body-tension of a ballet dancer.  I am now turning somewhat green.

‘D’you think I’m too old,’ I ask hubby wistfully, ‘to ever be like that now?’

Hubby swirls his tea.

‘Maybe not.  Not if you trained at the wall four nights a week and did Ninja-yoga on your days off.’

‘Hmmmm’ I say.  ‘Not realistic.’  Hubby’s about to bugger off for three months and there aren’t four nights a week worth of child-care.

The children-impeding-exercise problem is probably universal.  Supervising Tiddler on the play-park one day – a nice, cold grit-stone day – I notice two little girls who appear to be unnatrually good at the monkey bars.  Then I clock their Dad, twitching violently on one of the benches until he can contain himself no longer.  He goes over, grabs the monkey bars himself and starts pull-ups.

I watch him sideways.  He has a lot of muscle over his shoulders compared with his chest.  There is little meat on the rest of him at all:  he’s the chicken drumstick that gets left on the barbecue.  And when he finally starts monkeying along the bars, he isn’t swinging:  he’s holding his body rigid.  Reaching out and grabbing the next one as causally as if he were reaching a banana.

I go over to my daughter, smile, and – so that the bloke can hear me (my hubby tells me that this is an objectionable and distinctly South-Yorkshire way of communicating with strangers) – I say:

‘Hey Toddler!  I’m playing a new game.  It’s called, ‘Spot the frustrated climber.’

‘Stop the fust-ated climber, Mummy?’ Toddler asks, innocently.

And the guy smiles sheepishly and I grin back, feeling a flicker of sympathy – empathy, even – although he is obviously a Ninja already.

It gets me thinking.

Another weekend, another playpark.  This one is full of cool, modern-style climbing-frames but amongst them I notice one of those rocket / rocking-horse things that were common in the eighties.  And a set of parallel bars, hand-distance apart, that puzzle me at first – until I remember that in my day, these had barrows positioned beneath them (as confirmed by this picture google found of that very same playpark in an earlier life).  Now, to stop kids breaking their necks, the barrel has been removed.


Perfect for attempting leg-raises.  Even if you’re the sort of person for whom attempting leg-raises is a bit like trying to undo wheel-nut with a kids’ plastic spanner.  I wander over to it, try to look nonchalant, and begin another phase of my early mid-life crisis.

Then I have to break off because I can feel my sugar going low.

You know that thing South-Yorkshire people do, when they address someone by ignoring them and speaking to someone else?  Well hubby is begining to embrace it.

He’s taking advantage of my mouth being full of jelly-babies.

‘Do you know,’ he says, conversationally to his Dad, ‘if she didn’t have to eat so many sweets because she’d corrected with too much insulin, she’d probably have a figure like a greyhound.’


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s