My Minor Success (and other stories)

I haven’t been writing about my body very much this summer, because small successes don’t make good stories.

Better to write about the time when I went tripping across a pub beer-garden wearing a single flip-flop.  I was trying so hard not to drop the three pint-glasses that I let go of Tiddler’s foot with my elbow and I dropped him instead.  He fell from my shoulders onto concrete.

And no, I hadn’t had ANYTHING to drink.  And didn’t get anything after that, because the guy on the next table called 999 and told them Tiddler kept loosing consciousness.

And no, Tiddler wasn’t loosing consciousness and I knew that.  He was trying to go to sleep, which is why I’d made for the pub beer-garden in the first place.  But his sleepiness certainly worried the paramedics so I let them take me to hospital just in case.

And no, the paramedic couldn’t wake him up either when he went to sleep in the aumbulance, which is when they decided they were putting the blue lights on.

And no; we didn’t wait for triage at all…..

Which is when TIddler decided it was far too exciting to sleep any longer, sat up and started to smile and coo.  Little bugger.

Anyway:  where was I?  Better stories than my small success.

A routine hospital visit this time:  a nightmare thirty-minute wait.  We trooped to the loo together to do a sample (Mummy, Mummy!  Are you going to drink it?), read Hello magazine and sang Twinkle Twinkle on loop.  Unfortunately Tiddler still got restless and decided to drive his toy car up the leg and into the crotch of a mortified bloke.

When we were finally called in to see the nurse it was a great relief that she had a young woman with her who clearly wanted to play with the kids, allowing the nurse and I to concentrate on my diabetes in peace.  It was only after the appointment that I was asked to fill in a survey about the doctor I’d just seen.

‘I didn’t see the doctor.  I just saw the nur- oh, hang on.  That doctor.  Right.  Yeah, that doctor was excellent.’

So misconceptions can make interesting stories too.

But not so minor success.

You know the feeling.  Someone posts their training run on Facebook and you’re not supposed to think: ‘that’s not very far / fast,’ or ‘what a total show-off.’  You’re supposed to think:  ‘Go them!  Look at that developing athletic prowess!’

But lately I’ve noticed myself becomming more supportive.  ‘Proud’ should be encouraged  and ‘smug’ (derogatory-speak for ‘proud’) should be spun more positively or else shouldn’t exist at all.  Pride in your body is what keeps you exercising and it helps if your friends are proud of you, too.

I would say that:  I’m a smug person now.  It started with a few core exercises and then a bloke with wince-worthily shiny muscles: thank goodness this was you-tube because I couldn’t concentrate on his face.  Never-the-less it was a useful experience;  I was soon seeking out playparks with monkey-bars to exercise the kids in – and  learned to do a pull-up.

And the thing about being a tiny bit stronger is, you start to climb harder too.

‘Really?’ our friend Gareth dripped sarcasm.  ‘Who’d’ve thought it?’

But it wasn’t long before he installed a pull-up bar in one of our doorways.  I’m pleased to report that I can do three pull-ups now.

And do you know about campus boards?  Those big intimidating things at the climbing-walls, that the likes of me compeltely ignore?

‘Are you sure?’ I say to Gareth.  ‘Isn’t their some unwritten rule that I’m not actually allowed on there?’

But apparently not: Gareth and Naomi showed me some simple exercises.  That opened my mind a bit.

The biggest breakthrough however, was one day at the kiddy-wall.  The kiddy-wall has colour-coded routes according to their difficulty, and in my head these colours could be split into two groups:  ‘routes that Liz can attempt’ and ‘routes that Liz will never climb because she took up climbing too late / isn’t strong enough / doesn’t understand how anybody actually gets hold of those holds / has too many children.’

Except, one day I looked around and realised that I had now done all the Lizable routes.  Wow.  If I wanted a new project at the kiddy-wall, I was going to have to venture into the second territory:  I was going to have to try a black.

So I did.  I was sure to pick one tucked away in a corner so that no-one could see that I was trying it.  The bad news was, no-one saw me succeed.

So I put something on Facebook.  Like, I did a black.  Does that make me a real climber now?

The replies proved that my Facebook friends are nicer people than me.  I think someone used the word ‘inspiration….’

But hey, you must be bored already.  Let me tell you a good story – perhaps about the night Big Sprog vomitted all over my sleeping bag – instead.


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