Wellbeing. It’s all the rage now. No longer is it good enough to keep yourself and your team safe but you also have to encourage them to be well. A well team is a happy team. Well, (no pun intended) it may surprise you to know that I buy into this modern day philosophy hook line and sinker.
“Why?”, I hear you ask, when there is so much glorious opportunity here for piss take and cynicism. The truth is I am a recent believer and it has been borne out from my own experiences. For years I hid away from really trying too hard at anything, just in case I failed. I could have been a top rugby player, journalist, golfer, comedian, even a CEO for gods sake; but no, it was easier to hold that bit back and know that my failure was because I hadn’t thrown everything at it. Recognising this now of course makes me sad, but it’s never too late. A fit body leads to a healthy and happy mind if other life circumstances allow it to, and I intend to lead from the front here on in.
However, there are still occasional challenges to this new utopia. One such challenge was getting assigned to a “Wellbeing coach” as part of a recent work programme. A well meaning sole for sure, but just not my cup of tea. A very formal verbal lecture followed a more physical prodathon, during which my voice seemed to make no difference to her pre determined prognosis. “Well, your broken ankle shouldn’t have stopped you doing THAT much, and well, swimming is all well and good, but not varied enough. You need radical action. Aqua jogging!”
Now, I’ve been pretty proud of my healthier approach to life over the last few years. Sure, I’m no Olympic gymnast, and the occasional sausage roll and cooked breakfast still find their way onto my radar, but overall both working out at the gym and running have become regular standing dishes in my weekly routine. There for much longer has been swimming. I enjoy it. It doesn’t hurt, it wakes me up, it enables me to clear my mind, think through issues troubling me and plan for the day. All while giving the body a good working over. This women pooh poohed that in a jiffy. And it naffed me off.
Now, what I should have done is just ignored it. But somewhere in my psyche she must have made me think I was missing out. Aqua jogging is FAR better for you, it will test more muscles, you will lose more weight, you will feel better as a result. Never been one to be able to totally dismiss the allure of a silver bullet, however unlikely.
One morning and I finally succumb. The pool was empty this particular morning, and despite a slight hangover, I was still buzzing with energy and enthusiasm from the combination of my new found zest for life, a bottle and a half of Chardonnay, and a fantastic evening that finished far too early. With this heady mix rippling through my brainwaves I took the somewhat unexpected decision at the end of my 50 lengths, to remain in the pool, and give the miraculous Aqua Jogging a try.
3 lengths in, trying to ignore that fact that I knew I looked like a twat, I suddenly realised I was being watched. Through the glass, in the gym, starring straight at me, was a man. Even worse, it was a man I knew. From the apartments. Who I see most days. And who I have just got friendly with as a result of my more positive and engaging perspective on life.
Sure enough, just at that instant, I tripped. Straight onto my bad ankle. I went face down into the water, spluttering, perhaps lacking in grace, and nearly drowned. The withering look he gave me told me our recent friendship was over before it had truly begun. For the rest of the week I approached the communal lifts and hallways with trepidation.
From now on jogging and swimming will be kept well apart.