I am working out on the treadmill. The gym trainer is instructing somebody on breathing techniques to adopt during cardio sessions.
I almost laugh out aloud as I remember a funny incident that happened about five years ago.
My two friends and I were filled with a sense of purpose that New Year. We decided to focus on getting fit by taking a brisk walk at 5 a.m., on all weekdays, in a sports stadium close to where we lived.
I am not a brisk walker, strolling is more my style, but peer pressure had me showing up and walking with resolve.
I was also taking aerobics classes at that time, and my trainer had taught us to keep breathing out in short puffy bursts during any cardio activity.
About a couple of days into our 5 am walk program, I decided to put this breathing technique into practice.
My friends had gone on ahead, as I struggled to choose the right song on my iPod to help me keep up a brisk pace.
That done, I started walking- walk -huffpuff, walk huffpuff…breathing out as instructed. I quite liked this…. I hastened my pace to catch up, but my friends seemed to walk even faster.
I broke into a jog…jog huffpuff, jog huffpuff. For some reason, my friends had also broken into a jog.
Finally, I stopped and called out. They turned, saw me and stopped. I huffpuffed as I jogged towards them and asked them why they were walking so fast.
They doubled up with laughter. One of them said, “I thought it was a dog behind us, and as I have been bitten by a dog once, we didn’t want to take any chances.”
They broke into peals of laughter. I joined in, as I imagined the scene. Two women walking in the stadium, darkness all around except for the stadium lights and an imaginary huffpuffing dog chasing them….!
These last five years I have polished my breathing technique. No one has mistaken me for a dog since then.