Rupert woke up on a Saturday, after a hard night of partying, and swore. “Motherfucker”. “Never again.” I wouldn’t blame Rupert. He had a bitch of a hangover, his head throbbed with an unrelenting ferocity, and he had just had enough.
“I’m thirty four. Why am I still having hangovers?” He did not intend for last night to get that rowdy. But I guess we all know, turning a drink and a dare gets progressively harder and harder as the night progresses when you start getting hammered.
“I need to fix myself. I need me some yoga and some exercise. I need me some fitness.” Rupert was no stranger to these resolutions. However, today could be different. After he and Lisa parted ways, quoting Rupert on this, the house has been quite empty. Added to which his flatmate Samuel, that unquenchable guzzard, had left last night for a business trip that could take the entire week, and the room was suddenly empty for the first time in the past few months. This would be a golden opportunity to try a few new things. No Sam around to mock him or ask him to embrace his ‘dark side’. Good.
“Let’s start with some light yoga, I can Youtube this.” Rupert scrolled through a bunch of videos and checked out various trainers through a series of criteria. The likes on the videos, the subscribers to each channel, whether the video was too long or too short, and of course, how hot the instructor was. Two hours, a meal, a nap and half a dozen distractions later, Rupert finally found the perfect video. Twenty minutes, and fit all his criteria. He resolved to wait till 5pm, after all, he had just eaten. At 7pm, he looked at the time and went- “Oh bother. I might as well do it tomorrow.”
But somehow some shame crept in. He looked at himself in the mirror and cursed himself roundly for attempting to yet again sabotage his own well-intentioned plans. “Look at me. We are doing this. We can do this. Be better. Do you like looking at yourself? I don’t. Let’s get rolling.” And with his resolve strengthened, he decided to once again tackle the task at hand, marshaling all his willpower. He began the exercises and initially found it difficult to keep pace with his breaths. The instructor kept asking him to breath in and continued talking for eternity without ever asking him to breathe out. He breathed in the peace and let out his thoughts. He aligned himself with his inner flow and stretched. Stretched his mind and his mental boundaries. The yoga was a brutal report card on his abilities. Once a champion swimmer, he could now barely touch his own toes as his paunch belly came in his way. Beads of perspiration trickled down an already moist and hot face, as he struggled to keep up with the pace of the poses. “I will not give up. If it means that I try extra hard to touch my head to my feet, so be it. Anyway, I bet loads of beginners get stuck here and never repeat. Hah! I’ll definitely be able to do all this in five days.” With these words of encouragement, he rose like a cobra and stretched backwards for one last time, lifting his toes in a beautiful rendition of a ballerina who still had a long way to go.
Rupert slept peacefully that night. He woke up the next day without any incident, but by noon, noticed a slight dull ache at the small of his back. “Huh, probably one of those cases that goes away with practice.” By the evening, it was a definite sore back, and he opted against continuing his resolve. “No need to break my back and forswear well-intended plans for the rest of my life. I can take a day’s rest and I’ll feel better tomorrow.” He lay back in bed, rolled over to his natural position on his stomach, and waited for sleep to hit him.
Monday morning, Rupert’s life was on fire. He could not move. “Oh God, Oh God, Oh God” spluttered Rupert, the pain making him religious. Rupert tried to sit on his haunches, he couldn’t even get on his back. He scooted towards the edge of his bed, eased his legs off to the floor, and pushed against his hands to stand up. He couldn’t locate the pain, try as much as he did, pressing and prodding his back and buttocks. Nothing in particular seemed to hurt, but at the same time, everything was hurting with the pain of a million torn muscles crying. Now what? “Fuck, I can’t go to work today.” He looked for his laptop, which was on the bed. He leaned over to pick it up and the pain shot through his back and his legs, forcing him to arch his back up and take a step back. He resolved this seemingly insurmountable problem by climbing back into his bed with his knees, leaning on his side and pushing the laptop to the corner of the bed. He then rose again, and agonizingly squatted enough to palm his laptop and walk out to the living room. He quickly typed out a few words and claimed his day of rest.
“What the hell! Where did this pain come from?” Rupert quickly reviewed his Sunday, which passed just like any other day. He woke up, had a big bowl of chocolate cereal, played video games on his phone slouched in his couch. He had then watched a movie while laying down, before falling asleep. He had taken a shower, dressed and hunkered down on his bed. Propping a pillow behind him, he had responded to emails, reviewed his work and then watched Youtube videos until he fell asleep. Nothing unusual. Nothing he hadn’t done for the past ten years. His mind went back to the yoga. “What else can it be? Yoga was the only new thing I did this weekend, and look what it got me. Fuck this.” When Samuel came back that Friday, Rupert went out drinking. And many more times after that. He never did yoga again. One attempt was enough for a justification.