31 Day Stretching Challenge (Day 12) – Andrew

People say there are only 24 hours in the day, which is true, but only if you have never worked a night shift when the clocks go back an hour.

I used to work as a hospital porter and for six years I would always end up with the night shift when the clocks go back an hour. The night shift was long to begin with. It started at 11pm and finished at 8am. Most nights, the clock striking 2am was dispiriting because you’d already been working for three hours and still had another six to go. On the night the clocks went back an hour, it was even worse. When the clock struck two, the clock had to be moved back to 1am and you’d been working three hours and then had another seven to go. Even worse, you didn’t get an extra hours pay. The logic being that you also got paid the same when then clocks went forward an hour. (Not that I ever worked that day!).

So, unless you’re working on the last Saturday in October, trying to find extra time in the day can be hard. This week I’ve struggled to find 30 minutes to stretch as I’ve returned to work after the holiday and I’ve had my mum visiting. Yesterday, the only spare time I had was lunchtime. Luckily I also had the office to myself so I closed the door and tried some stretches over lunchtime.

Unlike day one, I didn’t strip down to my pants. That would be have been too embarrassing to explain if someone walked in the room. Me, my pants, groin circles, and YouTube videos of men in shorts flexing. Instead I would have to lie and make up an excuse as to what I was doing half naked near my computer.

“What are you doing?”

“Err…” I’d say, “I was watching pornography”

“No you weren’t, you were doing a sun salutation, weren’t you?”

“No! Not me! What kind of man do you think I am? It was porn, I tell ya, purn porn!”

Along with the door, if you’re streching in the office you also need to think about windows. My office is overlooked by a taller building. It’s largely empty as it awaits redevelopment but there are a few active floors where I can see people moving around. I thought it best then to stretch away from the window so that prying eyes could not see down into my room and my hip circles.

At this point, my large room has reduced to a small circle where I am neither visible from a window and within arms reach of the door to reach an arm out and keep it closed if someone else walked in.

This was no longer stretching, it was an exercise in voyeur management.

I decided that maybe a full stretching routing was not practical so I switched instead to stretching at my desk, where no one would think it strange to see an arm outstretched as I could just making a vigorous point on a Zoom call.

And because I was at my desk, no one could see my legs, so I could sit in my pants. Ideal.

Either way, working out in the office is tricky and you may find, if someone walks in, that you only wish you could turn back time by an hour…

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