Lady of the LINAC

For my new workout, I have started using dumbbells.

These are extremely heavy: there is an 8 kilo weight attached to each end.

And I have been using them every day, for 3 days.

This would be really, really impressive - if I were lifting them vertically.

But I’m not: instead I am simply rolling them a short distance along a floor.

(I suspect I wouldn’t be able to lift the dumbbells very high, if at all, even if I wanted to.)


Once the dumbbells are in position, I can then begin my at home simulation of the linear accelerator!

For this, I lie down on the floor and reach up over my head, in order to grip with both hands on the bar between the weights.

Located immediately behind my head, the bar then acts as a sort of handle, not unlike the one attached to the ‘bed’ of the radiotherapy machine.


Practising on an extremely hard floor, instead of a lovely soft bed, makes the experience less comfortable but far more realistic.

The nice part is that a pillow is definitely allowed – even if somewhat disappointingly this has to go under my knees and not my head.


Besides remembering to wear a paper face mask, I need to balance a small book on my stomach (to represent the data collection gadget) as well.

However, this book must not be allowed to slide off my stomach, as that would be a sure sign of breathing recklessly.

(The actual gadget used during the treatment will be safely taped on to my skin.)

So really this bit of the routine is basically a simple variation on a traditional lesson in good posture.

Just with a modern twist of potential laser damage to the heart, if a fine balancing act is not achieved.

Luckily, I do still have some time left to develop calmness on demand - both inside and out.

Maybe I will eventually transform into a lady of the LINAC machine?

If so, I should be able to balance a book or a box (or any other quite small object) on my stomach, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Well, that could turn out to be a surprisingly useful life skill indeed.