I have a love/hate affair with exercise. I love that it allows me to eat all the Camembert I want without becoming the size of a small elephant, but I hate basically everything else about it. The early mornings and the sweaty faces. The complicated machines that spit you off the back when you press the wrong button (yes, a treadmill does count as complicated). The lumpy men with bacne who hang out at the far end of the gym grunting orgasmically while they lift weights equivalent to a small truck. And the lycra. Oh, god, the lycra. I don’t know whether it’s more distressing to wear it or to observe it.
I’ve tried everything. I’ve got up religiously three times a week at 5.45 in the morning to throw tyres around a field. I’ve dyed my highlights pale green splashing grimly up and down a pool. I’ve zenned out in regular yoga and passed out in hot yoga and had one disastrous stab at salsa dancing. I bought a bike and admired it for a full six weeks before selling it on gumtree. And I completed the Couch to 5k challenge- once – and promptly gave up jogging for good. That was three years ago.
And everything, everything has been crap. There has never been that moment of sublime satisfaction, of achievement, other than when I kick off the trainers and contemplate an evening of guilt-free cheese and crackers.
Tomorrow, I’m going to try something new. I have a friend who is one of the elite marathon runners in Australia. Hell, he flies around the world slogging around 42k courses and claiming to enjoy it. He has minus 57% body fat and proper grown up bulgy calf muscles and is utterly insane. And he thinks he’s going to be able to make me love running.
My running style was described nicely by my high school PE teacher as ‘spider having a seizure’. There are arms and legs flying everywhere and lots of energy propelling me in any direction but forward. Sometimes my nose is six inches from the ground and sometimes it’s like my legs have abducted my upper body and are running away with it while it struggles and screams in protest. It really isn’t pretty.
So, to the residents of Sydney who have to witness this tomorrow, apologies in advance. Wine is on me 😉