As a child, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I spent most of my days outside in the fresh air, although I think it is fair to say I have never been what you call sporty. In fact by the time I got to secondary school I was actively trying to avoid it. It didn’t help that our gym kit included an unflattering pair of skin tight bright blue knickers with green stripes down the sides. I felt completely self conscious, clumsy and uncoordinated… no surprise to hear I was usually last to be picked for team sports.
Stranger to the Gym
Years later, I confess I am a stranger to the gym… classes scare the living daylights out of me, I can never keep up and always end up about 3 moves behind everyone else. Yoga, I thought would be perfect for me, unfortunately the minute the instructor tells me to relax and clear my mind, all I can think of is the endless to do list in my head.
My husband thoughtfully bought me a lovely vintage style bike. As a non driver he thought it would be useful for me to get from ‘a’ to ‘b’, as well as helping me keep fit. Unfortunately it now sits rusting away in the garage, thanks to an upsetting altercation with a group of O.A.P’s while out cycling with my my son and daughter.
Truthfully, in the past, exercise has always ranked fairly low down in terms of priorities. My job means I spend twelve hours a day on my feet and as a busy mum of two children, I am always on the go. Just lately though I have been struggling with tiredness, low mood and difficulty sleeping. I was listening to a discussion on the radio about the benefits of exercise, particularly exercise which gets you outdoors in the fresh air and decided it was time to brave my local Nike outlet for a pair of trainers and some Lycra leggings!
I had been ‘thinking’ about jogging for a while, but was worried about feeling self conscious/ridiculous. A colleague at work helpfully suggested a baseball cap and headphones might help me feel less conspicuous??? And so on Sunday afternoon, feeling a bit bleugh (sorry I can’t think of a better word)! I finally managed to pluck up the courage and head out for a short run.
To begin with I felt completely awkward and lumbering, I wasn’t sure what I should be doing with my arms, and my legs felt like lead. It did become easier though. I still felt a little self conscious, but soon realised no one seemed to care, or even notice, as I ran past them. The truth is we are all too caught up in the drama of our own lives to worry about what other people are doing
I Did It!
It took me around half an hour to run around two and a half miles. My husband assures me this isn’t too shabby, considering how unfit I am. Did I ache? Absolutely! Mostly though I felt quite pleased with myself. I also felt less stressed and anxious about the week ahead, which meant I was able to enjoy what was left of the weekend with my family.
The plan is to go jogging again on Thursday after school drop off. I am hoping it is something I can keep up, as unlike the gym or any of the classes I have tried, it doesn’t feel like a chore. My motivation, unlike in my twenties, is not about dropping 10 pounds or whether I can fit in to my size 10 jeans. It’s simply about doing something which makes me feel good, and puts the smile back on my face.