Ah fitness. Never been my thing. I’m the type you’d find buried in reading, watching TV or eating and drinking with friends. I love cheese and wine more than most things in the world. But as the muffin top rises and the doctor visits increase fitness has become a necessary evil.
Pain in the bloody arse.
I’ve been seeing my current Personal Trainer for about a year now…once a week…or less. I’m busy, you know. I recently walked to training for the first time. It’s a 2.5km return journey. It has also been the walking path I take with my dog, oh, about once a month.
There a lot of people involved in life’s journey. I have a friend whose husband, 15 years older than her, walked out on her and their kids for a much younger woman. My friend is now a fitness junkie. She regularly has deep tissue massages, ice baths and other tortuous activities I can’t imagine ever doing. Sometimes her energy is encouraging. Sometimes it’s not. What I walk in 30 minutes she runs twice or thrice as much. But she does kick my arse when we go away together. In a good way.
My husband occasionally walks with me. However, he can’t resist my pleas for chocolate late at night and has many times dashed to the local servo for a packet of mint slice biscuits. I then eat two thirds of the packet. He makes Milo to wash it down. Hot or cold, doesn’t matter.
My children sometimes walk with me but currently it’s the school holidays and by the time they’re awake we’re entering sunburn territory. You see, I’m an ultra-white, redheaded, freckly woman. I only go out when there is barely sunlight and scoff Vitamin D tablets daily.
What has helped the most, dear friends, are women I’ve never met offline. My Twitter friends, @madiganda @torkee and @karlao_dtn, started the new year supporting each other’s endeavours to be fit and healthy. I’m probably the least energetic in the group but they let me tag along anyway. A blog post titled Why exercise buddies work: “Find someone who can challenge you!” basically confirmed that I’m the weakest link. But we must be doing something right. We’re still at it and a fifth person is joining our humble team. We’re all teachers gradually returning to work so hopefully the busyness of school doesn’t kill our motivation.
I’ve now increased my usual walking path to 4km and I’ve lost a couple of kilograms. I usually take my very excitable dog. This morning I left a bit too late to commit to the whole 4km so I returned to my 2.5km route but with spurts of running. Well, that was a joke. I picture funniest home videos hiding in the bushes as I shuffled along, one hand holding a plastic bag of dog poo and disposable latex gloves and the other gripping an iPhone and wildly swinging as the dog ran side to side pulling the leash every which way and tripping me over. I use RunKeeper as another motivator. Today it provided a funny record of poo stops, bursts of speed increases and virtual pauses that didn’t occur in real life due to the dog’s jerking around.
I was once a super skinny teenager through biological chance, supported by the healthy diet my Mum provided. Never in my life have I been fit. I want to be slim, about half way between my teenaged weight and what I am now, but I also want to be fit. I want to enjoy running and having energy. I don’t want to be puffed from just walking up a flight of stairs. I want less stress. I also want to eat cheese and drink wine. May this January journey continue through the rest of the year and beyond.