Monday, 24 July 2017

Born to *Run/Jog Breathlessly... (*Delete as appropriate)

Psst. Let me tell you something. Come closer, I'm keeping it a bit quiet for now. Ready? OK then. I think I've got myself into an exercise regime! No, don't repeat it out loud, I don't want to jinx it. At the moment it is tentative at best. As soon as I start to think I am a regular exerciser it will all go out of the window and I will eat cake under a blanket. I know me of old.

It was Charlie Brooker's fault. Several years ago he wrote an article about how he, a self-confessed non-runner, had started running. It all sounded so easy - he named the app he used and everything. I had already made the, quite frankly, ludicrous purchase of a treadmill sometime before that. It was so I could walk whilst I watched telly. I can confirm that the idea of that lasted all of two episodes of Identity - a one hit wonder of an ITV show with the guy from Queer As Folk. Apart from Aiden Gillen, I only remember the programme because I tried to walk along with the first two episodes. It was the most boring two hours of my life. No offence to Identity, which may well have been marvellous, but walking along to scenes of office-based discussions about identity fraud, does NOT bring out your inner Flo Jo. The treadmill became the obligatory clothes horse and I was just glad I got the cheapest one in Argos. (Although I had to pay my little brother to assemble it for me. That was back in the days when he was happy to give up his afternoon for a fiver.)

Since then I have flirted with exercise, sporadically. I used Charlie's app for a bit and then lost the motivation. Occasionally I would walk on the treadmill whenever I could muster up the energy but that wasn't often. The most successful attempt at using it came in 2014 after I'd read Alexandra Heminsley's, Running Like a Girl. Each page was like having a lovely but persistent personal trainer standing over me saying, 'Come on Bondie, look lively,' and I gave it a good go for another few months. But that was three years ago. Nowadays my treadmill is dusty, a bit rickety and unused. UNTIL NOW.

Nine minutes
equals 1.2 miles!
Yes, that's right. Three weeks ago, I began again. With zero stamina and an absolute hatred of exercise I started running. I ditched the app and made up my own plan. Basically, on day one I ran for three minutes. Day two, I ran for three and a half. Day three, I ran for four. I increased my running time by thirty seconds every day. Today I made it to nine minutes!
Where the magic happens

Now look, I do get that this is shite compared to some. Eddie Izzard's feat of running forty-three marathons in fifty-one days isn't getting threatened. Not for a second. But still, nine minutes! Honestly. This is a major thing for me. Most impressively is that so far, I haven't missed a day. (Except for weekends off. I'm not an automaton.) My morning routine is barely troubled. Before I've fully woken up, I've put on my trainers, hairband and sports bra along with the PJs I've slept in, and got on with it. Nine knackered, sweaty minutes later I'm ready for the shower and can start my day. 

And my inspirations? As frigging fantastic as the Women's Euros are right now, I can't attribute this sudden sporting spurt to them. Nor any of the finely tuned athletes that have been on the TV recently what with Wimbledon or the Para Athletic Championships. Nope, my sporting inspiration is my old-time hero of Nigella Lawson. I read this article ages ago and it stuck with me. Fifteen minutes a day, loud 80s music and not much else. That is the kind of sporting aspiration I can aim for. I will reach fifteen minutes on 8th August. It is an achievable target. I will always be Team Nigella, in all areas of life.

Nine minutes!
I do realise I'm not revolutionary in the slightest. I haven't invented the wheel or cured cancer. Today I have run for nine minutes - big wow. But as someone that sits down for almost all her waking hours, this feels like a good thing to be doing. This feels like something I didn't think I could do yet here I am proving myself wrong. Plus, now this morning's nine minutes are over, I feel quite perky. That's got to be worth something.  

Have a lovely week, folks.


No comments:

Post a Comment