That’s me at the moment. Michael Finnegan, begin again.
All that work I put into getting fitter – GONE. Hello, Square One, my old friend.
I mean, I have been walking a lot, and briskly too, to get my allotted amount of exercise per day, but as I said before, the bronchitis and lack of efficient breathing ability kind of poleaxed me. As a result, I had a couple of weepy days last week. I’d like to say that I do the exercise because I just love it! But we all know that’s only partly true. Okay, It’s as true as somebody sticking their head around the door and shouting ‘true!’ into the room before vanishing quickly.
The main reason I want to do this is fear… Fear of going downhill again. And trust me, that’s a place I never, ever want to go again. Ever. Well, you get the idea. And if rigorous exercise every day can help prevent it, then sign me up, pal.
Of course there is another, annoying reason… Remember me saying about the weight I’ve put on? Well, I’m hoping to ditch that along the way too. It’s not nice when bending forward in a yoga pose and your stomach gets in the way. It heads for my spine and decides to squash into my diaphragm and – hello! – breathing problems and hilarity ensue.
So I decided to start gently again with the run. When I can keep going for more than a minute at a time, then I’ll pick up the Strava app again, but for now I’m using the “Couch to 5K” app. Excellent. A kind, non-patronising voice talks you through the entire session, and it even allows you to play a playlist en route – it quietens the music down when she needs to speak. I’m only on the first week at the moment, so I’m at the ‘couch’ end of the spectrum. Actually, today was the first day, so I’m more at the ‘plumping the cushions’ stage.
Funny, but the old me would have been horrified to be out, in public, in daylight, running. But it’s amazing what having your entire personality deconstructed can do for you. Hey, dog-walkers! Lovely day! Hi there, runners! Going great guns there! How’s it hanging, cyclists? Lovely day, isn’t it! They’re on their own journey, just as I am. And we’re all at different points. And that’s just fine.
The old me would have run on the spot for months indoors first. This is how it would have worked back then. Or rather, these would have been my perceptions..
I go running – everyone stares at me in horror.
I wear my proper running gear – “Does she think she can run or something? She looks ridiculous.”
I don’t wear my proper running gear – “What does she think she looks like?”
I run slowly – “Look at that heffalump.”
I run fast – “Is Greggs having a sale on doughnuts, love?”
You see, the way my little brain was working before, you can clearly tell that there was no way I was going to win.
The depression has done me a favour, in a weird way..
I don’t care what people think. I don’t actually know what they’re thinking, but I assume they have their own little dramas going on in their heads. They are probably no more horrified at me (or even noticing me!) than I am envious of the trotters than skim past me effortlessly. We’re all on the same path. Paranoia can be awfully ego-centric, n’est-ce pas?
“Yes, I’m RUNNING! Whoop! Fresh air!”