I don’t enjoy exercise. Never have. At school I would fib and say that I had my period so that I wouldn’t have to run round the playing field. It bores me. I’d rather have a nice walk on the beach, or sit on a park bench, anything but get sweaty and have sore bits the next morning. Apart from when I was pregnant with Miss L. Then, I dreamt of having a toned body. Of being Heidi Klum. Of being able to star jump and land without a wobble. I made bargains with myself; you can eat another mini magnum but you’ll have to do sit ups when you can get off the floor without assistance and a winch.
With my nine pound two and a half baby girl safely delivered I couldn’t give a shit how wobbly my tummy was. I was smitten. Knackered, but utterly in awe of the squishy little creature attached to my gigantic boobs. This is what I look like now. I’m the same but different. Everything’s a bit looser, a bit softer. It’s my new ‘I’m a Mum’ body, how exciting.
Then I went to M&S to get fitted for a nursing bra. ‘When’s the baby due?‘ asked the young assistant. Didn’t she know what nursing meant? Hadn’t she seen the baby in the buggy outside my cubicle?
Just what did Heidi do to get back in shape after popping out her latest superbaby?
Swimming? Impossible to do lengths with small baby. Exercise classes? Too tired by the time baby is in bed. Join a gym? Too expensive and all of the above. I’m very good at excuses when it comes to exercise.
Running? Running’s free. My sister suggested we train together, a charity 5k was coming up, it’d give us focus. I’ve never ‘trained’ for anything in my life but I did have a pair of lycra trousers left over from the one pilates class (too tricky), one yoga class (someone farted) and the one where we mainly just grape-vined in time to techno (gotta love a grapevine). Maybe, just maybe, it’d work.
As I started to jog away from the house I felt all smug. This is easy isn’t it? What’s all the fuss about, piece of piss this running malarky.
Piss being the operative word as it turns out.
With every bounce I cursed myself for thinking I was better than pelvic floor exercises. If there was ever one exercise that I should have stuck with, it’s those. God, can everyone see? Luckily the shiny lycra material offered some camouflage. A good three minutes in, I shifted down a gear, crossed my hands casually over my crotch and pretended that I was actually just out for a gentle evening stroll. With my glowing red face and pissy pants I was fooling no-one.
For once in my life though, I did stick with it. For a bit. We did the 5k and incredibly a 10k after that. But I’ll be honest, it’s not for me. I’ve yet to find an exercise that is. I heard that Anna Friel used a machine where you put on a large wet suit and get sort of steamed, to achieve her post-baby body*. I like the sound of that.
Miss L wibbled my bottom once and a few seconds later said, ‘It’s still going Mum’. Baby P patted my pants and shouted ‘Bum’. She looked again and did two further pats and shouts, either side of my pants on the surplus bottom bits that’d escaped. The kid thinks I have three bums. Maybe that’s a sign it’s time to wring out my lycra trousers and start pounding the streets again.
* That’s a vague memory, possibly a dream. I’ve no doubt she actually achieved it through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
This post was inspired by Josie at ‘Sleep is for the weak’ writing workshop, my chosen prompt word was ‘Running’.