I haven’t exercised for a week.  OK, two weeks.  Alright, alright!  Three!  Jeez!  But, you see, it wasn’t my fault.  No really, it wasn’t.

I’ve had a chest infection for two weeks and then the black hole that is Half Term happened when life transfers to a parallel universe – one of parks, baking, lego, day trips to the beach and episode after episode of Phineas & Ferb.   And, and, and … and I could continue to make excuses.  Fact is, I really need to get my arse into gear.

Anyway, the good news is that I have done just that and I went for a power walk around my local park at the weekend to ease myself back into the whole keep fit thing.

I deliberately got there early.  Nothing worse than a crowd of Sunday League footballers watching you march around the park like some crazy lady, shouting ‘encouragement’ from the sidelines (normally boob related.)  For three laps of the park, I was on my own.  When wearing tight leggings and trainers, this is just the way I like it.

And then …. some woman had the audacity, the AUDACITY, to come and run in my park!  Had she not got the memo that no-one was allowed to use the park between the hours of 8am and 9am?

Of course, she was twenty years old.  I say, twenty, she probably wasn’t, but nowadays, I reckon everyone looks twenty.  And thin.

I hated her immediately.

She ran past me, both of us had our headphones on, and at the crucial moment when our paths crossed, I was suddenly faced with the reality that I’m a 40 year old woman, panting heavily just from a brisk walk, and she’s a young, fit thing who probably runs everywhere, too much energy to merely bother with walking – a bit like my six year old son.

Exercise in the park etiquette has got me foxed.  To smile, or not to smile?

We decided we would.  For three laps.  An awkward, sweaty, half grimace/grin at each other.  By the fourth lap, however, nothing.  She decided to blank me.  Fine!  Ooh look at her with her skinny legs and matching outfit.  See if I care!

My super fast, power walking technique had obviously put her to shame so much that she felt the need to keep her head down. Yeah, jog on lady!

In all seriousness, coming across fit women is rather annoying in my struggle to  keep fit.  Even more so when they’re young.  And thin.  And pretty.

Bitter?  Me?  Never.

Sunday morning arrived and the clocks had gone back.  I toyed with the idea of spending the extra hour in bed.  It was a great idea if I say so myself.  I could have watched The Wire again, nibbled on last night’s bedtime crappy sweets.  I could have got my spoon on!  The thought of traipsing around the park in the drizzle on the other hand was the worst idea I’d had all week.

I didn’t want anyone to see me.  I was a little embarrassed.  My old self-doubt had begun to creep into my head.

For all of two seconds, until I jumped (OK, flopped) out of bed, found some horrendous red cropped tracksuit bottoms (why oh why?!), a tight vest to strap the girls down and a baggy t-shirt to hide it all.  Trainers on and I was off.

I felt much better when I got back home, even more so after I baked some chocolate and hazelnut cookies.

I haven’t quite figured out this keep fit thing yet.  But I’m getting there.






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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.