I seem to be full of spleen and temper at the moment. In fact I’m not nearly as cross as I seem but the only things I can think of blogging about are the things that make me Ms Angry. Or Mistress Temperful, perhaps.
First day back at work yesterday, and I cracked dawn to get there in time to go swimming before hand. I arrived at about 7.45. I’d got up at 6.00 to leave the house at 7.00. That’s a big shock to a girl’s system after 17 days lolling around having grapes peeled by minions and served on a silver salver. Ish.
So there I am. It’s 07.45 am. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s Monday. It’s raining. And there’s a queue for the car park at the pool. A queue. For the car park. And if there’s a traffic jam outside the pool, then there’ll be traffic jams inside it. I hate swimming when the lanes are full.
You see? You see why I dislike New Year’s resolutions? If you want to exercise, then do something about it when you realise that the fat in your diet is going to suffocate you, one artery at a time, instead of waiting till New Bloody Year and clogging the place up with your listless wishful thinking.
(I am actually in a reasonably benign mood, but hiding it astonishingly well!)
I had an epiphany about exercise this morning. About length 16 it was. I spent the remaining 14 lengths, (or maybe the remaining 12 lengths – I tend to lose count around length 23), thinking about it.
My rather damp epiphany is that half the vaunted benefits of exercise are in fact just placebos and I am immune to them. This is the reason why lycra-clad gym-bunnies assume that I am being stupid, mad, stroppy or all three when I tell them that, no, exercise does not make me feel good.
I can only manage swimming for half an hour if I approach it as a meditation practice and concentrate on doing the perfect stroke. And then the next one. And then the next one. The mindfulness of swimming. Feel the water around your nostrils and on your upper lip. Etc.
- No. I don’t have more energy afterwards. Placebo.
- No. I don’t need less sleep. Placebo.
- No. It does not put me in a better mood. Placebo.
- No. I don’t enjoy it at the time. Placebo.
- No. I don’t enjoy it afterwards. Placebo.
- No. I have never ever found myself getting addicted to it. Placebo.
- Or even used to it, really.
- No, no, NO it is NOT – heaven spare us all – fun. Place-ee-frotting-BO. OK?
I swim with gritted teeth and go to the gym in a state of desperation crossed with Calvinist bloody-mindedness because you don’t see fat people in their 50s, because my mother disabled herself through sustained inactivity, because (and only because) it is Good For Me.