Just when I thought I would have nothing major to show for the lockdown era, this week had a surprise for me.
This week I went for a jog.
I wouldn’t quite call it a run. Those of you who know me are already busy picking their jaws from the floor.
What’s more, I really think I might be onto something.
I might have accidentally discovered a doable method of easing yourself into jogging if you are a lazy, unfit, slightly overweight middle aged woman.
It is really simple.
A few easy steps.
In the spirit of lockdown generosity, I am sharing my method here for free.
First, you lay the foundations by spending the initial few weeks (lockdown conditions helps) walking the same bloody route around Crystal Palace Park every single day. By all means use your local park instead, no need to crowd our narrow paths more than they already are.
This part is crucial. Walking the same route for over a month makes you so tired of it, you begin to look for ways to speed up the routine, and you start toying with the idea of picking up speed and running the length of your route. A case of familiarity breeds confidence.
By the end of week six you foolishly convince yourself that you might actually be able to run it. You know for certain you could walk that path with your eyes closed. You know every bush, every twig, every beer can on the way, you have been watching the duck family of 8 with fondness every day for a month, and you know which tree the green London parakeets screech the loudest in.
So anyway, day 42 and you think, fuck it, I could run this path if I wanted to, surely I could. Do I want to though? You then spend the next couple of days walking it so fast you overtake everybody along the way. You set yourself a challenge. Wednesday. Still safely a couple of days away. That’s when you are going to do your first jog. Wednesday arrives before you are ready for it, but you have foolishly announced your plans to the family so true to your word, you break into a jog.
You are doing well for the first couple hundred yards, and then your chest is beginning to feel funny, your stomach does somersaults, you wish you didn’t eat so much for lunch.
You carry on until you absolutely have to stop. You walk for a bit, but that makes you feel like such a pathetic loser you pick up pace again. You end up half walking half running around the lake and back to the bridge by the leisure centre where you started. Your cheeks are burning, you are sweating like a pig, and you are breathing heavily, mouth open, chest doing overtime.
You did it. First time this side of thirty, not to mention fifty. It feels good. Tomorrow you will do better. So there, jogging, nailed it.
Whilst we are in the generous sharing mood, I am happy to impart a few other lockdown surprise findings, or What I’ve Learnt So Far.
It is possible to spend all day doing nothing and still go to bed feeling you’d run out of time to do what you planned.
The way things are going I can see that the day I finally master a well-balanced lockdown routine, will be the day restrictions end.
When the going gets tough living with teenagers is a blessing. Their optimism, sense of humour, and energy are keeping me sane.
Eggs and flour make a huge difference to one’s quality of life.
Human nature dictates that we choose the path of least resistance whenever possible, and that means alternating between Netflix, Amazon Prime and the fridge.
There are annoying exceptions to this rule, the people who did not google the path of least resistance before deciding how to spend the enforced slowdown period, and they can be seen in tight fitting lycra on early morning run, or late at night watering their newly sprouted courgettes or whatever.
Cheese on toast, jam on toast, banana on toast. All greatly underrated dinner alternatives in the ‘no delivery slots available’ world.