This week of living changerously I am focusing on health. I have a number of health issues that have necessitated several changes already, which I mostly stick to. For example I don’t drink cows milk, I switched to almond milk. I also eat only organic meat and eggs and because it is so expensive we don’t eat it every night. I’m not scared of vegetables. I know what do to with a butternut squash and a rutabager (that’s a swede to us Brits). Of course I also know how to make brownies and killer cupcakes but this week isn’t about food. It’s about my bête noir – the dreaded E word. Exercise.
I have a love hate relationship with exercise. I hate doing it, I hate getting wheezy and feeling sick. But I love the way it feels afterwards. I feel bouncy and energetic and righteous. But after a while I get injured – I have joint issues in my back and feet – and so I have to take a break. A break which is usually filled with TV and vanilla bean scones. So although I have to exercise, it just can’t be anything too rigorous. I also am not a good swimmer, meaning I could stop myself from drowning in a pinch but haven’t got the technique or stamina to go lap swimming. I am the only person I know who got injured at Aquafit. I was the youngest there by at least two decades and damned if I was going to let the oldies beat me. I pushed it too far and strained my back meaning extremely limited movement for the next three weeks or so. Oh the shame. I also get a wee bit competitive with absolutely no skills or coordination to back it up. When aerobics instructors yell out, “Go at your own pace!” They are almost always looking at me. Thing is my pace is either red faced brute forcing my way through yet another grapevine until I’m broken or vanilla bean scones and Downton Abbey, which is handy because that’s almost always where I end up.
So, no aerobics, no long running classes, no gym membership (me: “How much a month? Really, people pay that?”), no swimming pool and I never learned how to ride a bike. I am left with dog walking and Yoga. Dog walking and Yoga it is.
Now, when I say dog walking I should point out that I have two of the smallest dogs in the world. A Chihuhua – short of leg but a bladder that can cover every and I do mean every, post, tree, stump, tire, small child, wall or leaf it travels past. I swear Cesar takes our walks with the dedication of an Olympic athlete. An athlete with one leg permanently off the floor. Panini is a Yorkshire Terrier mixed with a Maltese. Her superpower is her nose, she walks wherever her nose tells her to, often the wrong way round a tree or into someone else’s front yard, preferably under a fence. Occasionally just up a tree. So my walks with them are often just me standing still, retrieving one or other of them from something, untangling leashes and apologizing to my neighbors, and their small urinated on offspring. I don’t usually get a sweat up, unless it’s stress sweat, which doesn’t count. So although I will be walking my lovable rascals, or mangy curs, if you speak to my husband, I will supplement with yoga. On a mat in my nice organized office no dogs allowed.