The Way We Live: The one about running
SUNDAY MAIL COLUMN FOR SUNDAY 30 JANUARY 2011
I’ve started running. “Running” of course being code for shuffling along like Cliff Young. Well without the short shorts. And the osteoarthritis. It’s hard to believe but I was fit once. In fact five years ago I weighed ten kilos less than I do now. I had muscle tone. I could do push-ups. I could run on a treadmill for an hour. So what happened? I got married. I said “I do” and then minutes later pulled a chair up to the fridge and started eating. ‘All bets are off,’ I said to Brad. Well I would’ve said that if my mouth hadn’t been full of lasagne.
I should’ve had “Caveat Emptor” stamped on my forehead.
Since then I’ve exercised on and off. Mainly off. Although I do recall running for a bus in April 2009. This is not helped by the fact I’m an emotional eater. Something to celebrate? Eat cake! Dealing with bad news? Eat cake! Feeling anxious, scared, grumpy, tired? Eat cake! Feel like eating cake? Eat cake! And let me assure you, I have never in my life uttered the sentence, “Gosh I was so busy I forgot to eat today!” Who are those people? I’m thinking about lunch while I’m eating breakfast.
But I digress. Lately my health and fitness has been, how do you say, in the toilet? You know things are bad when you’re out of breath just walking up a few stairs. My exercise shoes and I were no longer speaking. So my gorgeous girlfriends stepped in. They got together and bought me some personal training sessions. A lot of personal training sessions. $1500 worth of personal training sessions with some guy called Jason, if we’re going to be precise.
It wasn’t about losing weight, they said. It was about feeling fit. Feeling strong again. Putting down the cake fork and stepping outside. I was thrilled. I spent the first few weeks staring at my voucher, eating cake and imagining my head on Jennifer Hawkin’s body. Eventually Brad pointed out that I was actually going to have to USE the voucher. Apparently it doesn’t work by osmosis.
The first time Jason arrived at our house, Brad looked out the window, took one look at Jason and then patted me on the arm and said, “Yeah. Good luck with that.”
Jason looks like the Commando from The Biggest Loser. That’s right. My personal trainer has the looks of the Commando and the personality of, well, The Commando. Put it this way, during out first training session we went for a walk. A fast walk. Up hills. And whenever we hit traffic lights he made me do squats. Yep.
But eight weeks later I’m feeling great. I’ve lost a few centimetres. I can manage push-ups. And I can even run. Well, shuffle. But best of all I’m feeling strong. As for cake and me? We’re no longer speaking.
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Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.