It’s not all about the wobbly bits

by Nicola Temple | February 18, 2016

I had an easy 40 minute run today as part of my half-marathon training schedule. I like easy runs, it gives me time to think. And with the publicity whirlwind beginning, this is just what I need right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I think both Richard and I are thrilled that there is interest in our book, but I do have moments of panic.

A scene from my run today (now you know why my shoes are so muddy!)

A scene from my run today (now you know why my shoes are so muddy!)

So this was my train of thought during a small part of today’s run – try and keep up. ‘Hmmmm..the ankles aren’t feeling too bad today. That’s good. Do I need to stop and pick anything up for dinner? No. Whoops…watch the dog shit! What is wrong with people? Hey, there was a lot of wobble going on in the trunk in that last manoeuvre. Damn cupcakes!  Wobbly bits…what can I wear Monday on TV to hide any wobbly bits? I’ll be sitting – they shouldn’t wobble. It will be fine. Actually, to hell with the wobbly bits! I am 30 minutes into a 40 minute run and I’m feeling strong. Maybe not fast, but I’m doing it and nothing hurts! I am a machine! In fact, let’s pick the pace up for the last 10. Yeah…that’s right, muscles are all working…I can’t detect any asymmetries – you know the overenthusiastic one arm runner, or anything. Note to self – NEVER watch a video of myself running – I don’t want to spoil the illusion. Oh gawd, what if Peter makes me watch a video of myself running when I take him up on that offer of a technical session? Shit. Oh well, not bad for 40 plus, hey wait…how old am I again? Is it 42 or 43? If I can just maintain this pace until I’m in my 70’s I might actually begin to be competitive…I could start winning in my age category! YES!’

I won’t bore you with the rest. But let me just say that I swear a lot more inside my head than I do out loud.

I have never considered myself athletic, but I do lots of activities – paddle, pedal, run, hike, swim and zumba (an activity where many moves are designed to actually accentuate the wobbly bits), these are the main ones. As I age, I’ve noticed that I have become relatively more active in comparison with my peers – I’m not doing more things, just others around me are doing less for whatever reason. So this has given me a new perspective on exercise and my body. When I was younger exercise was just a means to an end. I exercised to be around people I liked, or for the fun of it, or to try and maintain some body image I had in my head (which I never could). Today I realised that exercise feels more like the end – in a celebratory way I mean! I’m not doing it to get to something else….I’m doing it because I can! Every time I put my trainers on these days, I feel like I’m going to a party and my body is the guest of honour because it is showing up and it is doing what it is supposed to! Not everyone is so lucky.

And that’s why I’m running for Jim at the Plymouth half marathon.

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