I have to thank the pant-wettingly-funny post today over at 'Not Waving But Ironing' for the inspiration behind this. Seriously, you HAVE to check out the story of Conference Pear Girl... go on, I'll wait....
My journey with any form of physical exercise consists of a treacherously rocky terrain where there are rather too many flowers to pick and smell on the way and a temptingly large number of 'bide-a-while' places to sit and catch your breath when the incline gets a bit much.
I guess I could 'blame' my mother (that's what she's there for after all, right?) for any 'weighty' issues I may have grown up worrying about. Because she seemed to go on about it endlessly. She'd munch celery sticks dipped in salt for a snack; make up beetroot sandwiches with no butter and everything had to be brown, wholegrain, wholemeal and stuffed to the gills with every kind of bran-fibre known to man. I'm assuming she was also a very regular woman although I have no solid evidence of this (fnaarr).
So for the next thirty minutes mother would twist and turn and bend and stretch and pull and then.... relax. And she enthused so much over this revelation in spiritual and body transformation that even I almost believed she'd turn from a 5 foot barrel into a lithe, supple temptress with hair nearly as long as her legs (a la Yoga lady in the book).
Didn't happen, obviously. And then that's when the eighteen hour girdle stepped in and did it's thing. Backed up with a 5 mile bike ride every evening in front of Dallas and Emmerdale Farm. A determined lady. But always behind closed doors. Like it was a sin to sweat in public.
All of which actually left me totally uninspired. In those days my main form of exercise was dancing in night clubs until the wee small hours three nights a week and drinking so much I threw up anything I'd eaten during the day. I don't know why that diet didn't catch on. Or even what it would be called if it had.
When I left home I tried the craze that was the Jane Fonda Workout video.
...and rewind a bit - just to make sure we'd seen it properly - after all we didn't want to be damaging ourselves by over-stretching and pushing our bodies too near their limits, did we? Oh, and... eeeewww... not sure we could actually, physically manage that one - maybe we should fast-forward to the next part. And..... ooofff... that looks a bit dangerous, pass me the remote... and the bottle of water...oh and... is that a packet of crisps over on the coffee table? By that nice comfy chair? Where the packet of Hobnobs were left from yesterday? And what's that next to the Jane Fonda Workout video case? Vital Idol - the Best of Billy, hmm? Well - I'd prefer that kind of music to the twanging, jarring line-dancing nonsense Jane's playing - let's stick that on and make out own routines up to that, shall we?
And...reach.... over to the biscuits... and stretch that hand out to the glass of chilled white wine.... and in and out and back and forth and up and back and round and round.... and.... rest. And rest.
We liked that part the most, I remember.
So when a colleague asked me today if I'd like to buy a cross-trainer from her, I seriously thought she was offering me the chance to purchase one angry running shoe.
I can think of much better ways of increasing my heart rate. And Billy Idol was just the start.