How to Love Exercise

I’m not a fitness type of person – never have been. Oh, I’ve made the odd half-hearted attempt at gym membership, I’ve been to classes, I’ve read books about running. In fact, I found a pair of running shorts in the loft the other week. With the label still attached.

I can see now that it was never going to work, because I didn’t want to do it – any of it. I wanted the results, but I absolutely hated every moment. I remember taking a book into the gym and propping it up against the handles of the treadmill. Because I am, and always have been, a bookish type of person. Not a fitness type of person. As if you had to be one or the other.

I thought yoga would be the answer – it seemed more sedate and more forgiving, and while I have to confess to never actually enjoying it, I did love the feelings of openness and energy I got from it, and of course, the beautiful, floaty feeling at the end of a session when you lie on your mat and relax deeply.

But, given a choice, or given an excuse in the form of something else to do, I would always opt not to exercise. And it wasn’t about not spending time on myself – I’d happily and guiltlessly curl up with a book and a pot of tea or a glass of wine and while away an afternoon. (Oh yes – a glass of wine in the afternoon. Just occasionally. I was worth it.)

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