I went for a ‘run’ today. Although I would use the term loosely, as it was more of a cross between speed walking and a jog; enough to make my knee hurt, but not fast enough to give me a side ache. There is nothing like running out in the vines early in the morning, with a cool breeze and the early morning sun just peaking its head above the horizon.
There is a really easy circuit that leaves my village and goes around the local chateau, down small lanes bordered by cypress trees and vines. I didn’t do this run today. Last time I did it I was vaguely in shape, but even so, I was sucking air and feeling very light headed. I didn’t want to thwart my burgeoning desire to get back into shape in one fell swoop. So I took a shorter route. I still hated it.
My exercising has taken a bit of a down shift since I moved to the Languedoc. Gone are the days when I parked near the gym, walked to work, then stopped off at the gym on the way back to the car at the end of the day. Circuit training, step, cardio funk, hours with the weight machines, I was a little obsessed, but in really great shape.
Over the last 7 years here in France, my exercise regimes have consisted of walking the dogs, trying to find the motivation to do workout DVDs, and chasing my toddlers around the house whilst trying to comb their hair. And now I’m not in really good shape.
The nearest gyms to the Dukedom are all at least a half an hour’s drive from me, so if you add the drive plus the workout together, I would need to find an extra 2 hours in my day to do it. This could be an option if they had daycare at the gym, but we are in France, not Manhattan, so they don’t.
My village, bless her, as sleepy as she is, offers a vast array of exercise choices, including yoga at lunchtime (which would make me want to sleep instead of going back to work after), beginner’s Flamenco (which doesn’t really fulfill the fat burning, sweating part of the whole ‘exercise’ thing for me) and Yoseikan, a sort of martial arts fitness thingy at 9 at night (which does involve fat burning, but would also require me to remove my fat arse from the sofa to engage in kung fu instead of watching Grey’s Anatomy, not a hard decision there!).
So, in my efforts to possibly wearing a bikini again before my 40th birthday, I’m running again. To the amusement of the local boys out in the vines on their tractors, I can be found huffing and puffing my way around the back lanes of my village, red faced, slightly favoring my left knee, and silently reminded myself what a beautiful part of the world I live in, even if there isn’t a Gold’s gym in sight.