Monday, January 19, 2009

Yo, Adrian!

This has been the first year in a long time where I'm not already beating myself up for failing to keep my New Year's resolution to exercise. I've been working out pretty steadily for the past year, and even though I ate enough to feed a small army over Christmas, I haven't fallen too far off the wagon.

And I never in a million years thought I would ever say this, but I'm actually enjoying my morning runs. I remember a couple of years ago I could barely make it around a 15 minute circuit without doubling over in agony, with my face the color of my bright red sweatshirt. Now I feel like Rocky running out in the vines, wanting to punch my fists up in the air and dance around to the 'Eye of the Tiger'.

Although if I did that, the people in my village would just nod and say that just confirms what they always thought of me- crazy. Somehow, to them, the sight of someone running is crazy behavior, outrageous really. (But riding a ten speed up the side of mountain, perfectly acceptable.) I'm known in the village as the anglaise who runs. And it's always said with a little pumping action of the arms, just to clarify how funny they find it.

The other mothers at the little ladies' school are used to seeing me show up in my sweats and trainers, with my ipod dangling around my neck. They all smile at me, but I'm sure they are convinced I come from another planet. Just one more example of why, after 9 years, I still stick out as one 'not from around here'...


Isabelle said...

Yes, running is not at all in our habit! Some French people love to run though (my sister runs marathons), but nothing compared to Americans.

Melissaand3boys said...

I started running about 5 or 6 months ago. I can squeak out 3 or so miles, but I don't feel like Rocky or anything when I'm done! I'm trying to be able to run at least 6 miles (10k).

Here, I'm surrounded by people who not only run, but run mini-marathons, marathons, or triathlons.

I'm people in France exercise for the sake of exercise or do they get enough exercise with the walking and biking they do to get from place to place? In the US we drive so much that we don't get much exercise by just "living".

The Duchess said...

Hi Melissa-
Well, there are exercise classes here, so I know that the French do exercise for exercise sake, and of course as Isabelle says, there are French runners. Tennis is quite popular here too.

But I definitely don't think there is the same health and fitness craze here in comparison to the one I left in California. (And if running wasn't bad enough, I still haven't lived down the one and only time I was caught rollerblading through the village!)

We do get an awful lot of 'exercise' just by shear nature of living in the country and having such good weather. Long walks with the dogs, the 5-min walk to schoolx4 each day, etc. fill my days, but I still can't get rid of that pesky voice in my head that says 'you must burn fat!'.