I love my legs....
I’ve been to the gym today.
I went running with my girls at the weekend and that was a revelation in itself! The three of us ran on the Downs, with our different styles. Beforehand, my eldest, got up off the sofa (!) and amazingly, said she was up for it! My middle one pulled on her brights and was very keen until the last minute when she said she’d changed her mind! I was resolute and promised we wouldn't go crazy, ‘just a gentle trot’ I persuaded.
It started well enough. My eldest and I trotting along, my middle one then got a stitch and then the whingeing started. At various points she ended up sitting down on the mud but would then catch up my eldest and I with a virtual sprint. My eldest and I were quite well matched in terms of speed though as time went on I realised some modifications would be needed. I offered to take some short cuts as realised my regular route might be a bit much to expect my daughters to take on our first family runathon!
Thirty minutes later, we were nearing the end of our active adventure. My eldest had a teenage moment and had just decided she’d had enough of running, so was walking. My middle one decided that the winner was the one who got to the car first, no matter how the run itself had been! So she won! I was just thrilled that the three of us had got out in the air and had done something active together. This is no mean feat in my household!
So, back to today in the gym.
I did my usual cross trainer (20 minutes) and then I ran on the treadmill (45 minutes). I tell you the times not to show off (!) but to demonstrate just how long this particular woman I saw spent on the cross trainer. She had started before I got there and was still there on the same piece of equipment when I left. She was very, very thin and had knee support bandages on both her knees. She was watching the TV on the cross trainer, where you can choose your programme and she was watching ‘Supersize vs Superskinny’. I couldn't help but think about this as I was having my own workout.
I don’t know her story and I realise I am making some assumptions here. I felt sad watching her watching that programme because having seen it previously and seeing the screen today I could tell what messages were being conveyed. I think the bit where Dr C poured a bucket load of sugar over 20 bowls of cereal whilst the larger guy looked on was enough to drive that message home.
I felt sad that this woman who appeared so underweight, felt like she needed to watch that particular programme whilst she worked out and I wondered what was going on for her.
I wondered why she was working out? She obviously had bad knees so what was she trying to achieve and was it calorie burning in an attempt to lose weight or to keep her weight down? Who knows. She didn’t look like she was having much fun though.
Which brings me back to the weekend and exercising with my daughters in the open air, on the Downs.
That was fun. We weren't doing to to burn off calories. We were doing it because it felt good. We felt good. We felt strong. Our muscles were tired because we’d done something we don’t usually do and that felt brilliant. I want my girls to know that they should exercise to feel good and powerful, strong, healthy, energised, alert, bouncy.
I want that for you too!