Jane Gor­don

Jane is en­joy­ing the fruits of a new fit­ness regime, while Bry­ony bat­tles run­ner’s block

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - MUM AND ME -

Age un­known Mother, grand­mother and 24/7 child­min­der

Belle and I have im­ple­mented a new health and fit­ness regime that in­volves Nordic walk­ing our way across the Ox­ford­shire coun­try­side three morn­ings a week. There are, my BFF as­sured me be­fore we be­gan, a num­ber of ad­van­tages to be gained from pro­pelling our­selves for­ward (eyes front, deep breaths, straight back) with the aid of our poles, rather than strolling in­do­lently along gos­sip­ing (as per usual).

For a start, as I dis­cov­ered on day one, we are now able to move at such a pace that our dogs (usu­ally sev­eral kilo­me­tres ahead of us) are hav­ing trou­ble keep­ing up and our daily steps have soared to fan­tas­tic heights (last Wed­nes­day I hit 20,000 strides, which is al­most up to Bry­ony’s daily toll).

And ap­par­ently, by putting pres­sure on our poles (a strange cross be­tween ski sticks and crutches) as we glide along, we are work­ing mus­cles we didn’t know we had in a way that is com­pa­ra­ble to, but much more bear­able than, jog­ging.

I have to say that over the last few weeks – as Belle ap­proached and has now sailed through her mile­stone birth­day (and yes, OK, I had mine sev­eral years ago) – she has be­come a ver­i­ta­ble Ox­ford Med­i­cal Dic­tionary of the age­ing process.

In fact, one of the main rea­sons she signed us up to this regime is a newly awak­ened ob­ses­sion with her own

(and my) mor­tal­ity and the ways in which, as she puts it, we can have ‘a pro­longed ac­tive life’ (some­thing I thought dogs got from a cer­tain brand of pet food). Pole walk­ing, she in­sists, is one of the best ways to pro­mote the good pos­ture and agility that makes for a ‘golden old age’.

Two weeks into what I now term Belle’s Nordic Noir phase (I know she will get over all this non­sense talk about old age and im­mi­nent death), we are both cau­tiously ex­cited by the ef­fect it is hav­ing on us. Our eyes are brighter, our bingo wings are tighter and Belle has dropped a dress size in time for her be­lated birth­day bash next week. Hon­estly, she looks at least a decade younger than the one she just reached (what­ever that might be).

The main rea­son Belle signed us up to this regime is an ob­ses­sion with her (and my) mor­tal­ity

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