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