38 Married to a very patient husband Harry, and mother to Edie, five
While Mum seems to have developed an energetic fitness regime, I appear to have stopped doing exercise entirely. I have ground to a halt. I can’t even use the autumnal weather as an excuse, given that I fell out of love with running over the summer, when I kept thinking I was going to burst into flames every time I so much as attempted to break into a light jog. And now I seem to have forgotten how to exercise.
Every night I go to bed telling myself that I’m going to get up and go for a run; and every morning I get up and fail to go for a run, using excuses such as ‘tiredness’, ‘needing to preserve my energy for the day ahead’ and ‘a dull ache in my big toe on my left foot’. The more I beat myself up about not going for a run, the worse I feel, and the worse I feel, the less likely I am to go for a run. So I decide to use a different tactic, one I learnt lying flat on my back listening to self-help gurus like Brene Brown and Byron Katie on Audible: I decide to be kind to myself. ‘You’re not going for a run this morning?’ Harry will say, noticing that I am still in bed beside him as opposed to out in the park. ‘No running for me today,’ I reply, stretching my arms and letting out a yawn. ‘Instead, I am going to nurture my soul by staying in bed while you make me and Edie breakfast.’ ‘You’re not going for a run this morning?’ he asks the next day.
‘No, today I thought I would save myself a rushed morning and enjoy a light meditation before my shower.’ He rolls his eyes.
The next day, he doesn’t ask me about running, and I feel alarmed. Has he stopped caring about my well-being? Has he assumed that I am never going to go for a run ever again? How dare he! In a fit of anger, I go into my gym-kit drawer and soon find myself standing there in leggings, sports bra and T-shirt. ‘You are going for a run?’ he says, looking surprised.
‘Only to make a point,’ I say, lacing up my trainers. ‘Only to make a point.’
Every morning I use excuses such as ‘tiredness’, ‘preserving energy’ and ‘an ache in my big toe’