Bry­ony Gor­don

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - MUM AND ME -

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’

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