Today I cancelled my gym membership. Again.
I rejoined about 18 months ago. I had decided that my solitary lifestyle was not healthy. So I joined the gym to meet some new people, wore my ipod the whole time and never spoke to a soul. But I did go to the gym regularly.
Then other things started to get in the way of my work out sessions. My Open University course was first, eating up huge chunks of my spare time and leaving little in its wake and then other bits and pieces until my gym habit was broken. And once that happens it is replaced by that negative emotion that is the bane of every woman's life - guilt. You know how it goes. I really must get back to the gym. But I can't go today and tomorrow might be tricky. There's always the evening when the kids are all home. Or the weekend?
Well, I say no to guilt. I am just not playing that game any more and so I took the bull by the horns and cancelled my membership. But now I will have to find something else to do. Classes are no good for me because I hate unnecessary commitment. I could swim or go out on my bike. And whilst I pondered my options a very strange thought crossed my mind. I could run.
Now, whilst readers who know me well stop snorting in derision and recover their composure, I should explain why this is an alien thought to me. I do not run. I never have done. And I have spent a lot of time wondering why other people do run, particularly as so many of them seem to spend most of their life strapped up or nursing some injury or another.
But I am nothing if not game. And all I have to do is replicate the cardiovascular stuff that I was doing in the gym. I'm not about to start training for a race. So this morning, by way of an experiment, I ran to school and back. It's hardly a great distance - it's about eight minutes at a brisk walk. I was in my jeans and Converses. I just set off and ran. And it was fine. I didn't die or have a heart attack.
And now I'm thinking that running might be the way forward. I can do it in that dead time when the little ones have gone to bed but before the decent telly has started. I can go with my elder two who intermittently go for a quick jog round the block. And everyone else does it. I know I don't get it yet but there must be some reason for that.
It can join the long list of u turns in my life and I'll give it a go and see what happens. But honestly people that know me well, if I start wanting a dog then get me booked into a clinic because then you will know that I have finally lost my mind.