Dolly's blog: No sweat!
In the olden days I used to exercise a lot and to a reasonably high standard, swimming as a kid then rowing at uni. I took it for granted, but I now think it was why I never got stressed about anything much really.
Then I started work and my workouts decreased in proportion to the increase in my sauvignon consumption. I just couldn’t find anything I could be bothered to stick with that I could fit around my new life.
Obviously I did the “must look my best self” thing in the run-up to getting married, joined a gym and dropped a dress size. But then we started having kids and, well, you know...
Challenged by my exercise-obsessed husband (who is swinging kettlebells whilst I type and sleeps next to a book called “Becoming a Supple Leopard”) I’ve justified my sloth by pointing out that three kids, a life-consuming job and a 4+ hour daily commute is quite enough already thanks. Boom. Tell that to your leopard mates sat on their leopard branches with no digital strategy, budget negotiation and staff wellbeing issues to worry about.
And anyway, I’m “active”. I’ll choose walking over public transport any day and pushing around/carrying three small children is physically demanding. But these days the kids are nearly all taller than I am and the step count on my iPhone was telling me that on rainy Sundays I was doing fewer than 600 steps (no – there isn’t a zero missing).
When life got a bit hairy over the summer I instinctively threw myself back into the sea to make things better. It worked. But then it got cold. I needed a Plan B…
And that my friends is when I fell in love with a Peloton [other high tech exercise bikes are available and no money has been paid for the production of this blog]. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
1. It’s expensive! Yes – I know this makes me a shallow materialist. But psychology is everything and expensive = luxury purchase = an “I love me” present. Like a new Mulberry handbag, but better for my butt.
2. I can buy loads of branded kit! So far I only have the shoes, weights and water bottle, but having grown up in 80s London the force of a leisure logo runs strong in me. I’m getting some of those cleavage enhancing crop tops as soon as the old muffin top has melted away.
3. It’s ten steps from my bed! I’ve counted. And you can do a session that lasts just 10 minutes and still makes you sweat. This means I literally have no excuse, whatsoever, even if it’s raining. And I can actually squeeze it in before work, looking rough as a badger’s arse and not giving a hoot because no one can see me. Result.
4. It tells me I’m amazing! A glamazon chocolate box of instructors confirms “I’ve got this”, to “find my power” and some stuff about inner truth which is surprisingly motivating. Complete strangers on the other side of the world give me digital high fives. And then there’s the personal best alerts, weekly streak tally and leader board. Chasing some American guy in his 50s on the leader board I discovered an inner ferocity I wasn’t sure existed. Eat my dust.
5. It plays me an endless stream of 80s music! Turns out you can even dance on this thing. And I do. It’s impossible not to feel good after doing a hill climb listening to Chesney Hawkes. Impossible I tell you.
Confession: The extent of my love (borderline addiction tbh) is such that, under the pretence of needing to do my tax return, I made my entire family return from holiday a day early so that I wouldn’t go back to zero on my “weekly streak”.
Perplexingly I haven’t lost a single kilogram (I think that might be the sauvignon…) but hey, everyone knows muscle weighs more than fat and I now have legs of cold hard steel. And more importantly, especially when I get to work, I once again feel like I could bite the ass off a bear.
After 19 years of fee earning, Dolly now works in a management role in a London law firm. Working four days a week she has three children aged 13, 11 and 8, a wonderful (though often absent) husband and a charismatic dog who keeps her sane.
Category: A Citymother's Diary