February is the New January
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the entire month of January basically just passed by in a blur?
I don’t know: I feel like I started the month with all of the usual, “New Year, New You,” intentions. I would get back into my fitness routine! I would run every day! And eat super-healthily! The house would always be spotlessly clean, I’d be up and at my desk by 6.30am every morning, and I would, you know, DO STUFF. Cool stuff. And also important and self-improving stuff…
Yeah, absolutely none of that happened.
I went running a grand total of ONE time during the month of January. ONE time. And when I got back from that run, I got suck straight back into what was left of the Christmas chocolate, so, as achievements go, it wasn’t exactly a great one. The rest of the month panned out exactly the same way, and while a large part of that was due to the looming deadline I mentioned last week (Which is now past! I am free!) a lot of it was also, let’s face it, down to pure laziness. Seriously.
So, this month I’m starting again. I’m basically going to just pretend January didn’t happen, and start afresh in February. And to help me do it, last weekend we bought a treadmill.
I know, I know: buying a treadmill at the start of the year… so predictable. So pointless. So destined to be used purely as extra hanging space for my clothes before the month is out.
Well, maybe. But I’m really hoping it won’t work out that way, because I’ve wanted a treadmill for as long as I’ve been running, really: or at least since the moment I worked out that running was the only form of exercise I actually like. It would be a stretch to say I “love” running (I honestly wouldn’t do any exercise at all if I didn’t have to. I would recline on a chaise lounge and eat bon bons all day.), but out of all of the forms of exercise I’ve tried (and I think I’ve tried them all at this point), it’s the only one I’ve ever been able to keep up on a consistent basis. I think I like it because it allows me to pretty much switch my brain off while I’m doing it. I can listen to music, I can watch TV… I can think about all of the things that are constantly spinning around in my head, or I can think about absolutely nothing at all. I like that. I just obviously don’t like it enough to want to jump out of bed in the mornings and get right to it, because over the space of the last year or so, my running has gradually tapered off, right down to that “one run in the month of January” thing. Uh-oh.
See, my problem is that if my chosen exercise requires any amount of what I think of as “faffing”, I just won’t do it. I quit the gym, not because I didn’t like using their running machines, but because I had to drive there and back, and that extra 35-40 minutes of “faffing” was more than enough to allow me to convince myself that I just didn’t have the time. I would go tomorrow! Or, you know, the next day! But, of course, tomorrow never comes, and in the end I decided just to accept that fact, cut my losses, and quit the gym.
So I started running outdoors. And I liked it, too. But then we moved house, and although our new house is surrounded by lovely countryside, which you’d think would make it the ideal place for outdoor running, it just isn’t. In order to run outdoors here, I have basically three choices:
1. Run through isolated countryside, where the ground is often so boggy and the grass so tall that I can’t see my feet, and am constantly worried that I’ll step in a rabbit hole or something, break my ankle and die, alone, on that desolate moor. A lot of the time I’ll be up to my ankles/calves in mud, and while I know REAL runners would think nothing of that, I am so far from being a “real” runner that I just find it horribly uncomfortable and unpleasant.
2. Run on dangerous country roads, where there is no footpath, just a single-lane road, along which The Others drive at 80 mph, refusing to slow down or swerve to avoid me. (Honestly, this absolutely infuriates me. I know they can see me from quite a distance away, but they still refuse to slow down or move to the side, preferring to just narrowly miss me, and scare the living daylights out of me instead. I hate them.)
3. Get in the car and drive to a location better suited for running, which = FAFFING.
So we got a treadmill. (And a new pair of running shoes, because OF COURSE I would find this a way to make this all about buying shoes. They’re hideous, obviously, but I’ve been running long enough now to know that you really can’t care too much what your shoes look like, as long as they fit…) Now I have no excuse not to work out. There is no faffing. There is no mud. There are no Others. There’s just me, the treadmill, and Netflix. Together, we will triumph over February, winter, and my natural inclination to simply stay in bed until springtime. And, I mean, I will still be running outdoors too, when I can: it’ll just be nice not to be constrained by the weather (Or the daylight: in the winter it’s dark here by around 3pm, and I’m not running through the woods/on the country road in the dark…), or to feel like I’m taking part in one of those “Mudder” challenges every time I leave the house.
Or that’s the plan, anyway.