This is the mini-epiphany I had last week as I jogged around the streets with one dog in front and the other behind. You see I have never been a jogger, much less a runner; my image of myself has always been of a non-sporty, non-athletic person, who likes walking, tai-chi, ballroom dancing – the kinds of activities where I don’t have to run or know many rules or be relied upon by a team of enthusiastic players. Since joining a gym almost 4 years ago I have discovered that I like exercise, I like doing weights, and I like challenging myself (actually I knew that one, just I usually applied it to other areas of my life). I am not interested in the appearance of sportiness – I have sarcastic thoughts when the gym’s in-house fitness magazine recommends rewarding yourself with the latest yoga pants and hoodie to go with the new sneakers.
So, to get back to my point – as I was jogging along, dressed in my deeply ordinary dog-walking clothes, I realised that I don’t care what I look like to anyone else. I am thrilled to be feeling energetic enough to talk my dogs for two jog/walks a day. I am very pleased with how far I can go (on the flat) without puffing and moaning like Eeyore. I am deeply satisfied to notice a gradual streamlining of parts of my silhouette. It’s all about me – how healthy and fit I feel, how comfortable I am inside my own skin, how much energy I have to tackle my life. It may have taken me twenty-hum years to discard the labels I picked up during childhood and adolescence, and to fight off the unfavourable comparisons that are made so easy by images in the media, but by crikey I am getting there!