Wednesday, 24 March 2010
I shared a table with a group of women at the Ealing Tavern last weekend. They had cheerful, glowing faces and gabbled on about their dogs, gardens and blossoming careers while sipping on diet cokes. It transpired they all belonged to a running club and actually seemed to enjoy pounding the city pavements. As I set aside my third lunchtime cider, I wondered if this was what was missing from my life. Would exercise put a smile on my moody gob and open my eyes to the beauty of London? After all, I sit on my ever-increasing bottom for 40 hours a week at work... then come home and sit on it for another 40 for fun.
The last time I had run anywhere was some time in the Nineties, but I thought I'd give it a go this morning. I pulled on my too-short-in-the-leg tracksuit bottoms and bursting-at-the-chest pink vest before I could talk myself out of it. It then dawned on me that I could combine my new, dedicated exercise regime with a trip to Tesco Metro. But how would I carry my purse and keys? Just clutch them as I ran? I tried to picture the joggers who slink around West London. Were their keys and Clubcards in their socks? Or did their au pairs let them in? My only option was to strap a handbag on (a yellow, dangly one from the Cancer Research shop, £1).
And so I found myself running along the back streets of Ealing, listening to Paul McKenna on my iPod (his hynosis CD is on there for my sleepless nights, so his suggestive tones will pop up between Beck and Eskimo One songs). In the prime of my mid-20s, I used to attract the odd, furtive glance from young men passing on the street. Now, if men look at me it's normally because I have spilled gravy down my front, I'm wearing my top back-to-front, or I'm staggering down the street, wearing too-tight gym wear and a bright yellow handbag.
And now, 25 minutes later, I'm having a sit down back home with my Tesco cheese, crackers and hot chocolate.