Why does nobody jog any more? In the 80s, when yuppies were invented, everyone who did that sort of thing went jogging, with their Sony walkmans and their Adidas, didn't they? People only ran from escaped lions, or the Feds. My mother's vocabulary is still stuck there: when I tell her that B goes running she expects him to be sprinting from start to finish. (And winning. My mother expects him to be sent to Mars and/or win a marathon at any moment.) "You mean jogging," she says, to clarify. "Yes, Mother. Jogging. Except it's called running these days."
Anyway. When I came downstairs all togged out in my running bottoms and my running top and my running fleecy hoodie and my new bouncy shoes, B grinned admiringly and said I looked great. Taller, even. I very nearly went back upstairs that point, because clearly the gear had done its job already. Magical. I probably looked smaller in volume because the bra was squishing me as I had never been squished before, that was all.
Anyway. Out I went. And I have to say that the constricting upholstery did its job and the only parts of me bouncing as I set off down the hill (always good to go downhill first, so long as you can work your run so you never have to come back up) were my cheeks. The cheeks on my face, I mean. And my bum.
Too many years of cycling to school and to work have left their mark on my psyche, and I always think running downhill should take no effort at all, but the truth is that you still have to put one foot in front of the other, even with gravity helping. I apply this principle to everything actually, assuming that once I'm past the halfway mark, the rest will do itself. Sadly, not always true. Not even mostly true. But still, the downhill gave me a nice boost and I got around the rest of my 1.6-mile route running a bit and walking a bit. I was still able to run to the front door when I rounded the corner to our road, so I felt pleased that I hadn't overdone it.
As if there's any chance of that. I vividly remember Mrs McGoldrick's enraged tones yelling at me from the other side of the (field) hockey pitch: "Stop saving yourself, Maud," as I pootled around in the idle backwaters of "defence" and tried to look as if I gave a hoot. When it comes to exercise, I have a history of saving myself. Women and children first, you know.
But that's not the point. The point is that the shower afterwards felt like I'd earned it, and yesterday my legs were that good sort of sore, and even though it hadn't completely worn off this morning, I went out again and did the same thing, and I could swear I was able to save myself just a tiny bit less.
Mabel declared that she doesn't want me to go out for a run again until she's four. But then, she says she's not going to wear underpants till she's four either. I hope she'll be proved wrong on both counts.