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20 words for a new world:
Sport

There was a meme doing the rounds in the early days of the pandemic:

If you don’t come out of lockdown with a better body, you didn’t lack time, you lacked discipline.

Although initially shared by a number of people it was swiftly disavowed by an even larger number. Phew! Not everyone had the opportunity, motivation or even inclination to reinvent lockdown as “hot girl summer bod” boot camp.

But the seed of doubt had been set. And even though I had recently had a baby and was struggling to get back to even a gentle yoga routine, let alone start benching bro, exercise was on my mind.

As PE with Joe mania gripped the nation, I tried doing one of the sessions [offered free by fitness coach Joe Wicks on YouTube] with my eldest son only to find my muscles too stiff to walk properly for the following week.

I needed another option. An activity that would allow me to rebuild my stamina, get out and see (a small corner) of the world, while maintaining social distancing. Running was a form of exercise I had long threatened to start but could rarely find the time for. But now I had the excuse to buy the cute, overpriced running clothes I had been eyeing up for some time yet couldn’t justify purchasing. My new garms arrived, Monday morning rolled round and I emerged into the unseasonable pandemic sunshine, an enthusiastic, newly minted runner, ready to step into my new lockdown identity, just me and the open road, baby. It lasted all of a week (OK, credit where credit is due, a week and a half).

As my youngest started solids, my small window of running time disappeared. My work schedule was manic. And while lockdown for some seemed to be shaping up into a self-improvement sabbatical, I was run ragged trying to keep the wheels on.

But still I had a dull nagging that I wasn’t doing enough. Despite all the contrary voices, the ones that reminded us this was an unprecedented pandemic, that life as we knew it had been shaken to the core, that the fact our immediate futures were uncertain, the longer term unknowable, was legitimate grounds for grief, despair or apathy, I still felt I needed to be doing more.

And more important, physically, I felt stiff and creaky.

What to do? I wracked my brains. A eureka moment. A trampoline! A proper fitness one. Honestly, trampolining has been a godsend. I don’t know how I’ve spent my whole life living without one, the whole fam is into it. Who cares that it takes up half the floor space in the living room when the whole concept of a living room, the whole concept of home, has been so radically reimagined in the past few months. I’m actually managing to do a 15-minute workout every morning. It feels fab and is soooo much fun! And those running clothes I bought? Turns out they’re perfect for holding everything in place while you’re bouncing too.

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