take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Running out of excuses 

I have the membership card now.

The photo on it is a couple of years old - it's one of the set I got for my monthly Travelcard when I last lived in London and soon lost the will to play the City slicker game. My hair is lighter in the photo but from chemicals rather than sunshine. I have since learned to fully embrace my natural raven.

I know how to get in now.

If the outer gate is open, I follow the path past the Prep school and then round to the left, just beyond the basketball hoop. If the gate isn't open, I have to go through the main door of the Prep school (using the door code), along the corridor and out the other side. Once I'm there, I use the card to open the door, sign in and leave the card at reception. Changing rooms are signposted.

The (modest) membership fee has been paid, though this is often unrelated to actual attendance at any sports club, as many well-intentioned new year's resolvers can attest.

All I need now is to know the timetable - when I can go and when I can't. Once I have that information, there really will be no more excuses to be made.

But when I stood with Big at the door, on the outside looking in, I became wistful. As I watched the lithe, young things effortlessly carving their way through the water, performing elegant tumble turns at each end, barely making a splash as they glided up and down, I wondered where my own, clumsy, breathless attempts at swimming fitted into this display of athleticism and quickly concluded that it just didn't.

I really want to start swimming. I know how good it will be for me, how it could complement and even replace the running. The school pool and sports club is incredibly cheap - a fraction of what I'd pay for a "proper" gym - and located just across the road. If I can just dare myself, just allow myself, to be crap at it for a while. To be surrounded by people who are miles better than me and to be okay about that. To put my hated body in a swimsuit, take a deep breath (both physically and metaphorically) and just get on with it. After a while, I may become average or even mediocre. That will do.

I did it with running - I never thought I would.

Just need to dare myself.

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