Lately I’ve been getting up early, with the sun, at 5.15am!! I know, it’s weird!
Weird for me. I’ve always struggled with mornings- ‘Oh no, really, another day, I can’t face another day.’ So I’d stay in bed til the very last minute- not good when you have children to organise for school and then I have to go off to work.
But lately, something’s changed, don’t know what or why, perhaps because in summer its the only time of the day that’s cool.
The morning light has a softness I haven’t seen before, and the quietness is inspiring.
Sometimes I go for a walk; I’d like to run, but I have to tell myself that its a simple walk, its not a marathon, just a gentle stroll, only to the end of the street if you like- goodness, the things I have to tell myself just to get out of bed!
Shoes on and out the door, the morning air is cool and weightless.
A little way down the road I start to feel pretty good, so I break into a bit of a jog; I relax into the meditative rhythm of feet on tarmac, it comforts and calms.
I’m doing well, I haven’t passed out from exhaustion or trip over my big clumsy feet. Now the trick is to not get too confident and over do it.
Oh, here comes someone from the opposite direction, I’ll slow down to a fast walk now, I probably look ridiculous.
‘Morning,’ we say as we pass.
Then I pick up the pace again, not wanting to lose the higher cardio rate.
As I run, I hold my abdominal muscles in, giving myself a flat tummy; don’t want a beer belly hanging down over my shorts (which are long enough to cover other wobbly bits too) Holding everything in, I’m lookin’ good!!!
‘Okay, to the letterbox at the top of the gentle rise, lets go, you can do it,’ I encourage myself; I’m my very own personal trainer.
At the top, I keep walking but much slower, hands on hips, taking long deep breaths. It feels good; heart beating heavily but evenly, thank goodness; legs throbbing gently, I can feel the fat falling away. I mentally pat myself on the back.
I head down the street on my right. Its all down hill from here, all the way to the bottom where the road ends. Impossible to run down, I would definitely trip over; cartwheels and somersaults, cartoon style; not pretty.
This street is part of a new estate and ends in a big round cul de sac, a good place to stop and rest but I resist the temptation, thinking that if I do stop now I won’t get going again.
I follow the curve of the road and head back up the hill. Butt and legs are burning now. ‘Burn, baby, burn!’
I use the hill for ‘lunges’; each step feet shoulder width, working the inside thighs, yeah!
Halfway up the hill there’s a flat spot which gives the legs a bit of a break but you can pick up the pace, a bit of a run-up before the hill starts again.
‘Okay, the next rise is the last one,’ I tell myself, out loud, cos there’s no one to hear me scream!
I reach the top!! Yeah! I throw my arms in the air, a bit like Rocky Balboa in the movies; running around, a silent scream; celebration!!
My breathing is hard and heavy now, but the blood pumping through my body makes everything feel alive!
Even as the sun burns down and the cicadoes are starting to hiss, the breeze cools my wet skin, and I head along the final stretch to home!
‘See, this is how good you can feel,’ making this sink into to my subconscious so it can replay for the next morning ‘walk’.
Upstairs, I put the kettle on to boil while I jump in the shower. Cuppa tea in hand I sit outside on the shady back deck, looking out through the branches and watch the morning light alter.