Hello stranger! I can’t believe it’s been FOUR weeks since I last posted – it’s a good job my livelihood doesn’t depend on this blog, that’s for sure! I hope you’ll forgive me for the lack of updates lately – I’ve been very busy and all secret picnics (apart from the kids’ chocolate that I scoff when everyone has gone to bed) have had to take a bit of a backseat. Also, if I’m completely honest, I wasn’t sure if my audience of three was getting slightly bored with my silly ramblings and this seems to have hindered my inspiration over the last few weeks.
Luckily though, yesterday I met up with a lovely friend who I haven’t seen in a while and it turns out that she’s been reading my literary attempts as well! She was even quite complimentary about it and this has given me renewed confidence to plod on with my musings. So thank you my little coffee-mate – you know who you are and that’s all I’m going to say, lest you think this entire post is all about YOU!
Quick update then: we have a new royal baby in the house (not our house of course, I’m just being ‘street’), a new all-Tory government (full of the same old oily faces), I’ve been to see Olly Murs perform live (don’t judge me, it was for the kids – but he was rather good!), Pud’s just about to be made redundant (another story for another day), and Leicester City are staying up in the Premier League (Blue Army!!)
The BIG news though is that I ventured back out on my bike today after a week’s break while we were on holiday. I’ve been having a bit of a love-hate relationship with cycling since I bought my bike – while I love the romantic vision of zipping around country lanes, clocking up infinite miles in record time, my toned, muscular legs effortlessly turning the pedals, I hate the reality that I’m actually quite unfit, my legs look more like raw ham joints and every time I go out at the moment it feels like I’m cycling through quicksand. And that’s before I’ve even got the damned thing out of the garage!
It’s fair to say that I underestimated the effort required just to haul myself and bike up the gentlest of slopes and it was a bit of shock when I realised just how hard I was finding it. The fact that every other cyclist I pass seems to be some incarnation of Bradley Wiggins with their professional skin-tight padded leggings, streamlined helmets and fancy racing bikes doesn’t help either. How come they don’t have to stop at the top of a hill to take in great gasps of air whilst simultaneously trying not to chuck their guts up? How come their faces aren’t the colour of a tinned plum tomato as they bid me a smug good morning, before leaving me for dust? AND how come I’ve never heard anyone else cry out in utter frustration as their legs turn to jelly halfway up a steep incline??
I discussed my woes with Pud just before we went away, complaining that I was embarrassed to be seen out on my bike and that it just doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. And do you know what? For once my husband offered some advice that I actually listened to. He said that no one was judging me except me. What does it matter if I’m going slowly? At least I’m making an effort to try and get a bit fitter. And as for those cyclists I see in all their fancy gear, well anyone can look the part but not all of them are Olympic medal contenders – it’s just possible some might even be struggling like me.
So this morning with these thoughts firmly planted in my mind, I wedged my mushroom helmet on, plonked my sorry ass on the saddle and off I went. This time was different though. No self-imposed pressure to attack the roads, just a determination to make enough effort to feel like I’ve exercised and to blooming well enjoy it.
And twelve miles later, with aching legs to reassure me that I’ve put a bit of work in – mission accomplished!
I couldn’t get to my secret picnic bench way up in the Gods today as bikes aren’t allowed up there but next time I’m on foot dear friend, you and I have a date!