In which Jillian tells me to star-jump, and I say ‘how high?’

Sometimes I suspect that I was last in line when endorphins were given out.

I’m doing the 30-Day Shred at the minute. Well, ‘doing’. My thirty Days of Shred are interspersed with quite a few Days of Can’t Be Bothered, and my hand weights for the strength training parts are baked bean cans. But it’s only twenty minutes, and even Henry will sit through that. He is fascinated with Jillian. I think it’s the abs. Aren’t we all, Henricus. Aren’t we all.

Good heavens.

When you feel like explaining what you're doing down there, let me know.

I put it on with some trepidation the first time, but it didn’t feel that difficult and I was encouraged. The cardio parts are mostly jumping – jumping in star shapes, jumping with an invisible skipping rope, jumping for no reason at all – and even I can jump with moderate enthusiasm. The next day, mysteriously, I was crippled. But I staggered on. We ran out of beans. I used water bottles, and tried to drink from them evenly throughout the workout, so as not to end up with one massive bicep.

I still didn’t feel any fitter, though, and that’s when I realised. Here is the maths of my situation, and you cannot argue with maths.

1 tire round the middle


1 set of seriously unfit heart+lungs+muscles


1 inability to stop eating Cadbury’s Cream Eggs

= Person Who Must Run.

Oh my giddy aunt, running. Running is not good. I don’t come back exhilarated, I come back hacking like a chain smoker with a fire-engine face. The back of my throat has been sandpapered. I stagger up the stairs, take off my clothes and lie naked and groaning for half an hour, after which I wobble around on jelly legs and bash into things accidentally. I am a barrel of injuries. I am definitely unable to lug around seventeen pounds of wriggly boy who thinks his mama is the best stair-lift ever invented.

But, you know, the maths thing.

I know myself, and the best way to make myself run is with the threat of public humiliation hanging over my head, so I’ve signed me and my sister up for the Windsor Race for Life in June*. It’s only 5k, but at present I might’s well be planning to turn sweat into gold. I went for a run today, just as a tester, and within a few minutes my eyes were watering so much it looked like I was crying. This is how sad I am about the running thing, said my body. I am making you leak tears in front of everyone. SOB SOB SOB.

Shhh, I said. Honestly. Don’t be such a drama-body.

It’s been sulking ever since.

*Want to sponsor me for coughing up a lung? Our page is here. It would be lovely of you, really.

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