Involuntary exercise

Family exercise


As an adult I’ve probably never been more fit than I am now. This obviously excludes the fact that I function solely on caffeine and cereal and I’ve had 18 years of broken sleep. I mean in the sense of doing exercise. This is basically because I am starting from a low base. In my youth I went through fairly half-hearted phases of exercising – aerobics [not my favourite], yoga [I’m not sure that counts as I recall spending a lot of time lying down and even falling asleep], dance classes of all kinds [much more fun], walking a lot and occasional swimming…

Nowadays, though, I am forced to spend weekends in the pool and pounding the streets. Last weekend only son volunteered me for two straight days of swimming and by swimming he doesn’t mean a few lengths up and down the pool. He means underwater races, handstand walking, somersaults and synchronised swimming routines. This was followed by a long session scouring the charity shops in search of a prom dress for daughter one. I’m not sure shopping counts as exercise, but we did cover a lot of ground because daughter one is fairly selective. She eventually found a black dress for just short of two pounds.

In the week, there was the school run, which is literally running given that I am generally on the late side due to all the clocks in our house being set at different times. Then there were four days spent in around various cities getting to and from meetings against the clock. On one day I interviewed someone in my car in a car park before sprinting across a city to meet someone else then ran back for another meeting and moved swiftly to a park for a conference call. I then walked 40 minutes back to my car.

On Monday morning the day started with chair zumba and daughter three. Her internet school runs an exercise class to start the week so there we sat, zumba-ing in unison to Justin Timberlake. Monday evening was spent hacking through a thicket of thorns to rescue only son’s football.

So it is kind of relaxing to conserve energy and just sit and write articles into the night, doing the work life merge.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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