It was only when lockdown started that I realised how important exercise is. Admittedly, I was fairly lazy until I reached my thirties when I suddenly felt the need to work a little harder to stay looking good. And, since then, I have been somewhat of a dilettante where exercise is concerned- for several months, a committed runner; for several others, a spin zealot; for those hot summer months, a keen walker. I’ve espoused the virtues of them all!
After March 2020, I suddenly realised that not only was exercise so important to me for the effect on my body, it was the social and bonding aspect of exercise that I also enjoyed so much.
Since then, I have made it my ‘thing’ to exercise online with friends. In these socially distanced times, YouTube has provided much inspiration (and many laughs- at ourselves) as, over video calls, we have danced together, grunted encouragement for our squats, endeavoured to twerk, tried boxing, walked countless steps and basically bonded over the shared joy of generating endorphins together!
Another small pleasure that stems from this new pass-time is the opportunity to acquire (and live in) new fitness wear. Where pre-pandemic internet trawling would have involved much lusting after boots, bags and coats, now there is a new delight in finding an extra comfortable pair of high-waisted leggings. Who knew that the sight of a rainbow of ready lycra could lift your heart? The simple pleasure that can be found in a reliable trainer sock, that doesn’t slip under your foot as you work out!
Exercising together can bridge the generation gap too! My Dad is an avid golfer, but with the courses closed during lockdown, he came on board too. There is something very special in learning a routine to a Britney Spears track with your 72 year old father! That’s the strange joy that can be found in doing the things you normally do in a different way.