I saw this video and I thought it was brilliant. It’s only a minute and a half. Have a look:
I thought these women were fabulous. I’m in that boat now, and I know I’ve got the stuff, but my body certainly does not resemble the lean, taut ladies who hit the local gyms. They didn’t make lycra for legs and tummies like mine. I’m lumpy.
Flashback to when I was a skinny little eleven-year-old at the Ridgeland Commons pool. We lived there when we were little kids, eagerly leaping around for our summer pool passes every June that ensured an endless shining season of that loud, cold relief from the heat.
I recall one day when a woman who must have been about 65 walking toward me. Her legs were wobbling like nothing I had ever seen before. I can’t recall if I was horrified or fascinated, but it was the first time I saw such a dazzling display of cellulite.
Now I’m 45 and I have a pretty healthy dose of cellulite myself. I told a friend today that I feel a kind of fondness, a little pride in my legs that move without asking. But I also despise them, despair a little, feel to some degree resigned. It’s a mixed bag of emotions.
I’ve never been a one for organised exercise. I try a gym and it fizzles soon afterwards. I have spent time swimming laps, but running up against each wall again and again drives me nuts. Box-fit was fun, but you have to have a schedule and proximity to accommodate the classes. Walking and cycling have been my thing.
So I saw this video and it sort of came at the right time. Because lately, I’ve been cycling some tough gigs, and each time I go out, I am more of a mountain lion running up and down the hills. I’m proud.
See, I have a bicycle in my life again after 12 years, and it’s mountain bike to tackle the steep, graveled roads I live on. To be honest, the hills are kicking my ass, but every day I’m getting stronger.
My legs are still a little wobbly and since I’m ageing, always will. But each day, I’m hitting these steep hills in the 95 degree heat in tougher and tougher gears each time, because I can. I can do it!
Nowadays, I exercise because it feels good, and I feel great afterwards, and that feeling carries me into the next day.
It feels fantastic. It’s me, the hills, exploring, the heaving lungs, my legs churning, me feet solid, breathing like a steam locomotive. I am proud of England for making this ad, proud of the women who take pride in their bodies no matter how they look.
So you women out there, no matter your shape or size or age who are getting out there sweating like anything and moving to the beat. Respect.
-photo is a little disorganized selfie from the bike today. Yes those are flies all over my face and my headphones. Drive you nuts, but it’s a fact of life down here.