My mum, although not very sporty, was always quite flexible. Even as a woman in her mid forties she was able to touch her head to her unbent knees and do the lotus flower position without wincing. In today’s yoga enthusiastic culture that’s probably not much of a feat, but it always seemed to me like a big deal given she liked to smoke her ciggies, never exercise and generally not pay much attention to her physical wellbeing or stamina. We used to have competitions about who could stretch further and keep an awkward position, elongating the limbs, for longer. The older she got, the more flexible I became and started to win more often.
I’ve realised recently that I, now in my thirties, have let myself go in the flexibility department. I cringe in discomfort when, in bouts of stretching energy, I attempt to touch the floor on unbent knees without warming up. I’m angry at my thigh muscles that refuse to do the simplest flexibility test or cramp up when I attempt to sprint up the stairs whilst carrying a fourteen kilogram Kazek. I am annoyed with my body. I guess being seven months pregnant probably has a lot to do with it, but to me that’s just a cop out. The lack of effort on my behalf is appalling. I excuse it with a lack of time and two knee reconstructions. But it just makes me feel crappier. And now I am in a state of endless promises, determined to get back into shape once Dude II pops out in January. It’s horrible how quickly the body deteriorates. It’s doubly horrible how quickly my frame of mind has changed too, from loving being active to putting it on a shelf for later. Blah.
Meanwhile, at the age of 53 my mum has quit smoking, rides her bike everywhere, goes for long strolls in the forest, works up a sweat in her garden digging trenches and chopping firewood, and exhibits an exuberant level of energy with Kazek that leaves me to shame.