Exercise yards

Sunday 22nd January 2012

Sunlight dipping
Walkers on leads
Blue track-suited solo jogger
Fallen branch resting like forearm
Sign requesting no feeding of horses
Shoulders back to flex sore torn muscle
Would I be here if it was raining?
Probably not, but a man has to start somewhere
When getting fit for the first time in twenty years

After several weeks of discomfort in the back and shoulder, I’m taking to the streets in protest. One should not take these things lying down.

It’s a struggle, mind. For there is also a part of the mind urging me to do exactly the opposite: to avoid further pain by taking a rest, followed by a sleep, followed by a lie-in. And following this up with plenty of rest. Such an approach to healing is far too attractive.

The plan is to do the same daily walk – along by a stream, past a paddock, through a corner of the park, down a hill that’s no more than a gentle incline – until I reach the point where I may even be inclined to attempt to do it, er… a bit quicker.

This is what I describe as ‘walking for a number of days running’, which grants me the licence not to set any targets, but to go at my own pace, to cancel at any time, or to abandon the entire exercise programme due to inclement weather, a change of heart or through downright laziness.

The piece above, penned on today’s walk, is much more my sort of exercise: ten lines, each succeeding line being one word longer. More examples:

Heavy snow
School is closed
Mum is not happy
Put on my wellington boots
Scarf gloves hat thick woollen coat
Good friends and I build massive snowman
After lunch up to Leckhampton Hill with sledge
Back home again later – cold wet covered in snow
Mum tells me, “You’re just like the children, you teachers”

Rose early
Stayed in pyjamas
Telephoned sister in Leeds
High cholesterol high fat brunch
Watched United game on the telly
Drank four cans of Special Brew during
Sent texts to a couple of mates after
Found a bit of blow and smoked a spliff
Another day in the life of Rose Early, aged fifteen

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