I’ve been reading back over my posts of recent months, and have noticed a trend of talking about all the drinking and partying I have been doing. Which, I feel, is giving out all the wrong sort of impressions. Firstly, I don’t actually go out all that much anymore, it’s just that I don’t blog very often. Secondly, maybe I sort of exaggerate the levels and amounts of intoxication. Just for comic effect. Maybe.
Anyway, to redress the balance, I’m going to tell you all about the good stuff I also do these days. Like riding my pushbike. All the way into work. Up to three times a week. Trust me, it is a big deal.
Historically, I’m not much of an exercise person. But when we moved in my flat back in August, and I looked out the bedroom window and realised that I could actually see Canary Wharf (and not in the distant distance either), I figured that getting to the office under my own stream couldn’t be too difficult a proposition. And the bonuses! Firm thighs! Money savings! This was the opportunity to reinvent myself as a Person Who Exercises On a Regular Basis.
The first couple of weeks, I have to admit, were pretty difficult. Not impossibly so, but on a scale of 1-10 for I-might-keel-over-and-die-ness, about an 8. But then, it just got easier. One day, I even arrived to work without a bright red face and dots dancing in front of my eyes. I knew then that I was going to be alright.
So now I kind of understand what all those smug exercise-types have been saying all these years. On those days that I cycle in (and also back home – that’s twice in one day), I feel better. My head is clearer. I can eat a big bagel slathered with peanut butter and know that I EARNED the right to scoff it down. If I’m honest, though, I’m yet to develop thighs of steel or calves of rock, but really, it’s only about 30 minutes in each direction. I’m hardly in training to represent England at the Olympics.
There is an inherent danger involved in all this activity. And I’m not just talking about dodging trucks on the main roads. What I’m referring to, of course, is the risk of arriving at work without some essential piece of grooming equipment. As I just get up and go, to shower and get ready once I’ve arrived at work, it is imperative that I have everything with me to make me presentable for the day.
One morning, I completely forgot to pack any makeup. Not the end of the world, granted, but I’m certainly not ecstatic about passing the entire day at work with a completely blank face. Luckily, I was able to scrounge some eyeliner and mascara from a more organised colleague. Female, naturally, although I did ask the guys too; after all this is the era of “Manscara”. Another morning, I glibly cycled away from my building feeling very free and light. Too light, in fact. I didn’t get too far down the street before I realised that I had left my entire backpack at home. If the alarm bell hadn’t started ting-a-linging in my brain, I would have turned up to work without anything to change into. Without even a work pass or wallet. An oversight not only extremely embarrassing, but really quite smelly.
And one morning, a couple of weeks ago, the inevitable did happen. I somehow forgot to bring a work top. I had a skirt, and tights, and shoes, and makeup and even a nice pair of earrings. But the jumper I thought I had put into my bag? Somehow it managed to jump back out before I left the house. I had to slink into the nearest Zara wearing my work clothes topped with a sweaty tracksuit top, and nonchalently buy a shirt to wear for the day. The shop assistants didn’t even blink when I came out of the change room and asked to just purchase the top I was wearing. A friend later pointed out that girls coming in to buy a new top first thing in the morning is probably not an uncommon occurance. And not for the innocent reason I was doing so.
I didn’t feel like I had to justify myself at the time, but now I wish I had said something like, “Oh silly me, I completely forgot to put a jumper in my bag when I packed this morning before cycling in this morning FROM MY OWN HOME.”