With Halloween drawing near, it's time to celebrate all things spooky and scary. But I ain't afraid of no ghosts, or witches, spiders, devils, or any of that... Although there are few things more terrifying than a sugar-crazed four year-old in a skeleton pirate costume who's just eaten his own weight in Haribo.
But if you really want to frighten me, just hide all the wine in my house, and tell me to run to the shops. Because alongside running out of Sauvignon Blanc, my biggest fear is EXERCISE.
Here are the things that terrify me about even attempting physical activity:
1. Wetting my pants in public
2. Farting loudly (both holes)
3. Excessive sweating in weird places
4. Extreme pinkface
5. Throwing up, possibly on the instructor
6. Heavy drooling
7. Doing all of the above at once
These fears are not unfounded. Imagine if Shrek was pink and had an Australian accent - that's me when I exercise. So given the choice, I'd never do it again.
Sadly, my doctor has told me I really do need to move off the couch and away from the biscuit tin. So I've decided to grow a pair (of legs), take a deep breath, and tell my fear of exercise to Fuck Off.
Just to be clear, this isn't about getting thin or trying to look like Elle Macpherson - I've been down that road before, and I know it only leads to delusion and failure. I've decided to make a change because after seven years of motherhood I feel so much stronger emotionally, and I want my body to have that same resilience. Also I'd really like to stop aching and leaking all the time.
I'm too lazy to do it on my own, so I've enlisted the help of the fabulous Kirsty and Suzie ("THE SUZINATOR") from Wonder Woman Workshops in South East London. They specialise in women-only workouts and nutrition, and allow mums to bring along kids.
At our preliminary meeting, I confessed my fears of pissing over yoga mats and audibly fanny farting. They laughed. "Don't worry," said Suzie, "Everybody does it, and we don't care!"
This sealed the deal, so I signed up to a six-week personal training and nutrition plan.
The first session took place on Blackheath Common, and I turned up in genuine Active Wear, having done 97 pelvic floor exercises on the bus. I felt nervous as I noticed the pile of kettle bells and realised I was there to work.
Suzie was amazing - funny, supportive, but unforgiving, and I liked that. She tasked me with doing 50 squats, 30 burpees, 30 sit-ups and a run. I started off with enthusiasm, but by squat 25 the thigh burn had kicked in and I began to think longingly of my sofa. I spent the rest of the session running, squatting and sweating while yelling out "OH MY FUCKING ARSE," much to the horror of the nicely-dressed ladies of Blackheath passing by.
But I DID IT. And all with just a few farts and a tiny bit of wee! The last time my body worked that hard, I got a baby at the end of it, but this time I was glad to finish without something falling out of my vagina. Success!
As I walked back to the bus stop, I realised I was smelly, sweaty and bright pink, as predicted. But I didn't care. I had conquered my fear of exercise, and that made me feel less like Shrek and more like Wonder Woman. I can't wait for week two.
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