Sunday though was much quieter. I felt guilty about leaving the dogs at the farm all day on Saturday so, rather than heading out into the hills on my mountain bike as I really wanted to do, I took them for an old-fashioned walk instead. It was great - a little bit of sunshine and blue sky but crisp and clear. Plenty of autumn colours for me and my camera and my little companions in doggy heaven. I was determined to get some good exercise despite not biking so we headed up Win Hill. It's about an hour of solid climbing and then another 90 minutes or more of mixed downhill and flat. The views were gorgeous and it reminded how lucky I am to have all this on my doorstep.
All of which led me to think about how me and my chimp are getting on......
When I was planning my walk I had found myself leafing through loads of walk books trying to pick the perfect route and, to be honest, was using the walk selection as displacement activity for actually going out on the walk itself! I'm pretty certain my chimp was trying to distract me from starting the walk by making the choice too difficult. I was getting disheartened and beginning to beat myself up about starting too late etc etc
It was lovely, I realised that I hadn't been up Win Hill for a long time anyway and certainly not in autumn colours. So, why try and be perfect when good enough is right there?
I've broken the back of a couple of exercise hoodos recently. For some reason, I had decided that I can't bear swimming (despite previously being a very good swimmer!). My chimp had been very inventive and come up with all sorts of reasons: I need to work harder so can't take that long a lunch hour - this despite the fact that I frequently spend my full lunch hour reading or surfing! I'll have wet hair and get cold - who cares! I've never worried about my hair and make-up at work so why start now? The changing rooms are smelly and unpleasant and I have to drive there - well, true but not anymore! The Council (for whom I work so I'll take full credit) has just opened a spanking new smart pool just 5 minutes walk from my office which is neither smelly or unpleasant. The changing rooms are unisex which takes a bit of getting used to but they're fine!
The other hoodoo was going to the gym. I had built up such resistance to the idea that I had actually convinced myself that I had cancelled my membership earlier in the summer!! Now that the wattbike has been removed from us by Sky and the evenings are getting dark, I was casting around for another evening exercise. I thought of the gym and just checked whether I could reinstate, only to find out that I had NOT cancelled. So that's 5 months at £33 per month totally wasted!! So, the annoyance of that little discovery sent me back into the dreaded gym.
That was tonight and I'm pleased to report that I've not experiencing any resistance to going and indeed went an hour early in order to fit in a class beforehand.
So - manage your chimp, work with her and don't scare her off by expecting too much of yourself or doing too much too soon. if you do that she will dig her heels in and probably win. If you make it manageable and non-threatening, she'll come round and start to help you achieve your aims once she feels happy and comfortable (but not too comfortable!).