Park Life

bikeWhile much of the country has seen snowfall in recent weeks, here in my home town of Liverpool we have mostly escaped the deluge. In recent days it’s even been light enough, if still cold, to jump on my bike when I get home from work, and take a ride through my local park.

I am lucky enough to live near some beautiful parks.

At this time of year they are sparse and grey. Cold and muddy.  But if you look for them, there some signs that Spring is on the way.

The cold isn’t stopping anyone. Walkers, runners, cyclists, kids on scooters.  Large dogs and small dogs and running around all over the place dogs.  Couples hand in hand.  Folk sitting on benches, nursing a warm cup of tea from the café. Children on the swings.

In just a few weeks it will all look so different. There will be more green, and more people.

I love the gym. But nothing beats exercise in the outdoors.  Fresh air.  Open space.  The sounds of the suburbs. Those days when you really don’t feel like exercising (which are many of my days), when getting out of the door is hard work….being outside invigorates you just that bit more, somehow.  And the best bit of all, the park, the streets…. they are all free.

Just me, my bike, and all that fresh air.

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And breathe

swimA long commute.

Working on the journey.

Five meetings, in four different buildings.

Dragging a bag on my back.

Thoughts of the never ending to-do list.

Calls in between.

Keeping up with the emails and the voicemails.

A dash for the train. Which is of course, late.

A long commute, all over again.

Tired. Legs aching.

This is my every day.

So there is only one thing to do.

Swim.

I could go home and clean the bathroom or hoover the bedrooms or tackle the ironing pile or empty the dishwasher or start cooking the dinner.

But.

The fluff on the floor can just stay there. No one will die from a crinkly shirt crisis.  The Queen is not coming for tea.  The dishwasher can stay full.

I choose to stretch my tired body. Rest my racing brain through slow, calming repetitive strokes through the water.  I choose exercise and health.  Movement.

I choose me.