IT requires little determination to bring one’s self to frolic in the sunshine. Consider this statement in the context of Australia and suddenly our reputation as a sporting nation becomes more a matter of logic rather than a testament to our power of will. We spend a lot of time outdoors, because we can.
Now, how about frolicking in the wind and the cold? That is something Disney films do little to depict. How often do you wake up to minus degree temperatures, look outside and see horizontal rain pelting at your window before thinking to yourself ‘Wonderful. I’ll give my friends a call to see if they’re up for a kick about the park?’
My guess is almost never. However, if you want to live the outdoor lifestyle in Edinburgh you don’t have much of a choice. If I seem somewhat biased in explaining all this, it’s because I am actively ignoring statistics that point to Australia as one of the world’s most obese nations. I’m a journalist, not a scientist.
In hindsight, keeping fit for me was a much easier task at home than in Edinburgh. Here, just prying yourself from the warmth of your bed in the wee hours of the morning uses more energy than a five day cricket Test match. Though to be fair, making toast uses more energy than a five day cricket Test match.
For nine months of the year in Edinburgh you don’t spring out of bed so much as you clamber towards the shower in a desperate attempt to stay warm. Any thoughts of facing the outdoors for an early morning jog are quickly subdued by the prospect of a hot coffee and extended Facebook time.
I compare this to living in Australia when kicking off my sheets at 6am and heading to the town pool to do some laps was more about escaping the heat rather than keeping fit. Jogging too, I’ve been told, could be enjoyed with consistency when you were sure that the day would be cloudless, just as it was yesterday and the day before that. If I again seem somewhat liberal with this description, it’s because I am actively ignoring the fact that last summer was one of the wettest on record in my home region. Journalist; not a meteorologist.
While we are highlighting things that I am not, let’s go ahead and add disciplined to that list. When it comes to keeping active in Edinburgh, the harsh weather becomes useful for separating fitness fanatics from the posers.
As a poser, I find that it doesn’t take much to convince me to stay indoors (either; “it’s too cold” or “oh wow, this pen clicks”).
As an Aussie, it is going to take some time to readjust my system into believing that the day isn’t a write-off at the slightest sign of rain.
And as for right now? Well, I promised myself that once I finished writing this column I would begin my latest fitness regime by going for a run. Yep, as soon as I finish this column. Just got to finish this column. Almost done. Just a few more words. Any minute now. Oh, who am I kidding?