Call around to my house on any given evening and you will find me flopped, most unbecomingly, over my red swiss ball, not in a "here I am stretching every muscle I own" kind of way, but more in a "I’m in labour, and this is the only position I’m comfortable in" manner- that would quite frankly, frighten horses and small children half to death.
In my teens, I took to wearing leotards, legwarmers and big Pineapple sweatshirts hanging off my shoulders while I stood in front of the mirror scooping my hair above my head in a Bananarama fashion and wondering if I’d ever make it as a dancer on Fame. I never actually moved.
See I may or may not have mentioned this before, but force me to jog on the spot, do the grapevine or lift my leg higher than two inches off the ground and I keel over and die. The only time I have ever actually "gone for the burn" Jane Fonda style was back in the days when my gym teacher Mrs Johnson was capable of reducing a sensitive teenage girl to tears with a single flippantly evil remark about the size of her thighs.
But that was then. Now I’m all grown up and twice the size I used to be and while you probably won’t find me standing on my head doing
I blame Rumer Godden. Bound to be her fault. Were it not she who said:
"There is an indian proverb that says everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, an emotional, a mental and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person"
Ladies and Gentleman, thus by default, before my love affair with the ball, I was not a complete person. True I’m ticking all the boxes in the emotional stakes- keeping that room well and truly aired I think you will agree. But spiritually, other than a burgeoning belief in the cure for all ills that is housework, I am an empty void. I rarely manage anything more mentally challenging than trying to work out whether milky bars are glutton free, and physically, lugging Finley up to bed (His "walkers" don’t work after seven at night!) just about finishes me off for the day.
And then along came the ball. And now shortly after nine, I do five minutes of hard exercise in my nightie (Heaven forbid, don’t dwell on the spectacle that conjures up!), rolling about on the ball, performing "frogs" and "swans" and various other small animal poses, and then I collapse and consider calling my mum to show off. Stomach across the ball, elbows on the ground, in a state something akin to
Rumer would be proud.