In pursuit of fitness
When I was younger, I was very sporty. My dad is an avid runner who greatly influenced me. My great passion between the ages of 11 and 14 was long distance, or cross-country, running. However, when my family moved, my new school was not very focused on sports, and had no after-school activities like football or running.
Over the next few years, I stopped exercising apart from during Physical Education lessons at school, and even then, I was very grumpy about having to participate. I'm lucky that I can eat what I want and – for the most part – not put on any weight, so I looked like I was healthy, whereas in reality I was very unfit.
When I started university I decided that I would try and get fit, but by then I was worried about embarrassing myself in front of other people. I signed up for volleyball (which I was terrible at) then football (but I never went to a training session) then Ultimate Frisbee (and then decided it was a very uncool sport). Eventually, I decided that I wasn't a sporty person.
However, this year, one of my New Year's resolutions has been to try and get in shape. This decision came after I was late for a bus, tried to run after it and was very out of breath in under a minute! I considered taking up running again, but my housemate had a very bad experience with men shouting after her and beeping at her from their cars when she tried to go for a jog one evening.
Finally, one of my friends suggested a swimming pool close to my house that she goes to a few times a week. Now, I'm a convert! I love feeling like I've done something productive with my day, and I find doing laps in the pool very relaxing. Experts say everyone should do 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, so I'm starting with an hour three times a week and building up to every day. I hope that I will soon start to feel the benefits of regular exercise, and will become fitter and stronger. In the long term, I know it will be very good for me, and prevent all sorts of health problems that often occur in later life.