Giving up is hard to do. My French fitness challenge!

Most of us love pancakes.  I’ve not done any substantial research but I’m pretty sure this is a statement of fact.  It’s substantiated at the very least by my social media timelines, which were recently scattered with photos of people’s attempts at cooking the batter-based delicacies for Shrove Tuesday.

Indeed, Pancake Day – as it is now more commonly known – has gradually morphed into solely a festival of eating much like the true meaning of Christmas has gradually been taken over by present giving.  It is designed to be a celebration of food of course, but only because it’s meant to co-exist with a period of fasting which, from a religious point of view, is meant to follow for 40 days and 40 nights until Easter comes around.  Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, therefore, represents your last chance to stuff your face before you starve yourself.  But, whether we like it or not, these days it’s more about the eating than giving much of a thought to the fasting.

Hiking in the beautiful volcanic Auvergne region

Please be aware this is by no means a lecture on Christian values.  I’ve never been one to preach it unless I practice it and the last time I checked, Mardi Gras lived up to it’s literal ‘Fat Tuesday’ translation for me – and meant little more besides whooping at successful pancake flipping and subsequent munching.  So, as lent comes to an end once again and I have failed to give anything up once again, I’ve decided to change my tactic.  Because, after all, giving up – like breaking up – is hard to do.

With a little help from my husband ...

With a little help from my husband …

Instead I have been inspired by another fad – ‘100 happy days’ – that has been crashing Facebook and Instagram of late.  Each day users post a picture of something simple in their life that contributed to making a day joyous for them.  This could be anything from cuddling with the dogs (you know I like that one!) to heading home for mum’s roast dinner.  Get the idea?

Which is when I decided it would make me a lot happier and more joyful if I didn’t have to give up chocolate or pancakes or chocolate pancakes at all, and I could just as well fulfil Lent’s ideals of sacrifice, commitment and willpower by ‘taking something on’ instead.

On yer bike!

On yer bike!

So, picking up and running (as it turns out – quite literally) with the ‘100 happy days’ idea, I (foolishly) had the brainwave for a spin-off.  And so began ‘100 days of fitness’.  Or in instagram/twitter speak {hashtag}100daysoffitness.

Every day I am committing to a different form of exercise.  Anything from hiking or running to weights or cycling.  Or even perhaps YouTube exercise videos which I’ve learnt are called ‘webisodes’.  There are really no other rules.  Depending on the type of training, sessions can be anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours long.  Other than that, as long as I do something, I can check off that day on the way to the magic 100.

I’m unsure whether at this stage whether it’s a help or a hindrance to have a professional sportsman for a husband during this self-imposed challenge.  I am, course, lucky to have an expert opinion on different ways to train.  With a century of days to tick, variety could be my saviour.  However, when I’m struggling for breath on a run, suggestions to incorporate uphill lunges at intervals I can happily dismiss thanks to selective hearing!

Keep on running!

Keep on running!

As I write this I am only on day 5. But as you read this, I will probably be nearer day 35.  Still 65 to go then.  Gulp.  Check my progress on Instagram or Twitter: andreabyrnetv – let’s hope I’m still going if you do!  No pressure then.

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