Cyclist, runner, mindful, vegan... which are you?

MIndfulness - one of the signs you have entered the 21st century. Picture: GettyImages/iStockphoto

MIndfulness - one of the signs you have entered the 21st century. Picture: GettyImages/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s not that Lynne doesn’t make lifestyle choices, it just that hers are not fashionable

Just everyone’s getting involved in things, these days.

The things that are big include mindfulness (which is nothing to do with the gaps between the train and the platform); being vegan; cycling and the one that really grieves me, running.

Our son and his family stayed over at the weekend and he suddenly appeared before us in shorts and a T-shirt. “I’m just going for a run,” he announced.

This was unheard of. We couldn’t think what could have gotten into him.

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“Do you feel better for that?” I asked when he returned within half an hour, hot and drenched in sweat.

I am among my few Facebook friends who doesn’t go running. They’re all at it. Running this, that and the other 10km, half marathon, twice round the block. It appears to be not only addictive but catching. One of them does it, then another and before you can say Sir Mo Farah, they’re all doing a twilight run for charity.

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The question is, does my replacement knee excuse me from joining them? For the sake of not having to buy body-hugging Lycra, we’ll say it does.

Veganism is the new eating, it seems. As an unrepentant carnivore, I’m not about to plant mustard and cress between my toes, wait a week and call it a snack.

I like a diet to suit all my teeth - those grinding ones at the back, the flesh-tearing ones at each corner and the cutting ones at the front. I realise, of course, that evolution has left us with a few bits and pieces we no longer need to survive - the appendix, men’s nipples, underarm hair ? but I am strongly of the opinion that man and womankind are designed to eat a varied diet. I have nothing against beans and peas and things that sprout but they do cause wind and I’m at an age when a violent attack of flatulence can be dangerous... you could be quietly sitting on the sofa watching Murder She Wrote and, without warning, go from nought to 60mph in five seconds and smash into a wall.

Not that I don’t eat vegetarian and vegan food. I do and mostly, I like it although I do like a cheesy topping and that’s unvegan, I think. I have even eaten gluten-free although, I have to admit, gluten remains my favourite ingredient in pasta and bread.

I think I could be vegan five days out of seven but that is simply dilettante... I couldn’t go a whole week without camembert.

Mindfulness is acquiring a calmness that helps people to deal with anxiety and stress but I worry about not being able to do it properly.

Then there’s cycling. One of my colleagues has become quite evangelical about it and many companies have initiatives to encourage their employees to cycle. Zen and the art of push bike maintenance... all very well but have you seen the width of those cycle lanes on main roads in town and city centres? They are not as broad as my beam. But the main reason I am reluctant to take to the saddle is that I live at the top of a hill. Downhill into town - two minutes. Uphill to home - 20 minutes. Occasionally I see gallant cyclists taking on the hill in a gear so slight that it takes them forward two inches every turn of the pedals.

I do, however, applaud those who run or cycle. Unreconstructed I may be but I am not unsupportive.

Noooooooooo! An email popped into my inbox last week from an enthused PR person. It said: “If you simply can’t wait (I can) to kick off the festive season and start the Christmas celebrations, look no further. Our dedicated Christmas movie channel, True Christmas is returning to screens on Monday 24th September and will be airing festive favourites through to the beginning of January.”

Having seen a number of such films ? none of them in the cinema (no surprise there) I can pretty much guarantee they will ooze enough sugary sentimentality to ice three dozen Christmas cakes. They will variously feature cute kids, a Christmas jumper; single parents, a workaholic dad, an angel, a school Nativity, romance, a magnum of tears, both of sadness and joy; and a predictable (ie happy) ending.

This is all well and good when it is actually CHRISTMAS and everyone is looking for saccharin stories. September 24 harvest festival not Advent. It isn’t even autumn half-term or anywhere near Hallowe’en. We don’t turn the clocks back until October 28 (date for your diary). Even the famously early Turkey and Tinsel Christmas-type celebrations at Pontins, Pakefield, manage to hang on until November before they start.

Of course, just because the True Christmas channel is there doesn’t mean you have to watch it.

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