This granny loves paddling. Shoes off, sand between my toes, cool waves washing around my ankles. A slow walk along the tide line is a little taste of heaven on earth. Feet numb, brain chilled; I can walk for miles in the shallow water.
But then it’s over. Feet need drying. I may not have thought about this before I kicked off my shoes, pulled off my socks. I’ve probably not brought a towel. And, is there anywhere to lean? Wash off the sand in the sea, stand firm on one leg, shake opposite foot, slide damp foot elegantly back into sock and shoe. The wobbly reality is inevitably less graceful, involving several failed attempts to get foot into sock. I need to improve my balance.
I commit to go to Pilates classes to work on my core strength. It might improve my running as well as my balance. I place my mat at the back, out of sight of the mirror. ‘Just lift your feet off the floor and back over your head, rotating them slowly three times’ says the instructor effortlessly, whilst demonstrating the movement. I engage my core, such as it is, and lift my feet. Or more accurately try to lift my feet. They don’t rise far and they crash back down. ‘Don’t worry if you can’t manage the full movement’, he says. So I don’t worry. I just keep on trying, persuading myself that the effort may do some good.
I won’t give up on the classes. But I have made a mental note to take my flip flops to the beach.