Fear and clothing: Why she-mamils hide their sweaty obsession


Fear and clothing: Why she-mamils hide their sweaty obsession

A weekly reverie on the vagaries and charms of fashion


I have been trying to understand my relationship to exercise. I think I might have something of a problem.  It was not always like this. At school I was allergic to the idea. It may have had something to do with the sports uniform. It was constructed from some arcane polyester woolly material that itched as much as it scratched. It was also bottle green – good on precisely no one’s complexion.  

Over the years I have toyed with various disciplines. Tai -chi on the lawns at university – which ended when the master attempted to cross over into my student space. Vigorous walking with friends every morning around Zoo Lake – which ended with a goose attack (my friend’s beanie was obviously very threatening to the goose population). Yoga on a Sunday morning at the ashram on the hill – which ended when the yoga instructor asked me to bake baklava for the children at his school. I had no children. I also did not attend his school.

But the bug bit me hard when I took up a job that involved commuting to Cape Town most weeks of the month. I saw the promenade and I knew what I had to do with it. Run. And so I went from a relatively sedentary somebody with an interest in champagne who could barely trot to the nearest park bench without breaking out into a convulsion, to a runner with an interest in champagne, who could run a marathon or six. Also with a boring line in conversation. There is nothing newly converted runners like to do more than discuss the nauseatingly boring details of their daily runs with other converts. Heady stuff. Not really. But addictive and if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that I am a rabid chaser of the endorphins...

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