The best thing about living in the countryside is that I don’t go to the countryside anymore. It comes to me.
This weekend I’ve cycled, walked, run, swum, and done gymnastics on hay bales. The phrase ‘on my doorstep’ has never been more fitting.
When I lived in Lyon last year, I had very little on my doorstep apart from a 10km stretch of concrete along the Rhone with a crowded park at the end of it. If I wanted to enjoy the countryside: to ski, walk, roam or swim, I had to drive, or take the bus or train. It was always nice, but it was always an effort to get out of the city (and of course come back).
More often than not, I’d sack it off for the pub. Or if I didn’t go to the pub, wander aimlessly round the city looking at monuments or counting the number of steps up to Fourviere. Eat pain-au-chocolat on wet benches. Drink warm cans of Leffe behind bins.
Fast forward twelve months, and I’m a gazelle, an otter, and Eddy Merckx all rolled into one. And I can’t get enough of it. Addicted to the outdoors and punishing exercise.
Point is. You don’t need a gym to get fit.