Friday, September 23, 2011

2011 Streak Day 238 (SaturdayAug 27th):OK then rub it in

2011 Streak Day 238 (SaturdayAug 27th): Walk - 2 miles, Time 45min, Weather - grey again
The alternative to a brief walk to the park was to take my car to the canal and then have a stroll along the towpath.
Today I was passed by a group of women jogging along. I wondered what sort of group because they didn’t look like a running club (oh yes you can tell the dedicated runner!) but then thought no more about it until I turned a corner and saw them doing aerobic exercises.
A Saturday morning exercise group using the canal and a nearby patch of green space - what a very nice idea. They were a very jovial group (there were more than you can see in the photo), obviously there for companionship and fun than flinty eyed obsession. When I walked by one of them asked if I wanted to join in, another time I might have taken them up on it but today walking was all I could do.
It reminded me of how often in various parks and open spaces you see trainers leading small groups. The growth in personal trainers is something I have noticed over the last few years. It used to be the preserve of Hollywood actors and the very rich but now it is mainstream, which can be only be good if you believe there is a trend towards unfitness which needs to be counteracted. However I wonder how long it will be before other councils follow the boneheaded example of Hammersmith and Fulham who want personal trainers to pay for the privilege of using their parks.  This article has an excellent illogical statement public spokesmen are prone to when trying to justify something dodgy: 
Michael Hainge, of Hammersmith & Fulham parks department, said the council is anxious to use parks to fight obesity, but wanted "to ensure programmes were not simply aimed at those already inclined towards exercise".
How do little groups of exercisers in a big open space inhibit anyone else? If anything they might even inspire others.
We now inhabit a strange neoliberal world  where everything is seen in terms of personal commercial transactions and a council can see its parks in those terms.
P.S. The headline of the article includes nannies amongst those who might be affected. Mary Poppins where are you?

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