I’m currently in the throes of what I’m quietly confident is my latest fad, yoga. All of Kellie’s faddish criteria are present:
• Talk about it with anyone who will listen, including shop assistants – check
• Purchase up-market, overpriced accessories that are not totally necessary – check
• Colour coordinate outfits – check
• Begin to think of excuses why I can’t make it this week – check.
Oh yes, it’s all panning out nicely. I’ve now been to four classes, which in my world is quite the commitment; I am practically exclusively dating yoga. I never had the slightest interest in this pursuit previously, but after some emotional blackmail from my friend, coupled with the realisation that being unable to zip my boots unassisted may mean I need some work on my flexibility, I relented and decided to give it a nudge out. Despite some awkward moments when it was necessary to determine right from left in a hurry and be able to maintain upright status while holding one leg out at an outrageous angle, I didn’t hate it entirely, which to me almost qualifies as a stamp of approval. I don’t like to get too excited though, because I’ve always displayed a fickle nature when it comes to what I like to do and my past is littered with activities that have lasted half a dozen classes or fewer. Typically the death knell of these phases is the delivery of an activity based gift, bestowed by a thoughtful friend or relative who thinks at last I’ve found something to do outside drinking, that may actually stick.
Let’s see, one of my first fad forays would have been into the world of martial arts, Karate to be exact. After the initial lesson I was pretty keen. Again my nemesis, the immediacy of knowing my left versus right reared its ugly head, but I had been told that my snap kick to the groin was spectacular and I was inspired. I lasted about a month, punching, kicking and counting badly in Japanese, before my mother took the opportunity that my new found passion had presented, to buy me a karate gi for Christmas. I still feel guilty for the underwhelmed response when I opened the wrapping and saw all that starched white canvas fabric, the look on my face told us both all we needed to know; this fad was over.
Not one to limit my personal growth to the physical, my next fad was more cerebral. Having taken French for several years at high school, I decided that I would like to have another crack as an adult. I enrolled in a 12 week night class, and the rest, as they say, is l’histoire. I bought a beret, went to one class, je m’appelled myself with great aplomb, and never darkened the doors of the Epsom Community Centre again. My partner at the time, was so encouraged by me leaving the house on a Monday evening to go somewhere other than the bottle store, he trotted out the morning after lesson numero un, and bought me a CD box set of French lessons to support my new passion. He soon learnt the value of waiting when it came to me and a new found fancy (ironically, he too was a fad).
More recently I turned my hand to baking. I had some success making a couple of cakes and a stellar batch of cookies. I began collecting Nigella Lawson recipes and bought a new apron, at this point anyone who had ever met me, even just briefly in passing, would be crying out “fad alert, fad alert” But it wasn’t until my husband presented me with a shiny, new, red, electric mixer for my birthday that I truly realised the dream was over. I promptly went back to buying cakes and placing them lovingly on a fancy plate.
I’m no stranger to the concept of fitness fads either. I am the proud owner of a pilates DVD with its own innovative, core strengthening circle, a Strip to Fit DVD that does not come with its own pole but does supply the user with a giant elastic band (I never quite worked out what to do with that, although did contemplate giant slingshot?), and a DVD put out by an aging supermodel which was deemed unsafe by the American Fitness Federation. Fortunately, I only used it three times so the damage to my ligaments was minor and both my knees still function. I may or may not have attended a Zumba class, I don’t really want to talk about that, even I have my pride.
I’m clearly not the only person who is prone to the ebbs and flows of a fad. Remember MC Hammer and his pants? Planking? The Thighmaster? You don’t see people hoola hooping down the road much anymore, and I for one miss Sea Monkeys and their crazy high-jinks (well actually they were jinkless, neither high nor low. Why did they never look like they did on the packet? Were they even alive? Where were their crowns? So many Sea Monkey questions). Maybe it’s just in our nature to try different things, and some of us take longer than others to find the right fit. Maybe my niche is yet to be discovered, in the meantime, I think I might just bake a cake and find out how to say Namaste in French.