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Fitness bootcamp is on my mind. It’s a six-week intensive exercise programme accompanied by a high protein/fibre diet. I decided to do it to avoid the miserable slump in spirits that often descends on me at this time of year, and to see just how fit I could get if I had someone pushing me. I didn’t sign up expecting life lessons. But last week, I got one.

Line art drawing of push up.

How to do a push-up

Paddy, our esteemed leader, was talking to us about reps (repetitions for the non-physically inclined). His message was, ‘make each rep count’. Don’t just do them for the sake of it, to fill in time, to get to the end of the session with the least effort. Make each movement count. Do it slowly, with care, and use it to make yourself just that little bit stronger, to build that little bit extra stamina. He was talking about push-ups, but it struck a nerve. Yes, it applies to exercise, but it also applies to everything else in my life that I’m trying to get better at. Like translating, editing, speaking French, building the business and writing this blog.

P.S. We had a mid-way weigh-in, and I was amazed to see that I’d lost 700 grammes! I’ve eaten so much meat and veg it can only be a matter of time before chicken and broccoli stocks run low. That said, I’m almost equally amazed to know that modern-day bathroom scales can measure hundredths of gramme. The diet industry has moved on since the last time I weighed myself.