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When it comes to what we know about ourselves, our bodies, about exercise and activity, we are all experts.

There will always be experts who know more than us about burning calories, kinesthetics or muscle memory. But we are like grade 8 musicians or painters*. We know ourselves, we know common sense and by and large we know what to do.

Weekend supplements and website articles tell us what we should, must and ought to do. They tell us the latest research, how so-and-so looks so young and the secrets to physical success.

Sometimes, but rarely, do they simply confirm to us and tell us what, at some level, we already know to be true. Yet often these are the pieces to pay attention to more than any other.

*In a recent interview with Alan Yentob, Stephen Fry spoke about his work: “What underlies 90%, if not more, is language. A real profound love and excitement at the process of putting one word after another and what happens when you do it. Not just the meanings that are conveyed and the moods that you can create with language, but even the texture of it, the tip of the tongue, hitting the back of the teeth, the rhythm, the sweep, the swoop, the flow, the joy, the sound and sex of language.

Almost nobody has a realisation of what a beautiful thing it can be - the wildness and the freedom of using language, with joy and pleasure, and realising that we are the equivalent of grade 8 musicians or painters.”

It’s true.


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