- About the Author
- On Active Service
Easter holidays and a break from all my classes and my voluntary work at the school. A change may be as good as a rest, but, I do like my routine. I miss seeing the children on Monday lunchtime and Tuesday first thing, and I miss my usual exercise classes.
I do three classes a week: Pilates on Wednesday mornings, Zumba on Thursdays and a Dance class on Fridays. Luckily the Zumba classes have still been running so I have been able to go to extra: I did three last week!
I have come to exercise and dance quite late in life. Like many people I have always been too busy with work and children to consider trying to fit exercise classes into my hectic life. Then, when the children did leave home, I was unfortunate enough to fall ill with a condition initially thought to be Rheumatoid Arthritis, but subsequently diagnosed as Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus. This manifested itself in the early stages with severe joint pain and stiffness, particularly in my knees and I was scarcely able to walk, let alone consider any exercise. On the advice of my Rheumatologist, however, I joined a local health club that had a warm swimming pool and went swimming nearly every day. Over a period of ten years the condition gradually improved, and one day I decided to try some of the other classes offered by the health club. I started off with Yoga, but found it rather too spiritual and meditative for my liking, so moved on to Pilates, which I have found beneficial for strength, flexibility and balance. The Pilates teacher also ran a Bellydance class, which she felt would be suitable for me because it offered a low impact form of aerobic exercise. This was my introduction to dance and I haven’t looked back. I have never considered myself to be a natural dancer. I have always felt I have no sense of rhythm or timing. I didn’t do dance or ballet as a child, and I have always envied those people who can get up on the dance floor and cavort around effortlessly in time to the music, with no worries about making a fool of themselves. My teacher, however, was so enthusiastic and inspirational and gave me such confidence that my inhibitions vanished and now I love it. I don’t imagine for one moment that I am a good dancer but I am at least an enthusiastic one!
Bethany Askew is the author of five novels:
The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Days and Poppy’s Seed.
She has also written a short story, The Night of the Storm, and she writes poetry.
Future projects include a new short story, this one for the young adult market, and another full-length novel.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, music, theatre, walking, Pilates, dancing and voluntary work.
Bethany is married and lives in Somerset.