Extreme sports? – yes! Extreme ironing? – probably not…

I’VE fallen into some very bad habits since having a baby.

Thanks to tiredness and a lack of time and free hands, I now eat chocolate instead of proper meals, collapse in front of the TV instead of pursuing hobbies and stare at Facebook when I should probably be tackling the Everest of ironing.

But the worst habit I’ve developed is using the baby as an excuse to never leave the confines of my comfort zone.

Pre-baby, I was always willing to try new things, from strange and exotic foods to hobbies, rollercoasters and extreme sports.

On many occasions I’ve chuckled, if not laughed, in the face of danger, accepting ridiculous dares and even, once, an invitation to ride pillion on a mechanic’s Harley Davidson to celebrate my car being in better nick than either of us thought (and no, you dirty-minded individual, that isn’t a euphemism).

But in the last six months I’ve become adept at avoiding situations that require even a modicum of discomfort – and my unsuspecting daughter is usually my excuse.

“I’d love to spend the day with you and your two-year-old triplets at a loud, busy play centre which doesn’t serve tea and cake. But sadly the baby is allergic to…er…triplets.”

I suspect my excuses aren’t entirely believable.

So this month – the month I turn The Dreaded Three Oh – I’ve decided to start saying yes when the slipper-wearer in me would rather I said no.

Already I’ve been bodyboarding – a thoroughly uncomfortable, cold but completely exhilarating experience – and by the time you read this I will also have been hot air ballooning, despite having a slight fear of heights, flying and putting my faith in the abilities of complete strangers.

That’s not bad for someone who recently turned down a bar of chocolate simply because it wasn’t Cadbury’s.

So now I’ve got the bug and I’m raring to complete my next challenge.

I won’t be doing that ironing anytime soon though. After all, it’s probably best to take baby steps, isn’t it?

Article first published in The Westmorland Gazette on August 13, 2015