Linda Mitchelmore

Hello, my name's Linda and I am not a team player.

There, I've said it. Not a popular thing to say today as everything in the workplace is teamwork, isn't it? But I've always loathed team games – playing them or watching them. I'd do anything to get out of team games at school.

I think I had my monthly most weeks when I was at Totnes High!

That doesn't mean I don't like being active because I do ....walking and cycling for preference, although back in the day racquet sports were my thing. I think it might have been the little white skirts that swung it for me. And all that fresh air and sunshine giving me a healthy tan.

So, being a non-team person makes writing a perfect career choice, I think. My success (or not) is not dependent on how other people perform – I rise or fall by my own efforts. And that's the way I like it. But we all know the horrors of the sedentary lifestyle, don't we? The sluggish circulation, the weight gain, the banana-shaped spine, the hunched shoulders, and the writers' rear are not a pretty look.

So what to do? I write most days. I like to be at my desk by 8 a.m. although it's usually nearer 9 a.m. And I like to stay there for a couple of hours, uninterrupted. And then I start to fidget

A bit of ankle-circling. A flap of the hands to get circulation going in the ends of my fingers again. A little neck rotation and un-kinking of the shoulders. Time to move then, Linda. And then I walk. For forty-five minutes if it's raining cats and dogs, and an hour if it's sunny. I live in a valley and there are four routes out of it. One downhill to the sea which means it's uphill coming back, and the other three uphill at various gradients and distances. And I can walk them at my own pace.

This means not breaking out into a horse-like sweat to keep up with those taller than I am, and not having to stroll when I really want to stride along if my companion only likes to 'feel the heat'

I saw a TV programme the other evening in which it said the faster we walk the less we can think creatively. If we need to work something out, this programme said, we slow down naturally to do it. Hogwash! The faster I walk the faster my sticky plots un-stick themselves. Whole paragraphs of dialogue go on in my head as my jolly, raspberry, Hotter lace-ups and I pound the pavements.

I know I could join a Zumba class (and I'm sure it would be very effective and great fun) or a gym, or even a tea dance club, but then there would be the temptation to go for coffee or lunch afterwards and that would eat into writing time and, possibly, undo all the good work if I ate cream cakes and the like

So ... I've been here a little while now. I'm beginning to fidget. The sun's shining and my jolly, raspberry, Hotter lace-ups are beckoning. So, I'm off. Just me. I'm Linda, and I am not a team player!

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