It all started when I changed doctor. My old doctor in Villenave had dissuaded me from running. "We are not made to run," she said, "but to walk".
So instead of running for 30 minutes about three times a week I walk most days to either Carrefour or Lidl and come back with a rucksack of shopping. I walk like an old guy who's scared of missing his train. It's not pretty, it's not sporty, but it is somewhat rushed.
It isn't the same, though, and now that the area is starting to take shape, and there are fewer heavy lorries and more places that might be OK for running I'd like to get back to it.
So I asked my new doctor. He was quite positive about it, but he wanted to send me to a cardiologist for a stress test to make sure I'm not going to suffer any ill effects.
"Who do you want to see?" asked the secretary, as if I knew anything about it. I chose the nearest. Pat had been sent to him so I knew where his surgery is.
Well... I've not named him, have I, but I had an appointment for 9:30am and chatted happily with the woman who was due in before me ... for about an hour. I went in at 11am, and there were four people waiting in his surgery, one with an appointment for 10am. I wasn't impressed.
"You don't want to go running", he said. "When you go running all your weight falls brutally on your knees! You want to do fast walking (la marche rapide)".
Nordic walking (la marche nordique) is very popular in Bordeaux just now. You see no end of people in anoraks with poles striding through the streets. No thanks!
For the stress test I needed another appointment, this time at a local hospital.
I went along this morning, arriving to find all the secretaries and receptionists in strike, but I found the waiting room and settled down when a nurse came out and asked me what I was waiting for. "Come with me", she said, leading me to a changing room. "Strip to the waist. The test will take about 10 minutes".
I could hear the guy before me on the bike. They encouraged him to keep going. Eventually he got off, they did the necessary and it was my turn.
Sensors all over my upper torso, I hopped onto the bike. "It might need adjusting", but it didn't. OK. Off you go. Try to keep it to 70 rpm.
It wasn't easy to keep it to 70 rpm. Especially when the nurse and I were having a chat about the area that the church meets in, which just happens to be the street where she grew up.
The resistance increased. Time went on. "So we're cycling to Blaye, are we? You said 10 minutes." "Yes, that's the idea".
Eventually the doctor said, "You can stop when you're tired." Well my thighs were a bit sore from the lactic acid but I could have carried on. "There's someone else waiting," the nurse told the doctor, so I stopped. "Keep pedalling slowly", he said
"Well that's all fine." You get to take home a report of your test, including ecgs and the doctor's summary.
Tomorrow I'll go and see my doctor with the results and see what he says.