The tracksuit top is warm and nyloney. My breaths come out rhythmically – puff, puff, puff. My legs feel rusty and underused. But I have reached the top of the stairs, and can now collect my MP3 player from the bedroom.

I turn to retrace my steps. Going down is easier; I reach the bottom with no major physical problems.

There is a knock on the door!!!

It is Mrs Short Tony, with a message that they are going away for a couple of days.

“Well, I am going for a run,” I tell her, proudly.

“You what?” she asks.

I repeat myself. She looks doubtful, explains that Short Tony can hardly walk and asks if I know whether we fell over on the way back from the pub on Saturday. But I am not listening. Her doubtful look is hurtful and unnecessary. I am starting to feel that nobody believes in me. This is what happened to David Bowie, Sting etc when they switched media and went into motion pictures. I think that some people find it hard to believe that somebody who is a great writer can also be a great runner. It is not an either/or situation.

She takes her leave. I decide to wait for a bit until there is slightly less traffic outside.

23 thoughts on “I grit my teeth.

  1. Katy Newton says:

    I was first, by the way. Did you see that?

    First. Me.

    Um. What happens now?

  2. The Muller says:

    Well, Katy, I guess you get to hold the end of the skipping rope until someone comes along to relieve you.

    Oh! I guess that would be me. Well sod that for a game of soldiers. I’m off to the pub.

  3. NAGA - Life Coach To The Stars says:


    I worry about the, underused rusty leg and the MP3 player residing in your bedroom.

    I’m worried they might be connected.

    Well done for making it to the top of the stairs though. Today the landing, tomorrow the front gate.

  4. Pat says:

    Katy N took the words right out of my mouth. There is something about men and man-made fabrics that is deeply unattractive, not to say malodorous.

  5. Duck says:

    Are you sure you were feeling your legs? With your health isn’t it much more likely that it’s something else that’s rusty and underused?

  6. Tim says:

    I’d got ten quid on this post beginning “I go for a run!!! Run run run!!!”

  7. Nea says:

    Can anybody think of a great writer who was also a great runner, just to help Jonny out? What about Forrest Gump?

  8. guyana-gyal says:

    I refuse to be the last person to comment again again…so I will say something then read this post.



  9. guyana-gyal says:

    The great procrastinator’s creed: why do it today when you can put it off for tomorrow.

  10. z says:

    Stairs can be a real problem for us Nor folk. They have the same effect as hills and we’re not used to it.

  11. The prophet is without honor in his own country. Truly.

    Perhaps you should run somewhere else. Perhaps, “away.”

  12. I think that some people find it hard to believe that somebody who is a great writer can also be a great runner. It is not an either/or situation.

    You know, just because the silly fish leaps into the barrel one is not obliged to shoot it. Nevertheless, I would urge you to give houseroom to the concept of “neither”, Jonny, before other less merciful souls tattoo it across your saggy middle-aged behind…

    Meanwhile, a word to the wise. Wear cotton not nylon, unless you want to find out what nipple-burn is.

  13. Jenny says:

    14th Woo-Hoo!!!

    Run like the wind. Or at least to the Pub.

  14. My God I’m looking forward to the next post. The wind in the mane, the rippling flanks….

    If you’ve not run for a while though, a word from the wise: run in front of the mirror just once before you first go outside, to check you do not flap hands from side to side, kick legs out horizontally behind you, or most awful of all, do the ‘chin-up, head-flapping like angry child’ look, etc. I didn’t check, and you could see the fear in pedestrians eyes as I loomed over the horizon at them.

  15. Andy Myers says:

    “Bid me run and I will strive with things impossible.” — William Shakespeare

    “Long distance running is particularly good training in perseverance.” — Chairman Mao

    “Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.” — Dostoyevsky

    Now if you only need organise a training session with these peers of yours then you will be ready for the great leap forward, now, in this winter of our discontent though be sure to obey the highway code as crime leads to punishment…

  16. JonnyB says:

    I have to applaud Andy’s scholardom here. Unfortunately I could only think of Jeffrey Archer. Who may prove Ivan’s point.

  17. Gumpher says:

    I first thought you said that your breasts came out rhythmically. Hells teeth, he’s got man boobs.

  18. Megan says:

    If you’re trying to convince Norfolk of your running prowess you want more traffic not less. Also you want to work out a route that has you doing the very start of the run – the bit where you’re still actually running and your face is not a lovely deep purple – where lots of people can see you. After that forty yards you’ll need to duck into back alleys to do your weak-kneed wobble home in private.

  19. Eliza says:

    what’s that althete man called who was a bike rider and got ball cancer and wrote a good book about it? that’s like you johnny!

  20. gwenn says:

    that would be lance armstrong….hello from a stateside and shameless lurker..I’ve managed to squirt tea out of my nose on more than one occasion after reading your posts and subsequent comments. My 12 year old was both impressed and digusted. Thanks for the yukks!

  21. Linda says:

    Watch out for what is alot like a diaper rash after running-from all of that sweating, you know. If you have some diaper rash cream left from your daughter, put it on your areas under the shorts. You will be glad you did.

  22. Ewwww. Thank you for sharing Linda. I thought nipple-burn was bad – never had diaper rash tho’. Must be a girl thing. Which is not to say that our friend Androgynous Jonny might not suffer it all the same. Slather it on, Jonny my boy, and ignore the squeaking noises when you move.

    Meanwhile, we could try launching a neologism in honour of this auspicious event – “androjonnous”. So much more succinct than “has man-boobs”…

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