Run! Run! Run! Across the road and up the hill towards the Village Shop, the frosty air kept at bay by two layers of Matalan. I have dug out my old “I go for a run” playlist, and the motivational music spurs me on at the correct pace.
“Oooohyeah it’s just the Eighties Coming Back ooohyeah…”
My body’s response seems to be okay; it is not until I pass Eddie’s house that I find myself gaspingly short of breath, and by this point I can see the Cottage with its warm and armchair-beckoning front door. Unfortunately Eddie lives pretty well opposite me, and I am looking over my shoulder on the way out, rather than jogging triumphantly in on the home straight.
I shrug my shoulders, or at least I do in my mind, as moving a shoulder muscle would use up half my available energy reserve. A few minutes later I have run the length of his bungalow and am on my way up towards the Village Sign.
Run! Run! Run! It is important that I maintain a sensible pace, as I do not want to be foolish and cause a pulled or strained Thing. I turn down the hill on the green lane, gracefully evading some dog shit. “’stheeightiescoming eightiescoming eightiescoming…”
I am quite impressed with my legs so far. I’d had an inkling that they might drop off, but they are still very much trotting away, albeit somewhat independently from the rest of my body. Kate Bush introduces herself to my ears. I cannot fully interact with her under current circumstances, and it occurs to me that I am the only person in the world ever to listen to this particular song and not do the arm movements. The duckpond passes, like a speeding glacier.
Ten minutes later and I am clenching my fists with the heat of achievement, standing in my kitchen, not dead. In fact I feel better than I’ve felt for a long time. In some respects.
Happily, I run myself a bath and get myself a cold refreshing full-fat Pepsi Cola from the fridge.