Run! Run! Run!
Through the gate, across the road to the tiny bus shelter, up the hill towards Eddie’s and Eddie’s house. My MP3 player blasts fashionable and motivational running music in my ears.
Is this another one, I ask myself? Another false start? Another stuttering and short-lived attempt to fend off the lumbering and inevitable onset of middle-aged fatblokeness that forms the horror of my own doom?
Or am I just going for a run.
Truth be told, I have been afraid. That is why I have put this moment off. I am not afraid of many things, apart from big snarling dogs, people who merge with the motorway at forty-five miles per hour, pubs with no real ales and blue lights in the toilets, being given two tickets to see the band ‘The Feeling’ for my main birthday present, forgetting to cancel my free Sky trial subscription, comments (0), a Clegg government, the LTLP, the LTLP deciding that she wishes to become a man, discovering things contain marzipan, other big dogs that look like they might start snarling at some point, social situations, phone calls out of the blue from Tim Smith from the Steve Wright show saying ‘I hear you have a spare ticket for the band ‘The Feeling’, do you fancy going together?’, last orders, putting petrol in the diesel car, being caught re-using jokes, people who like snowboarding and any form of social shame whatsoever. But I am afraid of running.
I am afraid of the pain that I know it will cause. I am afraid the pain will, basically, hurt. I know that I will need to feel the pain before the running becomes easy again. But that does not make the fear go away.
I continue my run. Up the hill, towards the war memorial.
There is a famous bit in the Superman film where he flies so fast, so incredibly fast, that time itself goes backwards and he is able to go and rescue Lois Lane.
My running is not like that. If anything, the opposite is happening.
I put on a spurt as I pass Eddie’s and Eddie’s cottage. I would be embarrassed for them to see the slowness of my running, should they be looking out of the window in case of passing runners. I slow my spurt immediately I am past their gate. I need to reserve my energy, as I will require another spurt when I get to pass Len the Fish’s, and the Village Shop, and the Village Pub.
It has been an odd few weeks. I am working a lot more than I am used to, which is ‘a bit’, and I have been trying to stay away from the PC screen in my spare time so that my eyes do not fall out and I stop getting headaches. I have had to remember what I do when I am not pissing around at the PC screen. It is a depressingly short list.
Run! Run! Run! I stagger on, the Anti-Sportacus. I am so scared, I am hardly moving my legs at all. To call it a ‘trot’ would be pushing it. I abandon my spurts policy. Hopefully nobody will be standing outside the Village Pub smoking, and I wil not be laughed at.
Big futuristic buildings start springing up around me, and the world falls under the rule of giant ants.
When I return home, I am grateful just to be alive. If this is what life is like away from the PC screen then it is harder than I realised. The pain is there but, to be fair, it is not as bad as I’d anticipated, which, to be fair, was very bad indeed.
If I am going to do my triathlon then I will need to do much more of this. It hurts. It hurts. But I cannot just give up again.
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