Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Fear

OK, so here's a fun anecdote for you. For most of this year, on and off, I've been learning how to run.

If you know me, you will know that I am a deeply lazy individual, who very much enjoyed my sedentary, sofa-dwelling lifestyle.

But I have a deep, dark secret. I come from a family of sporty people, blessed with hand-eye co-ordination and excellent lung capacity. My dad actually runs marathons. And as a kid, he used to send me off (in the company of my equally reluctant friend A) to do fun runs. Classic misnomer there. A's brother and my sister, three and four years younger than us respectively, were twice as fast as us (this is no exaggeration). We would puff and pant and whine, and eventually just refused to run any more. And that was how things stayed for the next 15 years...

I always thought those people who said running cleared their heads were hilarious. Of course it does - your mind is 100% occupied by informing you that you are IN PAIN and begging you to stop torturing it.

And then, somehow, in the midst of not the most fun few months of my life, I started putting one foot in front of the other. First in the gym and then, when I got a little braver, out on the streets. I finally reached that magic point (previously my faith in this was about on a par with my belief in the tooth fairy) where I wasn't in agony and my mind really did clear. And those weirdo exercise enthusiasts who harp on about endorphins? Totally right. Damn them.

So. All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I entered a 10k. Which is fine, I can run 10k. Slowly. What I didn't entirely notice when I signed up for it (I was multi-tasking, ok?) was that it's on Sunday.

This Sunday. As in six days time. And I really, really don't want a repeat of my fun-run experience. I don't want to be at the back, trailing behind retired folk. I don't want to lose the pure, unadulterated enjoyment I get from running by convincing myself I'm bad at it.*

Which means I need to not be bad. Which would be easier if my back wasn't currently in spasm...

Oh dear. The Fear has set in.

* I'm not good at being bad at things. My tried and tested strategy is just not to do whatever it is I'm bad at, which is why you will never again see me rollerskate, play the cello or attempt the high jump.


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