Friday, April 24, 2009
I don't run.
I would say the last time I ran was on my last day of primary school where all of us kids ran, and ran, and ran until the bell went and we had to go inside to learn a few things before it was home time where, not suprisingly, we ran home. And then ran around in the streets until the street lights went on where we would then run to our respective homes to see what was being served for dinner.
When I arrived in highschool at the tender age of 11 I remember being gobsmacked watching the the students in what was still called the playground. Despite the name there was absolutely NO playing, let alone running. Instead groups of girls sat huddled in little groups dotted here and there chatting and no-one moved unless they were taking a saunter down to the canteen to buy chips or a chelsea bun or to the toilets for a smoke. (of course NO one ever used the toilets for anything but smoking...I wonder how my bladder coped for those 6 years but that's another story.)
Anyway from the day I started high school I sat down at lunchtimes and eventually took up smoking. While I'm happy to report I no longer smoke I really took to sitting down like a duck to water and at the age of 38 I'm pretty damn good at it. Running seemed like something unpleasant, only necessary if my life was in danger, and after developing a fairly impressive rack, inadvisable unless I wanted two black eyes.
This morning everything changed. I ran. Having watched the biggest loser for weeks now I started to realise that all the middle aged and even old aged former fatties on the show were running. Even the 62 year old who started his journey weighing twice or maybe 3 times my body weight. Suddenly I felt ashamed, if they could run couldn't I? I wasn't sure. I suspected that if I attempted to run I might collapse and die, or before I could even get to the dying part I simply wouldn't know how to run.
A fan of running, Ed was delighted when I expressed an interest. So this morning we headed for the park...after a lot of fear and negotiation we agreed I would run to an allocated tree, and then back again. I took off at a shuffle....then after a few ungainly lollops it started to come back to me....suddenly I was transported back to the playground of Hornsby South Primary School - albeit with bigger boobs. It was almost, dare I say it, fun. I started to run fast, back and forth, back and forth before starting to gasp like a fish out of water. It seems I can run - but I am bloody unfit. All fixable says coach Ed. I think I'd like to try it again tomorrow.
In the meantime it's like the scales have fallen from my eyes. For the rest of the day I can't stop noticing people running. Yummy mummy's with joggers strollers, tough looking guys pounding the pavement. Even in my own street this morning on my way home one man was bolting down the street like he was being chased and then a spotty teenager emerged from another house and took off at a clip. Is it a sign? Even my own neighbours seemed to be saying "c'mon Browne, RUN!"
We'll see. I do suspect I'll always excel at sitting down though.