The Early Years
As a child, I was a huge fan of carbs… and being carried. Is it possible to be born inherently lazy? Perhaps I was a case in point.
Later, as I navigated the choppy waters of my insular, self-absorbed teenage angst, food became my friend and my comforter. I gradually put on weight, and in direct proportion to my ever-ballooning size, so my confidence and sense of self-worth shrunk to the point at which they were virtually non-existent.
I felt as sad, lonely and as distant from the world around me as I would ever wish to feel.
Me and Running? We didn’t get on. I frequently came second-to-last in the school Interhouse Cross Country races, and spent most of my Physical Education lessons loitering around vending machines and feigning physical ailments to avoid the public humiliation in unforgiving gym knickers.
And so, I decided to change. I HAD to change…
But let me make this perfectly clear: I didn’t experience a sudden epiphany, or an overnight morphing into some lycra-clad long distance runner. I didn’t ‘fall in love’ with running and ‘find myself’ whilst skipping across fields in the Yorkshire hills. In fact, I hated running for a long, long while.
My reluctant discovery of running (or shuffling) aged 19 was also a false start: I happened across rosé wine and Soreen around the same time. And so, I begrudgingly clung to jog/walking as some kind of tortuous weight management strategy: it was damage limitation, supported by my daily dose of Prozac to numb the pain. I was going nowhere, fast (… other than to the GPs for a repeat prescription of Happy Pills. Or to Sainbury’s Local for a restock of Soreen and rosé wine.)
With the benefit of artistic licence, I’m going to fast-forward a few years, here. I ended up stuck on a merry-go-round of utter banality with no clue how to get off. Everything was wrong: My job (as a miserable, begrudging lawyer); My marriage (not made any more palatable by having a garden with room for a pony); My fitness (A diet of wine and Prozac combined with corporate entertaining left no room in my trouser-suit for an ever-expanding waistline.) But, I still had blonde hair, so it wasn’t all bad.
So when, and how did I REALLY discover running, then? When – at the very least – did I stop HATING it? How did it SAVE me? (and it did.)
Well, that’s a long story…
… and it will be published. I don’t know any dates yet, I just promise you that it will.
Come on – you didn’t expect me to leave you without a cliffhanger did you? What kind of writer would that make me?!