So far in life I have proudly resisted the urge to join the throng of leisure-wear sporting folk who claim to enjoy running. Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually happy to embrace a new fad, especially if it gives me an excuse to buy ‘totally essential’ new clothing or gadgets. But I have always viewed running as a necessary evil reserved only for when the last ferry is about to leave without you.
For me the sport conjures up less than fond middle school memories of being forced to jog around a cold Victoria Rec in scratchy green running knickers.
But last summer our little village set up a family running club at the local park and I have to admit a very tiny part of me wanted to join in the ‘fun’. The other, considerably larger, part of me would have rather done anything else but actual physical exercise in front of actual other people (no one wants to be lapped by an unnaturally athletic toddler). So, much like in middle school, I metaphorically forged myself a sick note and crawled back under the duvet.
That tiny spark of interest stuck with me though and I’ve recently started reading a book about running. I know, it’s not the same as actually running but it’s baby steps in the right direction, surely? I won’t share the title with you because it’s not exactly family friendly, but if you’re interested it’s by Ruth Field. I was hoping this book might enlighten me with some secret formula to transform myself from fitness-phobe to Olympic athlete in one easy step, but Ruth slashes those hopes in the first few pages.
So far I’ve learnt that A: Running is hard. B: I should stop wanting it to be easy. And C: Buying new equipment won’t help me on my quest for fitness. Well, thanks Ruth. For now perhaps I’ll just stick to reading about running.
By Emily Wells