Running and parenting.
I often wake up and dread that I have to do one or the other most days. Then I get up, get going, think f*ck me this is hard. I find my stride, feel like it will NEVER end, then at the end of the day look back with a warm smugness that I achieved that.
Also, both aren’t great for your knees. And boobs.
It’s my birthday on Sunday. It’s also the London Marathon. And I should be running it, having received my golden ticket: a ballot entry. But I won’t be, and it’s one of those smallfactsthatshouldntbotherme but REALLY does. What I wouldn’t give to magic myself marathon ready again. But the bright eyed of you will have observed that’s because I’d quite like to rewrite the last 10 months anyway. It’s going to be my birthday, and I’m definitely going to cry because I want to.
I’ve said this before, I used to think people who went running were more than likely to be dicks. It was way too outdoorsy to hold much appeal. And involved insane amounts of neon Lycra. Plus I knew I was crap at running. Always near the back end in cross country if I didn’t feign illness or forgotten bits of kit to get out of it. I have lovely friends that run, I knew they weren’t dicks, but that part of their lives was otherworldly to me.
But then I realised, I’m not crap. I can put one leg in front of the other and move. I just might not be the fastest. And it’s not easy, it takes time to see improvement. But I’m determined, and this is what I need my daughter to start knowing now. That people that look like they can do something you can’t are not most likely to be dicks. They could be you.
As Lauren Laverne (I should have some 😍😍😍 inserted here) said in The Pool:
Sport does not belong to fit people anymore than karaoke does to those who can actually sing.
(I can also belt out many many poor renditions of songs in private. And with enough wine, in public)
I stopped running when I fell pregnant again last year. I just wasn’t that bothered because
a) I was frigging knackered. Those in the know get that. I was essentially a puddle of human on the sofa at the end of most days.
b) my pelvic floor has creaky boards after its past batterings, and I didn’t want to lose something.
And c) I was content.
But then I lost something without running. The mojo had gone. The baby had gone. My muscle tone was lost way back.
It dawned on me that I’d built a connection between being physically strong and feeling mentally strong. And I’d gone soft all over.
When I feel like I have no time for anything right now I know I have to make time to run. Force myself out that door when I know I’ve got numerous tv programs that I could just watch instead in an hour. Set the alarm a little earlier.
Because it’s good for my brain. And also because this brain knows this stomach and its love handles are going to be viewed by a lot of medical professionals. Scrutinised under an MRI scanner, all in the name of my donor compatibility testing. And I’m more than a little bit vain.