Health and Fitness

Run – love or loathe it, the Winter version.

There is a coldness suddenly in the air, which burns with every breath I take. Running along the muddy tracks, my feet sink into the mud as I run. I can feel the mud clinging to the soles of my shoes, it makes me unsteady. I focus on the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground, and my mind wanders.

There was a time when I would quit. But not today. I can hear your voice in my head, and I find myself smiling. I’m smiling a broad smile, and briefly consider how odd this must be to onlookers. I imagine how you would be laughing and saying “Do you think anyone will notice you grinning to yourself?” Your eyes would sparkle, and I would laugh awkwardly. You always oozed confidence when I would falter.

Just run.

My feet fall out of rhythm, stumbling I try to remember what you told me, was I supposed to count to 5? No… I focus on breathing and ignore my feet. I’m back in a rhythm, and now there’s a song in my head. I have never been an Elton fan, but now I am humming “I’m still standing” – it’s appropriate atleast.

An uphill stretch, my pace slows, thighs burning, breathing heavy – I really ought tackle more hills. I laugh to myself,thinking how you lectured me on the benefits of hill sprints. Now how I wished I had listened. But of course I hadn’t. I think I was intimidated by how effortless you found sport. You would run about the hockey field nimbly, while I felt cumbersome trying to run along beside you. The urge to quit hits me. I can’t do this, I can’t do this!

But, I can’t quit…I stop for a minute – is this quitting? No. I breathe deeply, closing my eyes and allowing myself a moment to cry. I sob violently, hot tears run down my face. I am not unhappy, this is not sorrow, this is frustration. Wiping my face with my sleeve, I resolve to keep going. A deep breath, and a slow start but I am still moving.