Stare Into Space

Dear God, I Am A Runner

Posted on | September 28, 2010 | 9 Comments

About a year ago, when I had to trudge to the shops on the night before a friend’s wedding in order to buy a new suit that would fit around my waist, I took a good hard look at myself in the mirror and realised that I’d become morbidly tubby.

This was a far from pleasant revelation and I resolved to do something about it.  Cue some sensible diet changes and a trip to join a gym.  My manly willpower and sensibleness won the day and I was soon having to buy yet more new trousers (although at least in a smaller size than usual).

As part of my gym regimen, I began running.  At first in short, wheezy bursts but, much more quickly than I’d have imagined, I began to increase the duration and speed and decrease the rasping pain in my lungs.

I’ve since stopped going to the gym (embracing the recession – the world is now my gym) but I’ve kept running.  I remember, long before I’d begun this sort of aberrant, ‘fit person’ behaviour, reading that runners actually feel guilty if they miss a run.  I dismissed this as the worst sort of exercise-nazi tosspottery and probably had a beer and some cheese while laughing at the speedy losers before coughing unhealthily and scratching my proudly lazy arse.

However, for reasons beyond my control, during the last week and a bit, I’ve been unable to run as often as I normally would.  And, while ‘guilty’ isn’t really the right word, I do feel weirdly wrong about this.  It’s not guilt per se, although there may be a small element of that.  It’s… It’s like I’ve missed out on something I wanted to do.

When, the hell, did that happen?  I don’t want to run.  Do I?  Surely, I don’t want to get out of bed an hour earlier than everyone else in the world just to move about quickly for no good reason.  That can’t be right.  Can it?

I’m confused and frightened by this strange feeling.


Gerry Hayes

Gerry Hayes

I mostly sit around all day and drink tea. Occasionally, I write stuff and send it to strangers so they can humiliate me and deride my efforts. Other than the self-harm to dull the shame of failure, it's not a bad life. Like I say, there's tea.

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