My new venture into exercise has been – for the most part – pretty damn successful. Honestly, I’m in shock. I was expecting my heart to collapse, my knees to fall off, and the rest of me to simply shut down – all in retaliation against this plan to decrease my surface area.
My first trot out as a newbie runner was with my wife, who accompanied me purely as a precautionary measure. As a nurse, and with a reasonable level of interest in my wellbeing, I figured she would be a perfect companion during my initial attempts to be healthy and spry. It seems I had the right idea, as just tying my laces almost resulted in a rotator cuff injury!
So, with my fancy running shoes on, and at a gentle pace in order to prepare myself for the long haul, I trotted up my hallway, opened the street door, and embarked on my great journey.
My first spell lasted to the end of my road, and provided me with a perfect sheen of sweat and resentment – both in equal measure. My wife, who was carrying a full medical kit and portable defibrillator, kept me at a steady program of running for a measured distance, then walking for a similar distance, and repeating the cycle until my look of fear was replaced with one of crippling pain.
However, twenty minutes later I was getting into the groove. Putting aside any mental anguish for a moment, I was amazed by how quickly my tortured body adjusted to the exertion. I was keeping up with the pressure, and not feeling half as weepy as I had expected too! In fact, upon returning home, I was hit by an unexpected level of smug satisfaction.
I had jogged… and survived.
Since then I have pretty much been running every other day. Not so much because I enjoy it, but rather that I’m becoming addicted to the smugness I feel afterwards!
Take a few weeks ago. It was my 43rd birthday… typically a time I feel at my lousiest.
I mean, really, who the hell enjoys their birthday? Once you get past your mid-twenties, isn’t it just another stupid day, but with a little more post to open than usual? It’s nothing more than a marked anniversary of a twelve month period – during which you didn’t die, and probably could have achieved a lot more if you had bothered your arse to do so.
Anyway, in keeping with this sunny outlook, and as the fateful day rolled around, I woke up with the traditional b-day grumps.
But this year, rather than dwell within it, I jumped out of bed, pulled on my running clothes, and spent the first 40 minutes of my birthday hammering around the local park.
It was like taking an elixir of unabashed self-satisfaction. Seriously, the smugness earned from a good run provided me with a shield against all the usual rhubarb that my birthday typically brings.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I now find myself getting twitchy if I haven’t taken a run within a 48 hour period… its crazy! I’m also thinking of buying one of those smart watch things that monitor your heart rate, step count, calorie burn, and likelihood of a prolonged hospital stay due to runner’s bunions or something.
And now, with this new poxy Conservative government in place, should they decide upon a Hunger Games’esque tournament to eradicate the working class for good, my new fitness levels might get me past the first offerings!
Paul Millard 2015