I'm not a competitive runner. I'm so uncompetitive that I hate running with other people. In fact, if anyone even sees me running I tend to stop and look at the hedge, or pretend I'm just out for a slightly brisk walk and I just wear running clothes because they are comfortable and keep the wind out. The red face and sweat are merely details.
But I've signed up to do a 10k run in May. I may have to insist that all the other runners do so with their eyes shut, in order not to inadvertently catch a glimpse of me running with them. Not that it matters really, I shall be so far at the back that only the person who comes along behind to pick up the litter and the fallen runners would be in any danger of seeing me actually doing it, and it may well take me all day to get round the course, but I am going to do it.
Everyone needs new challenges, and the New Year is a time we are supposed to set ourselves these challenges. Last year I thought I'd set the sort of challenge that sounds doable, but apparently eating a cake a day doesn't count as a challenge and merely results in not being able to wear your usual trousers, hence this year being the year of the 10k run, in order to undo the damage of last year's challenge. Next year I am probably going to have to challenge myself to do everything from a sitting position with my legs raised for the same reason.
When you've got stumpy little legs like mine, running isn't fun. All right, it's a nice way to see the countryside, but when even the cows are laughing at you, you come to realise that all your games teachers were right, you might as well take up chess or jigsaws or any other nice sedentary hobby. Flailing is an unattractive method of locomotion at the best of times, when it's accompanied by a red, sweaty face dragging a sturdily-built body, is it any wonder I don't run in company?
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